Sinfonia Viva celebrates inclusive creative project
Pupils from special education needs (SEND) schools across Derby recently shared the stage with professional musicians from Sinfonia Viva for an interactive concert showcasing their creative work as part of a city-wide initiative.
‘Lean on Me’ at the Riverside Centre in Pride Park was the culmination of inclusive creative workshops in schools run by Sinfonia Viva, the Derby-based professional orchestra of the East Midlands, QUAD and inclusive theatre company Hubbub.
Pupils from St Martins, St Clare’s, St Giles, Ivy House and St Andrew’s schools as well as the Royal School for the Deaf Derby performed new songs they had written with Viva composers Jack Ross and Raph Clarkson.
There were also performances of new movement pieces created by pupils alongside Hubbub Theatre Company. QUAD also worked with young people to create the incredible projections which formed the visual backdrop for the performance.
The project with SEND schools was part of ‘This is Derby’ - a unique collaboration of sport, arts and cultural activity to develop young people’s essential life skills.
Aimed at closing Derby’s social mobility gap under the Derby Opportunity Area programme through a broad range of experiences, ‘This is Derby’ has been led by Derby County Community Trust, Derby’s Cultural Education Partnership and Derby Sport Forum.
Sinfonia Viva Education Manager Marianne Barraclough said: “This has been be a real celebration of what can be achieved through creativity.
“Viva is developing a national reputation for inclusive music making and ‘Lean on Me’ was a fantastic celebration of the joy and empowerment that young people can gain through creative projects such as this.
“Teachers and pupils at all the schools have embraced this project so warmly and it has really brought everyone together.
“We plan to continue to work with these and other SEND schools alongside our creative partners to further build on these relationships and develop more ways to make music and the arts inclusive, engaging and fun for all young people.”
Sarah Gelsthorpe, Senior Leader at St Clare’s School added: “The biggest reward for the children was the pleasure that they had in creating their own music. With professional musicians by their side they were able to create the most wonderful songs which they were proud to be part of.
“Being able to perform in front of others is, perhaps, one of the most difficult things that we ask of our pupils. However, pupils stood on the stage with their heads held high and were proud of their achievement.
“Many now have a new-found respect for music, musical instruments and for musicians as well as a confidence in their own abilities to take part in something different. We are looking forward to working with Sinfonia Viva in the future and embedding these sessions in our curriculum.”