Centre Opening Times

Colwell Arts Centre is now open on a strict appointment-only basis. To collect, return or exchange an instrument, please contact us at glosmusic@gloucestershire.gov.uk to make an appointment.

Music for Youth Regional Festival March 2017


On 4th and 5th March 2017, youth music groups of all types, sizes and genres came together to perform on the impressive stage at the Cheltenham, Town Hall.  This two day event was one of many regional festivals that are held between February and April each year covering the whole of the UK. 



Few regional festivals however have such an incredible setting within the regency grandeur of the Cheltenham Town Hall.

Each performance is given feedback by specialist visiting music mentors. The Mentors are professional musicians who are there to support and offer encouragement on how to take those next steps in improving your ensembles skills. The successful entrants who have been invited to performance at Symphony Hall, Birmingham in July are:

Brass Tacks, Schools' Philharmonic Orchestra, The Eclectic Electric Collective, Chipping Campden Swing Band, Fairlands Middle School Brass Ensemble, Discord/Datcord, Kingswood Senior Guitars, Gloucestershire County Youth Choir, Gloucestershire Youth Orchestra, Wriggle Jigglers, Shire Brass Band, Symphonic Wind Band and St Peter's Girls' Choir.

Here is just some of the feedback from that we’ve received from about the event:

“On behalf of the staff and young people of Herefordshire Music Service who came to MFY on Sunday morning, can I thank you for all your hard work in putting this together.

We thought that it was all very well organised and a lovely/friendly atmosphere. People on duty (including the nice gentleman on the front desk) were all really helpful. Our students enjoyed listening to the other groups as much as they did performing! It was good to hear a variety of ensembles and in particular your impressive senior ensembles. We appreciated you putting a gap between our two groups’ performances, that was really helpful. We have already received some very positive feedback from parents.”  Cliff Woollard, Head of Herefordshire Music Service.


“I just wanted to say thank you for organising such a fantastic festival on Saturday.  We had a wonderful time; you really included us and made us feel at home.  It was amazing to listen to all the other inspirational music groups and to have the opportunity to perform in such a wonderful place.  I'm sure the experience will stick with the children for a long time.  We have had so much positive feedback from the parents and children.  The whole experience has really given us a boost - so thank you!”  Cathy Roddis, Music Subject Lead at Bream Primary.


“I just wanted to write to say a huge Thank You for a wonderful day of music-making from youngsters yesterday at Cheltenham Town Hall.  It was great for two of our Music Service ensembles to be involved and to receive such professional and useful feedback from the Mentors (please do pass on our thanks).  The venue was terrific – such lovely photos of our groups on that impressive stage; and the event was so well organised and everything so clearly set-up – so thank you again.”


“Our 8-piece folk band the 'Wriggle Jigglers' had a fantastic morning performing to a packed Cheltenham town hall and listening to some amazing groups.

The event was run impeccably smoothly and professionally and everyone was extremely friendly. We were treated to excellent adjudication by Neil Valentine - positive, energetic, entertaining and with some good ideas for future performances. They were also offered a very good gig!

Thank you for a very positive day.” Abi Jenkins, Wriggle Jigglers!


“I'd like to say a huge thanks for absolutely everyone who was involved in the Cheltenham event - from the smiley, helpful people on the door, to the stage movers - and, of course all of you behind the scenes.  This was a really well-run event and I was very impressed by the slickness of the stage movements, as well as the speaker filling in, in between the acts.  I was also impressed by the level of the instruments provided - keyboard, drums, amps, microphones - all good stuff!

Our boys (Out the Window) were very keen to perform, but very nervous too as this was a huge performance for them.  Thank you for scheduling them early on, so they could perform before the nerves got the better of them.  The experience was so good that they can't wait to do more.  It's a shame that more groups don't take the opportunity.  I hope they repeat the experience next year - with some of their own material, hopefully.

As a new group, they really benefitted from the excellent feedback from the mentors and loved the whole non-competitive atmosphere.

We should do more of this for our young performers!!

Thank you again - I really hope the group get involved again next year!” Suze Grint, Out the Window.


“Just a quick thankyou from the Cheddar Valley. Both groups (Fairlands Middle School Brass Ensemble and the newly named "Mature Cheddar") had a lovely day, it was so well organised, everyone was so helpful and there was no hanging around. With people talking to the youngsters they didn't have time to get worried about performing and were really able to give of their best.  It’s the best regional centre we have attended.”  Anne, Cheddar Valley.


"Fantastic organisation, friendly staff and an absolutely beautiful venue. A great opportunity for our young musicians at South Gloucestershire Music Hub! Thank you!"  Hannah Caldcott, South Gloucestershire Music Hub.


“It was a wonderful day. Many thanks to your wonderful team of staff for making it run so smoothly.  The parents thought the comments in between groups were insightful and at times funny. It is great that the students get to play on a stage that is used by professions.”  Helena Hesketh.

Help us improve Gloucestershire music

Don’t include personal or financial information like your National Insurance number or credit card details.