Powerful creative project focuses on saving the planet

Published: 4 February 2020

Sinfonia Viva orchestra

Sinfonia Viva orchestra

A group of young people are working with Derby-based regional orchestra Sinfonia Viva on a creative project that tackles the emotive subject of global warming.

Students from Becket and Firs primary schools, The Bemrose School and Derby College are taking part in ‘Energy’ – the latest in the award-winning Orchestra’s series of projects aimed at bringing science, maths and technology subjects to life through music.

Around 80 students joined an inspiration day at Derby Museum & Art Gallery where they worked with science director, film maker and children’s author Emma Murphy to learn more about the world’s reliance on fossil fuels, the impact of these on the earth’s climate and the future of renewable energies.

They are now joining workshops with Viva composers and musicians to learn new songs written by James Redwood and Hazel Gould and compose their own music that explains the science behind climate change.

The students will join the Orchestra and Principal Conductor Frank Zielhorst for two performances at Derby Theatre on Tuesday 25th February.

The afternoon concert will be attended by pupils from other schools in the city and county, who will be able to join in the concert and receive education packs for classroom work about renewable energy.

The evening concert audience will include family and friends of the young people involved as well as members of the public. Both performances will be fully BSL interpreted by Sarah Gatford to make them accessible to everyone.

The 14-piece orchestra will perform a specially commissioned piece by female composer Dani Howard which is a contemporary take on Beethoven’s third of six Bagatelles to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth.

Viva composer and workshop leader Jessie Grimes said:

It was clear at the inspiration day that climate change is something that even the youngest of the participants were very engaged with. Hearing the emotion that the young people bring to the song lyrics will hopefully resonate with everyone in the audience that changing our focus from fossil fuels to renewable energy is something we should all care about and strive for.

The project’s science director Emma Murphy, who has worked on renewable energy projects for many years, added:

The story of energy and the impact on the world today is one of the most pressing issues of our time. Explaining the science of global warming through music is incredibly powerful and I hope it will encourage these young people to be more confident and engaged in their science classroom lessons in the future.

Liz Stewart is lead KS2 teacher at Becket Primary School in Derby. She continued:

The 'Energy' project is closely linked to the curriculum and looks at the subject in a different and fun way so that the children don’t realise just how much they are learning.

Sinfonia Viva Education Manager Marianne Barraclough concluded:

Education projects such as these provide a wonderful creative and learning experience for the young participants. The culmination concert will be a wonderful mix of music performed by the young people and pieces performed by the Orchestra.

Tickets for the evening performance cost £10 for adults and £6 concessions and are available from Derby Theatre.

This project is supported by Derby City Council supporting the Department for Education’s Opportunity areas Programme, Arts Council England, Orchestras Live, The D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, The Tom Carey Fund, Foundation Derbyshire and Rolls-Royce.

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