Derby Assembly Rooms
1 March 2012
"It was really fun and I enjoyed it so much I want to do it again." - (Participant, Becket Primary School)
On Thursday 1 March students from Becket Primary School, Griffe Field Primary School, Murray Park School and Derby College gathered at the Assembly Rooms, Derby to present a collaborative music and dance performance. This concert was the culmination of Bright Spirits a creative music and dance project which ran in schools and colleges in Derby. The project centred round a new commission by Tunde Jegede called Invocation for solo cello, dancer, orchestra and African percussion.
"My favourite part was the singing because we made it instead of getting taught it." - (Participant, Griffe Field Primary School)
Composer Tunde Jegede along with workshop leader James Redwood visited each of the groups for a series of creative music workshops with Viva musicians Anthony Thompson (trumpet) at Becket and Griffe Field Primary Schools, Richard Wainwright (horn) at Murray Park School and David Ayre (double bass) at Derby College. During these sessions the participants composed their own music inspired by Tunde's piece Invocation and also Britten's Sinfonietta. The primaries composed one song and one instrumental piece and both Murray Park and Derby College created two instrumental pieces.
"My favourite part of the project was the dance because I could express myself through dancing." - (Participant, Becket Primary School)
Running in parallel to the creative music workshops were dance workshops led by choreographer and dancer Bode Lawal and Déda Dance Artist Chris Caffrey with the same participants from Becket and Griffe Field Primary Schools and dance students from Derby College. The participants explored Bode Lawal's dance style and he choreographed each of the groups to the music created by the participants that was inspired by Invocation. Becket danced to the song written by Griffe Field, Griffe Field danced to the music created by Becket and the dance student from Derby College danced to the music written by the Derby College music students as well as the music created by Murray Park.
"Pupils' confidence and self esteem have dramatically increased. They have a new belief in their abilities." - (Teacher, Becket Primary School)
Over the course of the workshops the participants explored their creativity through composition and movement and worked together as a team to create their new pieces of music and dance.
"Thank you for giving Griffe Field another opportunity to work with Viva again. The excitement, enjoyment and engagement from the children and parents has been wonderful." - (Teacher, Griffe Field Primary School)
Over the final two days of the project all the participants worked with the music and dance teams, soloist Matthew Barley and conductor Nicholas Collon to bring together all the elements of the performance. Rehearsing in the Great Hall at the Assembly Rooms the participants shared their music and dance pieces with each other. Nicholas helped to polish and perfect the music and Bode and Chris worked with the dancers to sharpen and refine the choreography.
"The Bright Spirits education project had a transformative impact on all the participants." - (Tunde Jegede, Composer)
On Thursday 1 March 2012 all the participants gathered at the Assembly Rooms for their final rehearsal before that evening’s performance. At lunchtime Sinfonia Viva joined the rehearsal. This was the first time the young people had met the orchestra and the massed ensemble rehearsed together including a full run of Invocation. It was great to hear the full sound of the participants' pieces, orchestrated by James, when augmented with the 15 players from Sinfonia Viva.
"The chance to perform in a concert hall, with professionals would have been an incredible experience." - (Musician)
That evening to an audience of friends, family and the general public the participants gave the premier performance of Bright Spirits. The first half of the concert featured Britten's Sinfonietta interspersed with interludes created by the participants. The second half of the concert featured Invocation. Tunde's piece, with Bode's dance and solo cellist Matthew Barley, was interspersed with the dance and music created by the participants. It was great to see the pieces composed by the participants played next to the music that had inspired them. It was a spectacular and striking collaborative evening of music and dance, African and western traditions and professional and non-professional performers.
"Thank you for giving us this amazing opportunity! It was great fun and an amazing experience." - (Participant, Griffe Field Primary School)
Bright Spirits was generously supported by Rolls-Royce plc, the John Ellerman Foundation, the John Thaw Foundation, Derby LIVE, Derby City Council, Déda, Orchestras Live, the Michael Tippett Musical Foundation, the D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, the Austin and Hope Pilkington Trust, PRS for Music Foundation, Sinfonia Viva and Arts Council England.
Invocation has been co-commissioned by Orchestras Live and Sinfonia Viva who are joint producers of the overall project in association with Derby LIVE, and has been supported by PRS for Music Foundation.
Images from the project...