Arts Derbyshire


Local Community Choirs Call Out For New Members

Sing Viva, the community choirs in Derby and Chesterfield set up by Sinfonia Viva for people with caring responsibilities, are now open to new members thanks to a welcome funding boost!

The choirs are free to attend monthly on Tuesday evenings in Derby and Chesterfield and weekly online. They offer singing, fun and friendship to carers and anybody who would like to sing with a supportive group.

Grants totalling £18,650 have been received from East Midlands Airport Community Foundation, The Prince of Wales Charitable Fund, National Lottery Awards for All, Orchestras Live, Derbyshire County Council and Asda Green Token Giving.

Sinfonia Viva, the East Midlands’ only professional orchestra, celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. They set up the choirs five years ago in recognition of the benefits of community singing for people with caring responsibilities.

Since then, the choirs have widened their membership to support all those who would like to sing in a friendly group. As well as enjoying regular music making, they have released online videos of their work and performed at several concerts.

Their most recent performance was in May as part of Sinfonia Viva’s 40th anniversary concert at Derby Cathedral, where Sing Viva gave the premiere of new commission specially written for them by internationally-renowned composer and violinist Preetha Narayanan.

They are also a popular part of the annual Darley Park open air concert in the city and have their sights set on their programme for this year’s concert on Sunday August 28.

With the future of choirs secured, Sing Viva are welcoming new members. Sessions are held at the Multi Faith Centre at the University of Derby, and at All Saints Church Centre in Wingerworth from 7.30 – 9.30pm on Tuesday evenings, with all sessions being simultaneously run online.

Everybody is welcome – whether they have choral experience or not – and the repertoire includes a selection of choral favourites, songs from popular shows and pop favourites.

Marianne Barraclough, Sinfonia Viva deputy chief executive: programme, said: “We originally set up Sing Viva Carers’ Choir in Derby as part of our 35th anniversary programme and now, as we celebrate our 40th anniversary, it is wonderful to have the backing of these funders to take the choirs forward.

“The focus of Sing Viva is to enable people of all ages and circumstances who have caring responsibilities, or would like to make new friends, to have some time and space for themselves and enjoy making music in a friendly and supportive group.

“There is widespread recognition that singing supports health and wellbeing. Whether you are a carer, feeling socially isolated or would like to make new friends, we can all benefit from the opportunity to take a well-deserved break and enjoy a group activity such as singing.

“This has been particularly important during the pandemic and it is wonderful to get back to in person sessions, and we still run our sessions online too for those who feel more comfortable joining us online or are not able to get to our venues.”

For more information about Sing Viva and ways to support Sinfonia Viva in this, its 40th anniversary year, please visit


Media enquiries: Sarah Jenkin-Jones, JJPR, Tel: 01332 515102; 07951 945665;


Note to Editors

Sinfonia Viva

Founded in 1982, Sinfonia Viva is the East Midlands’ only professional orchestra working across six counties and 6,500 square miles. With a base in Derby, the organisation has a national reach providing concerts and creative community projects, through live performance, workshops and digital delivery.

The orchestra works creatively with a broad range of groups and venues, including children and young people, special schools, people living with dementia, refugees and asylum seekers, carers and people living in areas of socio-economic deprivation and those who are rurally isolated. Sinfonia Viva celebrates the talents and creativity of these groups, regularly providing performance opportunities for members of the community on stage alongside professional musicians.

Sinfonia Viva is committed to producing high quality performances, and reaching the wideset possible audience, through performances across the East Midlands, and has been featured on broadcasts on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM. A commitment to inclusive practice is demonstrated through BSL interpretation of all performances with, by and for community groups, and through diverse programming, celebrating the talent of underrepresented composers within concerts.


The orchestra’s work reaches over 25,000 people every year, and annual events include the open-air Darley Park Concert in Derby and a New Year’s Eve performance at the Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham, in addition to dozens of creative projects and orchestral performances.


The orchestra has featured on albums and tracks by Bobby Womack, Damon Albarn and Mos Def and the Gorillaz’ whose album featuring Sinfonia Viva was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2010. Other awards include The Audience Engagement Award from the Royal Philharmonic Society in 2018, the Best Family Event Award from the Family Arts Festival in 2017 and the 2020 Arts and Culture Children and Young People NOW Award.


In 2019, the Kanneh-Mason family became Sinfonia Viva’s Patrons. This relationship with a family of world-renowned young musicians, all of whom grew up in Nottingham, has already seen pianist Jeneba Kanneh-Mason perform with the orchestra. In December 2022, violinist Braimah Kanneh-Mason will make his debut with Sinfonia Viva at the New Year’s Eve Concert in Nottingham.


Sinfonia Viva is supported using public funding through Arts Council England. The orchestra also receives regular funding from Derby City Council and Rolls-Royce Plc. For more information about Sinfonia Viva visit

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