6:00PM - 8:00PM

The St David’s Hall gamelan is a complete Javanese percussion orchestra from the workshop of Pak Tentrem Sarwento in Java. The set was bought by the former St David’s Hall and New Theatre Trust (now the Arts Active Trust), with the support of a National Lottery Grant from the Arts Council for Wales, and arrived in Cardiff in April 1998. Since then, thousands of people of all ages have come from far and wide to enjoy playing and listening to the music of the St David’s Hall gamelan. 

School groups from all over south Wales have taken part in lively taster workshops, playing together as a class often for the first time. Gamelan is accessible to all, regardless of any prior musical experience, and whilst it may take many years to master some pieces and styles it is possible for a group to be able to play a basic traditional style piece after just a couple of hours. The Cardiff University gamelan ensemble and students from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama have benefitted from regular opportunities to play the St David’s Hall gamelan,  while our community ensemble, Cardiff Gamelan, rehearse every week on Tuesday evenings. Email for more information.

Try Gamelan

Here at Arts Active we aim to encourage people, from the youngest to oldest, to engage in and enjoy arts activity. Our gamelan programme offers regular courses and workshops for people of all ages and abilities to be able to experience the inclusive nature of gamelan. From two-hour workshops introducing gamelan to those who have never tried it, to weekend courses for those who regularly practise gamelan and wish to expand their knowledge and skills, we aim to offer something for everyone interested in the gamelan world.

Cardiff Gamelan

Cardiff Gamelan is our community ensemble, which meets regularly on Tuesday evenings. Repertoire includes both traditional Javanese music and western compositions for gamelan. Gamelan is a wonderfully versatile set of instruments, allowing people of all ages and abilities to take part. The group welcomes new members to join this mixed ability group, regardless of previous experience. Each weekly session is held in the Lefel 1 Studio at St David’s Hall from 6pm to 8pm.

Musical Director: Helen Woods | Gamelan Producer: Rhian Workman


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