Sinfonia Viva

Pudsey-funded project

Bondholder Sinfonia Viva has been awarded further funding by BBC Children in Need to involve hundreds of young people across the East Midlands.

The three-year project, supported by £119,265 Children in Need funding, will start this autumn and allows Sinfonia Viva to expand its creative work with children and young people who have long-term illnesses or special educational needs.

Creative work will focus on improving young people’s emotional wellbeing, developing self-belief and building self-esteem for the future – as well as providing them with a fun and enjoyable experience.

This latest project run by the Orchestra, which has a national reputation for its innovative education and community outreach work, means that it has received nine years of continued funding from Children in Need.

Previous successful programmes have included Sinfonia Viva ‘Fever’ music sessions for children in hospital with long-term illnesses. These will be expanded under the new programme with 16 half-day music making sessions at hospitals in Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Nottingham as well as at Rainbows Children’s Hospice.

Thanks to the latest funding, Viva has designed a sensory tour around the East Midlands with musicians working 1-2-1 with children and young people at special educational needs’ (SEND) schools. Furthermore, a programme of eight performances around the region will also give pupils at SEND schools the opportunity to perform their creative work alongside Sinfonia Viva’s chamber orchestra for family, friends and the wider community.

Sinfonia Viva Education Manager, Marianne Barraclough said: “We are utterly delighted that BBC Children in Need have awarded us this funding, which will enable us to work creatively with some of the most disadvantaged young people across the East Midlands over the next three years.

“We have seen first-hand that live music can have miraculous health and stress relief benefits for children in hospital and we have been able to experience the impact that sensory music play has had with SEN groups.”


Arts Council Hub for Derby

Bondholder Derby Theatre has been awarded £1.5m by Arts Council England to become a pilot Performing Arts Producing Hub from September 2019.

As one of only two venues selected as a Producing Hub, Derby Theatre will use the three years of funding to programme work in community settings across the city; produce new small-scale productions that will tour into these hubs and beyond; produce new mid-scale work which will play on the Derby Theatre main stage and produce new outdoor work which will play at festivals like Festé and across the city.

The exciting consortium of companies who will help to support, deliver and develop the Producing Hub model in Derby include: Bondholders Déda, Derby City Council, Derby County Community Trust, QUAD and the University of Derby, along with Baby People, China Plate, Crying Out Loud, Maison Foo, Milk Presents, Not Too Tame and Wild Rumpus.

Sarah Brigham (Chief Executive and Artistic Director, Derby Theatre) said:“We are absolutely thrilled to have been awarded the Producing Hubs funding which will enable us to forge and develop new and exciting relationships with artists, local people and organisations across the city and beyond.”

Neil Darlison (Director, Theatre at Arts Council England) said: “These pilots will examine whether a better connected performing arts sector increases production capacity and provides greater opportunities for artists and audiences.”

In addition to the Arts Council England Funding, Derby Theatre along with Bondholders Artcore, Déda, Derby County Community Trust, Derby Museums, QUAD and Sinfonia ViVA, as well as Baby People and East Midlands Caribbean Carnival Arts Network (collectively known as the Derby Cultural Education Partnership) has also been awarded £1.1 million from the Arts Council Youth Performance Partnership Fund for the continuation of This is Derby.

The overall aim of the Arts Council’s Youth Performance Partnerships programme, through This is Derby, is to provide new opportunities for more children and young people, aged 8-18, particularly from areas of low cultural engagement and high levels of deprivation to take part in high quality cultural activities. It is a 3-year programme running until August 2022.


Bondholders collaborate to deliver 'Essential Life Skills'

Bondholder Derby County Community Trust has launched a £1m project called ‘This Is Derby’ – an Essential Life Skills Programme which is funded by the Department for Education.

This innovative project will be delivered alongside Derby’s Cultural Education Partnership, with fellow Bondholders Déda, Derby Museums, Derby QUAD, Derby Theatre, and Sinfonia Viva, as well as Artcore, Baby People, East Midlands Caribbean Carnival Arts Network and Music Partnership taking a lead role for different areas.

The project is a collaboration between arts, culture and sport for 5-18 year olds in Derby, and was awarded the fund from the Department for Education as Derby is identified as an opportunity area, where educational attainment falls below the national average and alternative provision has been identified as impacting growth and learning.

‘This Is Derby’ will provide a minimum of 12 hours per week of extra-curricular activity in the nine most disadvantaged areas of the city: Abbey, Arboretum, Alvaston, Boulton, Chaddesden, Derwent, Normanton, Mackworth and Sinfin. In addition, there will be a citywide SEND hub, and a digital hub which will be co-ordinated by QUAD and invite the young people involved to enhance their digital skills.

Simon Carnall, Head of Community at Derby County Community Trust, spoke at the launch event, saying: “We are all fantastic organisations delivering amazing work in the city. However, the statistics speak for themselves and even with all this work, we sit at 303rd out 324th for social mobility in the country.

“We need to change, work together and grow to make sure our young people are progressing, achieving and believing in themselves. ‘This Is Derby’ is new, exciting and collaborative, and we can’t wait to hit the ground running and work on ‘closing the gap’ for those young people whose lives are essentially determined by the postcode they were born in."

There will be the opportunity for young people to voice their ideas and opinions on the project in order to ensure it is youth led and caters for the needs of the city’s youth. The project will open up opportunities for children and young people aged 5-18 and their families, but is not wholly exclusive and will not be restricted by means testing.

Alix Manning-Jones, Derby’s Cultural Education Producer, who has spearheaded the bid along with Will Turner from Derby County Community Trust, said: “I’m really enjoying working in partnership with the Trust and other sports organisations that the arts aren’t seen to usually work alongside.

“We’re looking forward to the kick-off roadshows to go to the communities in which they’ll be delivering in October to really begin to see the project in action.”

Businesses collaborate for classical concert

More local businesses have joined forces to work with Bondholder Derby City Council and secure the return of this year’s Hannells Darley Park outdoor classical music concert on Sunday 2nd September.

Sponsors include Bondholders HUUB, Mortgage Advice Bureau, PKF Cooper Parry, Flint Bishop Solicitors and Stratstone BMW Derby who have enabled the City Council to bring the much-loved concert back to the city last year.

These companies have again pledged their support for the concert this year and have been joined by Redrow Homes and Invictus Communications.

The expanded corporate sponsorship will bring some exciting new features to boost the enjoyment for the thousands of people from across Derby and beyond who come together to enjoy an evening of live music and the spectacular closing fireworks show.

Bondholder Sinfonia Viva, the East Midlands’ only professional orchestra based in Derby will play at the concert with pieces inspired by the theme will be Peace, Hope and Reconciliation – ahead of the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

The Hannells Darley Park Concert will take place at Darley Park on Sunday 2nd September from 6pm, with gates open from 2pm.

Tickets can be purchased from 01332 255800, online at, or booked in person at the Sales and Information Centre, Assembly Rooms, Market Place, Derby. 

Principal Conductor Makes Debut

Dutch conductor Frank Zielhorst will make his debut concert performance as Bondholder Sinfonia Viva’s new Principal Conductor at Bondholder Derby Cathedral on Wednesday March 14.

The concert, entitled Masters and Maestros, features a tantalizing programme based on dances from the ballroom and theatre stage to the pub and village hall.

Mr Zielhorst said the concert programme was full of energy and contrast – taking the audience on a musical journey.

“I started planning this programme around Haydn’s Symphony No.104 which he wrote in London and is so full energy and different emotions.

“This brought me to think about further English connections and I love the contrast between Haydn and Britten’s piece.

“Finally Mozart’s composition is again a wonderful contrast – taking the audience to the glitz and glamour of the ballroom.”

Masters & Maestros is the latest concert in the Twilights series – produced by Sinfonia Viva in
partnership with Derby Cathedral.

New Principal Conductor at Orchestra

Dutch conductor Frank Zielhorst has been appointed as Principal Conductor of Bondholder Sinfonia Viva - the East Midlands’ professional orchestra, based in Derby.

Mr Zielhorst comes from a family of church musicians and started his musical journey by playing the violin. He went to his first concert when he was nine-years- old and decided then that he wanted to be a conductor.

He studied orchestral conducting with Jac van Steen and Kenneth Montgomery at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague and is a laureate of the prestigious Kersjes Foundation conducting scholarship.

Sinfonia Viva Chief Executive, Peter Helps, said: “We are delighted that Frank is joining the Orchestra as Principal Conductor.

“His commitment to every aspect of Viva’s work, combined with his ambition to be an integral part of the cultural life of this region is fantastic not just for us as an organisation but for the wider community.

“We, the players and management, have all enjoyed working with Frank tremendously over the past year and are looking forward to this new partnership with enthusiasm and excitement.”

Mr Zielhorst (32), who takes over the baton from Duncan Ward, will make his debut under his new role on February 6 at the culmination performance of the Orchestra’s education Spring residency at Bondholder Derby Theatre followed by a concert at Bondholder Derby Cathedral on March 14.

Monstrous Family Fun With Sinfonia Viva

Bondholder orchestra Sinfonia Viva has created a new interactive family concert entitled ‘Where’s That Monster’ which they will perform for the first time on Sunday October 29 at fellow Bondholder Rolls-Royce's Learning and Development Centre.

The 45-minute concert is specially created for children aged seven and under and their families and is a magical jumble of storytelling, singing, movement and music led by a 12-piece Grammy-nominated orchestra Sinfonia Viva.

The story whisks the audience to the make-believe land of Claws & Roars where the monsters who live there come together every 100 years for a lively party to welcome a new arrival to their ranks.

Sinfonia Viva’s Marianne Barraclough said: “Our annual family performances at the Rolls-Royce Learning and Development Centre have been a sell-out for the past four years and ‘Where’s That Monster’ looks to be the same.

“This year’s concert marks the end of our 35th anniversary which has seen us engaging with around 3,500 people of all ages across the region through a fantastic programme of education and community creative projects and performances.

“The afternoon is designed to be informal and fun so is ideal for young children and their families."

For ticket information, please click here

Hannells Darley Park Concert Returns

One of the UK’s biggest outdoor classical concerts is set to return to Darley Park this Sunday, thanks to Bondholders Derby City Council, Derby LIVE and private sector sponsors. The Hannells Darley Park Concert will feature performances from Bondholder Sinfonia Viva, as well as a spectacular firework display.

The programme for this year's concert has links to Derby's 40th year as a City with performances of famous cricket theme Soul Limbo and Youth of Britain March. The City’s industrial heritage will also be celebrated with Funiculi Funicula, Runaway Train and Come Fly with Me, whilst Bondholder Derby County Football Club is also acknowledged with a performance of Steve Bloomer’s Watching.

Peter Helps, Chief Executive of Sinfonia Viva, said: "It is the most wonderful setting and it also feels highly appropriate to be there as we jointly celebrate the concert's 25th anniversary and Derby's 40th year as a city.

"The event has become a real annual highlight and is democratic in its nature, appealing to all ages, cultures and tastes. And this year, for the first time, the public have also been invited to choose their three favourite tunes to be played."

The event is sponsored by fellow Bondholders Flint Bishop Solicitors, HUUB, Mortgage Advice Bureau, PKF Cooper Parry and Stratstone BMW


Sinfonia Viva Secures Over £700,000

Bondholder Sinfonia Viva has been awarded £192,107 a year for the next four years by Arts Council England.

The Orchestra has just completed a five-stage tour of the region with its inflatable mobile venue visiting Derby, Mansfield, Scunthorpe, Mablethorpe and Holt in Norfolk as part of its anniversary year aim to work directly with 3,500 people through a series of education and community creative projects.  

Over the year, Viva is working with young people aged one to 21, older people with dementia, carers, hospitals and hospices as well as young people and adults with learning disabilities.

This ambitious programme is running alongside Viva’s bid to encourage people to donate £35 to fund its increased education and community work.

Peter Helps, Sinfonia Viva Chief Executive, said: “The announcement by Arts Council England that our status as a National Portfolio Organisation continues for another four years is testament to the positive impact that we continue to make across the East Midlands and further afield.

“This continued funding secures our future but, as it is standstill funding for another fours, we will need to step up our own fundraising efforts which we have launched as part of our 35th anniversary.

“Our vision for the Orchestra is to make orchestral music accessible to all. To achieve this, we need the continued support of businesses, individuals, trusts, foundations and local authorities to ensure that we are able to continue our education and community outreach work for which we have built a national reputation.”

Sinfonia's Carers' Choir

Bondholder Sinfonia Viva is launching a new initiative to bring together local people who are carers for family and friends.

The new Carers’ Choir will be open to people across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire who will come together once a month to enjoy music and potentially have opportunities for performing.

The choir, which will be free to join, will be launched on Tuesday March 21, 7.30pm to 9.30pm at The Voicebox, Forman Street, when carers and support groups are invited to come along for a taster session, and will be led by award-winning choral conductor David Lawrence.

The Carers’ Choir has been set up as part of Sinfonia Viva’s 35 th anniversary programme - enabling more people than ever to experience creative music making.

As well as a packed concert programme across the region and beyond, Viva is aiming to work directly with 3,500 people over the next 12 months through a series of education and community creative projects.

The project has been made possible for a year with a £13,000 grant from the Bupa UK Foundation’s Caring for Carers Funding programme as part of its focus to help unpaid adult carers to support, manage and improve their own health.

To ensure its future, Viva has launched an anniversary appeal to encourage people to donate £35 to fund its increased education and community work – including the development of the Carers’ Choir.

Sinfonia Viva Education Manager Marianne Barraclough explained: “We have a national reputation for working with communities to develop high quality and award winning engagement projects.

“Our work has included creating music with people in hospitals, hospices, schools, nurseries, special education needs settings, care homes, rural communities and in inner city areas.

“Singing together is proven to be an excellent way of boosting self esteem and confidence, releasing pain and stress-relieving endorphins and being a part of a team that is creating something.

“The Carers Choir is a natural progression for us as an Orchestra and meets the needs of an often hidden section of our local community."

Twilight at Derby Cathedral

Dutch conductor Frank Zielhorst will make his concert debut with Bondholder Sinfonia Viva at fellow Bondholder Derby Cathedral on Friday March 3.

The concert, entitled ‘A Little Symphony in F’ is the latest stage of the popular Twilights series of late afternoon and early evening performances at the Cathedral.

Twilights is a partnership between Sinfonia Viva and Derby Cathedral and has been a key element in the Cathedral’s two-year cultural audience development programme supported with a £80,000 Arts Council England grant.  

The concert will feature work by classical music ‘giants’ Haydn, Strauss and Beethoven and Frank Zielhorst explained that this varied programme would appeal to a wide range of classical music fans.

Mr Zielhorst who, for the past two years, has performed extensively as Leverhulme Young Conductor in Association at the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, said: “I am so looking forward to returning to Derby to conduct Sinfonia Viva in Derby Cathedral which is a truly magnificent building with wonderful acoustics.

“This will be my second time with the Orchestra in as many months having worked with the musicians and composer James Redwood for the performance of the education residency ‘Mechanical Advantage’ at Derby Theatre in early February."

For more information and box office details, visit

Bondholder Expansion for JJPR

Bondholder JJ Public Relations has been appointed by fellow Marketing Derby Bondholder Clean Slate to raise its profile across the Midlands and East Anglia.

JJPR is headed by Sarah Jenkin-Jones, a former Derby Telegraph journalist with more than 25 years’ experience in the PR industry.

Sarah said: “Clean Slate has a great story to tell as one of the Midlands’ largest family-owned commercial cleaning companies and we are delighted to have the opportunity to work with them.”

Clean Slate Project Manager Clair Wood added: “With on-going expansion, the time is right to raise our profile amongst the business community in the Midlands, South Yorkshire and East Anglia. JJPR’s media contacts and high level of customer service made them the natural choice for this campaign.”

Clean Slate joins JJPR’s impressive client portfolio of businesses and organisations including Bondholders Derby College, HUUB, Derby Cathedral Quarter, Sinfonia Viva, Déda, G Wathall & Son and Lonsdale Swimming and Sports Trust.

Sinfonia Celebrates 35 Years

“We will be bringing together people of all ages and our professional musicians to create exceptional music that stirs the emotions.
— Peter Helps, Chief Executive

Bondholder Sinfonia Viva is celebrating its 35th birthday with a packed concert programme across the region and beyond.

The East Midlands’ only professional orchestra is aiming to work directly with 3,500 people over the next 12 months through a series of education and community creative projects.

These will include young people aged one to 21, older people with dementia, carers, hospitals and hospices as well as young people and adults with learning difficulties.

Sinfonia Viva Chief Executive Peter Helps explained: “Our vision for the Orchestra is to make orchestral music accessible to all.

“We therefore want to mark our 35th year by reaching more people than ever both through our concert programme and our nationally acclaimed education and community outreach programmes.

“The programme of work is broad and diverse with all sorts of exciting new projects in the pipeline which will take us across the city, county and East Midlands region."

Sinfonia Viva was established in 1982, originally as the East of England Orchestra because of the need for a professional orchestra for the East Midlands.

Peter continued: “We have come a long way in the past 35 years particularly in terms of the breadth of our artistic reputation and outreach work.

“Our size and make-up enable us to be flexible to the needs of the region and respond to new ideas and opportunities quickly while still fitting with our artistic vision.

“This flexibility is achieved through the vision and adaptability of musicians, management team and partners to explore new work and initiatives to widen participation and stretch the artistic boundaries.

Musical STEM

Bondholders Sinfonia Viva, Rolls-Royce and Derby Museums Trust have teamed up to launch a creative project that focuses on bringing science, technology and maths to life through music.

The project, entitled ‘Mechanical Advantage’ has been inspired by the gears, levers and pulleys aspects of the key stage two national curriculum following feedback from school teachers about the need to tackle the subject in a more creative way.

Pupils from Chellaston Academy and Bondholder Derby College are working with Viva musicians to compose songs and music on the themes.

They will perform these on February 7 alongside a Sinfonia Viva chamber orchestra at Derby Theatre with a matinee concert for other schools in the city and then at a public concert in the evening.

To launch the project, school and college students recently joined an ‘inspiration day’ at Derby Museum and Art Gallery where they tried out the practical with Rolls-Royce STEM ambassadors.

The students also worked with Viva musicians and composer James Redwood who introduced the songs and music that he has composed with words written by Hazel Gould.

They then went on to gather in the Museum’s Joseph Wright of Derby Gallery to learn more about the work of the famous 18th century painter and philosopher who was acclaimed as the first professional painter to express the spirit of the Industrial Revolution.

Rolls-Royce Engineer and STEM Ambassador Carl Muldal said: “By incorporating scientific messages in a musical context we hope that teachers and pupils alike will be able to look at this subject in a new light. This would give them a better understand of the mechanics behind processes that are a part of everyday life.”

Six-figure boost for Sinfonia Viva

Arts Council England is investing almost £160,000 in Bondholder Sinfonia Viva's plans to take its mobile venue on tour to places where there are few traditional concert halls.

Inspired by its recent performances as part of The Grand Tour, the money will be used to transform Sinfonia Viva's mobile stage and auditorium into a modern day musical cabinet of curiosity.

Peter Knott, Area Director at Arts Council England, said: "Sinfonia Viva's inflatable concert venue gives the company the flexibility to perform anywhere, which is why we're delighted to be supporting their latest tour."

Peter Helps, Chief Executive of Sinfonia Viva, said: "This project will enable us to bring high quality cultural activity to areas we wouldn't normally be able to reach, whilst at the same time celebrating local talent and showcasing each area's valuable artistic output."

This project will enable us to bring high quality cultural activity to areas we wouldn’t normally be able to reach
— Peter Helps, Chief Executive of Sinfonia Viva

Throughout June 2017, the tour will see Sinfonia Viva pitch up and perform in East Lindsey, Mansfield, north Norfolk, Scunthorpe and the orchestra's home city of Derby. Viva will present a mix of classical concerts, events and workshops for people of all ages to enjoy.

Tunes in the tent

Bondholder Sinfonia Viva is set to take over Derby Market Place on Thursday 9th June for a Flights of Fantasy concert.

Using its innovative inflatable venue the concert will provide a key date in the diary of Derby Book Festival 2016 with nods to Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream with orchestral backing written by Mendelssohn amongst others.

Peter Helps, Chief Executive of Sinfonia Viva, said: "Flights of Fantasy will be an exciting experience in so many ways. Our aim is to transport the audience into the magical world that Shakespeare created in words and the composer evoked through his music. We are particularly delighted that this concert is part of Derby Book Festival and the Grand Tour 2016 - setting it in a literature and historical context, while the return of our inflatable venue to the Market Place will create a unique setting for this special combination of words and music."

Tickets are priced at £6 - £10 and can be booked through Derby LIVE at the Assembly Rooms box office, by phone on (01332) 255 800 or online at

Sinfonia Viva player receives national recognition

Graham Hall, a founding member of Bondholder Sinfonia Viva, has been awarded the prestigious RPS/ABO Salomon Prize by the Royal Philharmonic Society and Association of British Orchestras which celebrates the 'unsung heroes' of orchestra life.

Having started his journey studying at the Royal Academy of Music under James Blades, Graham left London and taught for two years as a peripatetic percussion tutor before going freelance as a player in 1984. He has since then worked with many orchestras throughout the country including Sinfonia Viva.

Graham received his award at a Sinfonia Viva concert at Derby Cathedral on his 56th birthday and commented: "It is important for musicians to have a voice in an orchestra and there are specific challenges for smaller orchestras whose players are freelance and work in many different guises. Although we are not working with each other on a daily basis, we are a tight band of players who share the same work ethos and commitment to Viva."

Supported by fellow Bondholders Rolls-Royce, Derby City Council, Derby LIVE and Derby Cathedral, Sinfonia Viva is also supported with public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.