Cragg Vale Gamelan to fold after 17 years


Local Indonesian-inspired percussion orchestra Cragg Vale Gamelan is set to call it a day after 17 years of performances and workshops across the country.

Following a concert at Square chapel in Halifax on June 23rd, the band will perform for the very last time during the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival and is hoping that lots of ex-members will come along and join in the fun.

The gamelan was formed in Cragg Vale in 1987 with a membership of about 30, since when there have been weekly rehearsals and regular performances at festivals, concert halls, schools and even a hay loft in Blackshawhead.

Cragg Vale Gamelan

Opening the HB Arts Festival 2001

The band's Musical Director for the last 12 years, local musician Dave Nelson, said, 'Sadly, it feels like the end of an era, but literally hundreds of people have been members of the gamelan over the past 18 years and many of them have had their lives changed and enhanced by it. We really hope that lots of them will want to come along to listen, or to join in our rehearsals during the day so that they can perform some old favourites with us on the night.

The concert will take place at Heptonstall Church on Sunday 3rd July at 7.30p.m. and aside from a cross-section of the band's back catalogue there will be a performance of Dave Nelson's composition for gamelan and soloists, 'Concerto for a Million Trees' which was commissioned in 2000 by Mid-Pennine Arts to celebrate the planting of acres of trees in the Burnley area.

The concerto features didgeridoo player Ed Oxley, and Peadar Long playing a saxophones, whistles and even bagpipes. An aural and visual feast.

Ex-members can call Dave on 01422 843315 or email him at


Cragg Vale Gamelan

More pictures from 2001 HB Arts Festival

Listen - "Compulsive Afronesia" by Dave Nelson, is a lively piece which combines gamelan sounds with jazz and samba (mp3)

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