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Gamelan at May Day, Penrith

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This year the Penrith Lions added a range of workshops in St Andrews Churchyard to complement the stalls and parade in the town. We set up Lawrence Leith’s gangsa instruments and gongs, with our dragons and banners to set the scene and had a steady flow of young players throughout the 3 hours we were there.

Children came with their families and discovered the sounds of the gamelan from 7 different schools around the area from toddler to secondary.

Lawrence had devised a new tune as an introduction for new players and Bryony assisted in getting everyone to join in.

This was our first public exposure in Eden and encouraged by the feedback we are now planning to take the instruments to other festivals during the summer.

The gamelan instruments are easy to access, make a distinctive and magical sound, and because outdoors they are melodious and not too loud, they can co-exist with other stalls and workshops nearby.

We think this is a very good model for an engaging, hands-on taster music session for all the family.

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