União da Ilha

GRES União da Ilha do Governador, known simply as União da Ilha, was founded in 1953 by a group of friends from the island of Ilha do Governador. Inspired by the island’s street bands and smaller samba schools, residents Mauricio Gazalle and Quincas Orphyl came to the conclusion that their district needed a formal samba school to represent them in the annual Samba Parades of Rio Carnival. União da Ilha was one of the less prestigious samba schools until 1974, when the school shocked audiences and judges and became Champions of the Access Group, bumping the school up to the Special Group for the Samba Parade of 1975.

União da Ilha is known for its controversial themes and light costumes, without employing the metalwork, props, or other such extensions that make the performances more difficult for the parading school members. While União da Ilha has never won the title of overall Rio Carnival Champions, the school is responsible for composing some of the most well-known samba songs that are still played and sung today, like the 1977 hit song, “Sunday”; the 1980 song, “Good, Nice and even Cheap”; and the 1982 samba song, “Is today really the day?”, which is one of the most revered songs in Rio Carnival history.

Service Projects: GRES União da Ilha do Governador is deeply involved in community service projects in its neighborhood of Cacuia. The school employs a director of social projects, who reaches out to international organizations and partners with multinational corporations on projects spanning education to infrastructure and development. Most recently, the school has been building and renovating chemical bathrooms, exit routes, and making changes to the transportation system to benefit the inhabitants of Cacuia.

Don’t miss União da Ilha’s performance in the Sambadrome on Carnival! Book your Rio Carnival Tickets Today!!

Also available in: Portuguese (Brazil)