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St David's Hall is closed to the public until further notice with immediate effect as we are adhering to advice provided by the UK Government. The safety of our patrons, staff and artists are of utmost importance. 

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A2: Arts Active

The Arts Active programme takes its inspiration from the diverse programme of the two venues and capitalises on the expertise and resources they have, using them as a powerful catalyst for creative endeavours. We aim to encourage people, from the youngest to oldest, to engage in and enjoy arts activity.

w: artsactive.org.uk
e: artsactive@cardiff.gov.uk / A2@artsactive.org.uk
t: 029 2087 8570
Twitter: @artsactive / Facebook: /artsactive


Soundworks is our regular music-making workshop held at St David’s Hall for adults who have numerous special needs. The sessions are attended by adults with a variety of physical and learning difficulties and it enables participants to explore and create music in an enjoyable and accessible manner. During the sessions the fundamental building blocks of music are explored and with the participants all requiring varying degrees of assistance from their support workers, the workshops also provide an opportunity for carers to develop skills in using music to build up their clients’ levels of social interaction, communication skills and confidence.


Open orchestras was created back in 2013 to address a lack of ensemble musical provision in SEN schools. Originally piloted at six SEN schools in the South-West during 2013-15, Open Orchestras has been carefully developed through participatory design with young disabled musicians, teachers and music leaders. With this fantastic scheme having spread across England, Arts Active launched the first Open Orchestra in Wales in the Autumn of 2018 with Riverbank school in Cardiff. This created the first orchestra made up of SEN children in Wales. We hope this project will keep continuing on and inspire the children taking part to learn music and enjoy the arts.


2018 marked the 20th year of Gamelan in Wales with the St David’s Hall Gamelan being the only one in Wales. The St David’s Hall gamelan arrived in Cardiff in April 1998 from the workshop of the Pak Tentram Sarwento in Java. The set, which is a complete Javanese percussion orchestra, was bought by the then 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. Since its arrival thousands of people of all ages and from all over have enjoyed 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 while 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 form of piece after just a couple of hours. Cardiff university attend St David’s Hall with their university ensemble who rehearse weekly, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama have held taster workshops for their students on our gamelan and our community ensemble Cardiff Gamelan rehearse every week on Tuesday evenings. 


Tiddly Prom has been touring annually since 2004 with their ever-popular shows; Bert’s Magical Musical Farmyard, Bert’s Magical Musical Kitchen, Bert’s Magical Musical Allotment, Cherry Pie’s Holiday Adventure and a Christmas special; Bert and Cherry’s Christmas Plum Pudding.

We present an accessible, interactive and informative preschool concerts with an opportunity to enchant, amaze and inspire young children and the grown-ups they look after, as well as those who would not usually get to experience live music. The performances are not only lots of fun but is also educational, teaching listening skills, music, problem solving and team working, in addition to introducing orchestral instruments to early years children.

All Tiddly Proms have been specially designed by Arts Active’s creative team for the under 5s and are a great opportunity for young children to experience music interactively, with professional musicians in a creative and fun environment. With original music composed by Helen Woods and played by orchestral musicians, a fun, silly story and two lovable characters, the Tiddly Prom introduces the young audiences to music and a full range of musical concepts whilst entertaining all on every step of the journey.


Schools Programme 

During the year we work with both primary and secondary schools to offer composition and performance projects. These projects vary throughout the year so please do get in touch to find out what exciting opportunities we are offering at the moment.

Young Artists Showcase 

Before each International Concert Series performance, we will be hosting young performers on the Level 3 day stage of St David’s Hall from the region’s music schools. These performances last for a maximum of 25 minutes and aim to offer young artists the opportunity to showcase their skills and expand their profile as a musician. This is a fantastic opportunity for these young people who are at the start of their musical journey and it offers them the chance to experience the work of some of the world’s most prestigious performers and conductors. 

Young Composers Scheme

This offers aspiring young musicians aged 14-18 with a passion for classical music to develop their skills in composition, instrumentation and arranging. This invaluable opportunity is offered for young people to learn from and work alongside professional composers and highly experienced instrumentalists from Wales to develop their portfolio of work.

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