Centre Partially Re-Opened

Colwell Arts Centre has now partially re-opened for new instrument hires, and existing hirers to return or exchange instruments. We are operating an appointment-based system so please contact glosmusic@gloucestershire.gov.uk with any enquiries or to book your appointment.


Covid-19 - News

Please note that all rehearsals and concerts have been cancelled until further notice, keeping in line with the Government's direction on COVID-19.

Click on the link to explore all the ways that you can keep playing and making music until we can all get together again!

Keep safe everyone from the Gloucestershire Music Team

New Resources and Links!

Members' area


We currently have over 50 members - but there's still room for more!

Please get in contact if you would like to join us - come a try out a couple of sessions for free.




On Saturday 7th March

We performed at Cheltenham Town Hall. It was an excellent performance, there was a good blend of sound, good energy and some dynamics. ​Our programme was -

Batman Generations - Hefti, Arundel, Zimmer and Newton Howard arr Justin Williams
Zenith - Peter Meechan
The Planets - Holst arr Douglas E Wagner - computer version here!
Wallace & Gromit - Julian Nott arr Johnnie Vinson - something like this!



Our Concert Dress is LONG BLACK for everyone!



Listening for March

Beethoven 5th Symphony - with animation. Listen to how the animation reflects the number of lines happening in the music. Listen to hear the french horns playing in harmony. Listen to the sad oboe tune.

Have a listen to your "listening surprise" on the News page too



A Ralph Vaughan Williams Portrait - Ralph Vaughan Williams arr Douglas E. Wagner
Batman Generations - Hefti, Arundel, Zimmer and Newton Howard arr Justin Williams
Black is the Color... - arr Robert Sheldon

Colonel Bogey - Kenneth Alford arr Matt Kingston

Hot Ashpelt - Ian Vlemmiks - variations on this Irish folk song "Hot Asphalt" (there appear to be many different versions of the original - it's hard to know where to start)

Prairie Winds Festival - James Barnes

The Planets - Holst arr Douglas E Wagner - computer version here!

The Prayer - Carole Bayer Sager and David Foster arr Victor Lopez

Click on a piece to listen to a recording



'One thousand hours of the wrong sort of practice is (at least) one thousand hours of wasted time'
(Mills, J. (2007) Instrumental Teaching Oxford: Oxford University Press)

  • Start off with a warm up.  Long notes are a good way to develop tone.  Play them with your eyes closed, this way you can really listen to the sound you are making.
  • Choose what you would like to practise and then play the scale of the key that the piece is in.  This will get you tuned in to the tonality of the piece and should help you to remember which sharps or flats you should be playing.
  • Identify what needs work.  If there is a bar or two that you struggle with, isolate them and concentrate just on that bit.  Play it slowly.  Try and work out exactly what the problem is.  If it is fingering, for example between two specific notes, play those two notes slowly then repeat a little faster.  Then add the note after.  Then add the note before.  Carry on like this until you build up the whole bar/phrase.  When you think you've got it, start four bars beforehand and run into it.
  • If you have a passage of quavers or semiquavers, try this technique.  Firstly, play it slowly.  Then play it swung or dotted quaver, semiquaver.  When you can play it like this, turn that rhythm around so that you play semiquaver, dotted quaver - think of a heartbeat.  Be warned, this is really hard and it might take you a while to do this.  Then, when you've got it like that, play it normally.  This technique really works and is a good way to speed up a passage that you can only play slowly.
  • If you are looking at a new piece, I find that starting from the end is a good way to approach it.  Look at the last four bars and play those.  Then go back another four bars and play the last eight bars.  Then go back another four bars etc.  This way, you are always moving into familiar territory!
  • When you have finished practising the bits that you need to, play the piece to consolidate your work.
  • End your practise session by playing something that you know you can play well.

Remember:  If you don't have a great deal of time, don't worry.  10 minutes of effective practice can be all that you need to be more confident in band.



Wallace & Gromit - Julian Nott arr Johnnie Vinson - something like this!

Zenith - Peter Meechan


ABBA on Broadway - ABBA arr Michael Brown

Land of Hope and Glory - Elgar arr P Sparke

Rivers - Samuel R Hazo

Shine! - Barrie Gott

2018 :-

Dances from the Duck Pond - Tchaikovsky arr Duncan Stubbs
Konzertstuck in Eb - Rimsky-Korsakov
Pilatus: Mountain of Dragons - Steven Reineke arr. Matt Conaway (noisy recording)
Radetzky March - Johann Strauss Sr.Theme from the
Emperor Waltz - Strauss arr Johnson


2017 :-

Barnaby behaves badly - Rob Wiffin
Fanfare for the Common Man - Aaron Copland arr Robert Longfield
Guys and Dolls (Highlights) - Loesser arr Custer
Music from Frozen - Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez, Christophe Beck arr Johnnie Vinson
Pixar Movie Magic - various arr Michael Brown (With video - definitely worth a watch)
Transatlantic Dance - Tom Davoren
Yorkshire Ballad - James Barnes


2016 :-

The Addams Family - Mizzy arr Lavender
King Arthur Suite - Purcell arr A Freed
Processional Overture - Philip Sparke

With Each Sunset - Richard L. Saucedo

2015 :-

Balladair - Frank Erickson
Fiddler on the Roof (selection) - Jerry Bock arr. Bob Lowden
Flyaway Blues - Stuart Johnson
I'm a Believer - Neil Diamond arr Johnnie Vinson

Romeo & Juliet Love Theme - P Tckaikovsky arr Frank Erickson

2014 and previous :-

A Christmas Celebration - Alfred Reed
Alexander’s Ragtime Band - Irving Berlin
Aztec Fire - Jay Bocock
Big Fun in the Sun - arr. David Marshall
Blues Brothers Revue - The Blues Brothers arr. Jay Bocock
Carmina Burana - Carl Orff arr. Jay Bocock
Celtic Ritual - Higgins
Dakota - Jacob de Haan
Dam Busters - Eric Coates arr. Douglas E. Wagner
Disco Lives! - The Bee Gees arr. Johnnie Vinson
Duke Ellington Mix
Impertinence and Allegro - Handel / Haydn / Shahir
It ain’t Necessarily So - George Gershwin arr. Jerome Naulais
Jazz Chaconne - Edmondson
Joseph & the Technicolour Dreamcoat - Lloyd Webber arr. Cacavas
Lion King - arr. John Higgins
March of the King’s Trumpeters - Jean-Baptiste Lully arr. James D. Ployhar
The Muppet Show Theme - Henson arr. Paul Murtha
Norwegian Rondo - Philip Sparke
Pictures at an Exhibition - Mussorgsky arr. Michael Sweeney
Suite for Military Band - Holst




Help us improve Gloucestershire music

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