The Big String

Children playing brass instruments

The Big String

The Big String will next take place on the 21st and 22nd of February, 2022.

Two girls playing violins

The Big String is back!

The Big String will return on Monday the 21st & Tuesday the 22nd of February 2022. Monday rehearsals will take place at Dean Close School on day 1 and the concert on day 2 will be held in the magnificent setting of Tewkesbury Abbey. The project is open to young string musicians from across the county, from pre-grade 1 to grade 8+.

To celebrate GAM's 40th anniversary, the event will include a world premiere of a newly commissioned piece by composer Jeff Moore. Music will be sent out in January to enable musicians to practise ahead of the event.

The generous support of Make Music Gloucestershire allows places to be offered for a fee of just £40 per student for students living in Gloucestershire. For those living out of county the fee will be £50.

The closing date for applications is Friday 28th January 2022. Please complete the form below!

Sign up here

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is it?

Dean Close School in Cheltenham, and Tewkesbury Abbey.

How long are the days?

Registration is at 9:30am, for a prompt 10:00am start on both days, and day 1 ends at 4pm. The concert on day 2 starts at 3pm, for an expected end at 4pm.

What do I bring?

Your instrument, a named music stand, any necessary accessories (e.g. shoulder rest, rosin, spare strings, cello spike, pencil, rubber), and a packed lunch, with enough snacks and drinks to last the full day.

Is there a dress code?

There is no dress code on day 1; however, comfy casual clothes are encouraged. Coats are also recommended for time spent outside during breaks. On day 2, students will be provided with a #thebigstring t-shirt which they will wear with their black trousers/skirt. It is highly recommended that musicians therefore wear a long-sleeved dark coloured top (preferably black) over which the t-shirt will be worn. The abbey will be cold, so additional layers can also be worn under the dark long-sleeved top if required.

Will I be able to see the music beforehand?

Yes! Music will be sent out in early January by email, in order to give students an opportunity to practice.

What standard do I need to be to join?

This event is suitable for all string players from pre-grade 1 standard up to advanced level.

I don’t live in Gloucestershire. Will I still be able to take part?

Yes! However, since we are supported by Make Music Gloucestershire, the out of county fee is £50. If you have any queries regarding fees please email


The Big String 2021

2021's The Big String brought 90 young string players together, rehearsing and recording in groups of 15. This was the first time many young musicians were able to play live for over a year. Led by the Carducci Quartet, and our artistic director Glyn Oxley, they produced this fantastic recording of The Winchester Tales by Jeff Moore. We hope you enjoy it!