The summer holidays are just around the corner and this August there’s a rare opportunity for young musical maestros to be a part of a one-of-a-kind, world music and jazz summer school.
Although summer schools do exist in the UK,they can often be more geared towards sports and outdoors pursuits. For budding young musical talent, the Grand Union Orchestra (GUO) has announced its third year of summer school and plans to become a national initiative from next year.
“Grand Union Orchestra announces world music summer school”
No other organisation represents the many musical styles in view of the UK’s changing demographic. 21 year old, Josh Brandler was introduced to GUO seven years ago and is now a flourishing musician. Finalising his first album with his afro-beat and funk influenced band, he is also part of a jazz duo as well as bringing together his own jazz andsoul group.
Josh explains; “When I first attended a GUO class I could barely read music, but that wasn’t a problem as everything was taught through clapping and singing which made music very accessible to me. A lot of the music making is done by ear and improvisation, it’s a very dynamic environment to be a part of and I was quickly inspired to learn to read music myself and become more competent. The summer school is unrivaled, there’s nothing like it and it has given me an invaluable insight into songs and music from all over the world. It’s taught by people from those cultures and traditions which makes the learning so rich.”
Running for over 30 years, GUO brings together musicians from every major musical discipline worldwide to create, perform, broadcast and record original work.
These critically acclaimed musicians are not only remarkable artists but also charismatic workshop leaders, who, this summer will offer talented young people aged 12 – 21 the unique opportunity to meet like-minded people and hone their musical skills.
Organised as a four day residential and set in the beautiful grounds of Oundle School in Peterborough, the course was developed by GUO co-founder composer and director, Tony Haynes and is led by accomplished musician Shanti Jayasinha. The students will not only focus on their chosen instrument, they will also be given the opportunity to experiment with new instruments.
Tony explains; “As far as we’re aware we have a very rare proposition, there are no other musical summer schools like ours. Students are taught different styles from across the globe, from Brazilian Yoruba chant to Indian ragas, as well as developing improvisational skills. The course culminates with a performance on the last day, which usually involves an outstanding menagerie of colourful sounds from a host of western and non-western instruments.
“I think what stands us apart, is our amazing wealth of musical teachers and the knowledge they bring with them. Shanti Paul Jayasinha works alongside me to compose and run the course, he is an extremely accomplished trumpet, flugelhorn and cello player, he is deeply steeped in South Asian music and has worked extensively in the Latin scene. It’s this kind of rich diversity and life experience which money can’t buy and is invaluable when teaching today’s up and coming artists.”
Tony and Shanti, will be joined by six other world renowned musicians with disciplines in the tabla, guitar, congas, sitar, bass, keyboard, saxophone and African drums to name just a few. All collaborating to produce and teach an outstanding programme that can be influential in shaping the lives of promising musicians.
To join the summer school, applicants must be open minded, aged between 12- 21 and have reached Grade 4 (or equivalent) or have had prior experience with jazz and/or world music for acceptance.
90 for the four-day course, 1st – 4th August, which includes all travel, accommodation, meals, tuition and performance. Bursaries are also available.
For more information or to apply email [email protected] or call the Grand Union office number 020 8981 1551