A talented group of young people from Derby recently performed alongside Sinfonia Viva musicians as the culmination of an exciting creative project focused on the topic of global warming.

The afternoon and evening concerts on February 6, 2024, at Derby Theatre marked the grand finale of an ambitious project entitled Energy that has engaged more than 500 young people.

The creative students at Firs Primary School, Becket Primary School, The Bemrose School, and Derby College have crafted music and songs through collaborative workshops led by James Redwood and Jessie Grimes.

Educational workshops, supported by Science Director Brogen Murphy and the Learning Team from Derby Museums, have illuminated the story of energy, spanning the first wind and watermills, through fossil fuels, to our transition back towards sustainable energy sources.

The invaluable insights from Rolls-Royce plc engineers, who have contributed their real-life experiences and expertise, have further enriched the learning experience, which was the latest in the award-winning Orchestra’s series of projects aimed at bringing science, maths and technology subjects to life through music.

The afternoon concert was attended by pupils for other schools in the city and county who also learnt and joined in the songs after working with Derby and Derbyshire Music Partnership and learning about renewable energy with the learning team from Derby Museums. They were Ashcroft, Becket, Firs, Village and Bemrose primary schools as well as Lees Brook Academy, Derby Moor Spencer Academy in Derby and Highfields School in Matlock.

Sinfonia Viva music leader Jessie Grimes said: “It was clear throughout the project that climate change is something that even the youngest of the participants were very engaged with.

“Hearing the emotion that the young people brought to the song lyrics resonated 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.”

Science director Brogen 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 now be more confident and engaged in their science classroom lessons.”

Sinfonia Viva Deputy Chief Executive: Programme, Marianne Barraclough concluded: “Projects such as these provide a wonderful creative and learning experience for the young participants.

“They also enable teachers to further develop their own artistic and leadership skills and to take these beyond the life of the project.

“The culmination concert was a wonderful mix of music performed by the young people and pieces performed by the Orchestra and left us all feeling totally uplifted and hopeful for the future.”

Energy was a successful collaboration between Sinfonia Viva, Derby Museums, Rolls-Royce plc, and Derby & Derbyshire Music Partnership - all united in fostering a brighter, more sustainable future.

Photography by Ali Johnston