Members of Sing Viva – the two Derbyshire carers’ choirs set up by Sinfonia Viva, the East Midlands’ professional orchestra – are gearing up to join a series of virtual workshops this summer to write and perform their own lockdown anthem.

The choirs bring together people who care for relatives and friends in various capacities and previously met monthly at venues in Derby and Chesterfield.

Since lockdown, they have been making music on virtual meeting platforms and recently posted a performance with Sinfonia Viva musicians of ‘Lean on Me’ on Youtube

In July and August, Viva has organised for one of its regular composers and workshop leaders James Redwood to hold four virtual gatherings when choir members will come together online to write their own song reflecting their emotions and experiences during lockdown.

Sinfonia Viva chief executive Peter Helps said: “Sing Viva has been a huge success with upwards of 40 regular members meeting up every month.

“There is widespread recognition that, as well as practical support, carers can feel socially isolated.  We therefore set up Sing Viva in Derby and Chesterfield to give carers a well-deserved break and enjoy a group activity in a friendly and supportive environment.

“Lockdown has obviously been a particular challenge for many of the Sing Viva members and, although it is not the same to sing at home in front of a computer, everyone has enjoyed being part of this collective music making.

“James Redwood is a regular member of the Viva education and community participation programme – working with people of all ages to compose and perform really engaging and high quality music.

“We are looking forward to him bringing everyone together to create what I know will be a wonderful piece of choral music that will reflect the personal and collective experiences of this lovely group of people.”

Among the choir members is Fiona who has juggled working at a school with home-schooling her three sons including her eldest who has special educational needs.

“I joined Sing Viva’s Derby choir two years ago initially to challenge myself to try something new and I have not looked back since.

“An important focus for us as a family during lockdown has been to ensure everyone is happy and the Sing Viva virtual choir has been valuable ‘me time’ when I have not had to think about anything else – apart from singing in tune!

“Singing on your own into the computer is rather weird and you can’t beat actually being in the same room as everyone else but it has been enjoyable nonetheless and I am looking forward to the workshops to compose our the anthem.”

The Sing Viva Carers’ Choir is supported by a wide range of organisations including Sinfonia Viva, Arts Council England, Derbyshire County Council, Morrisons Foundation, Bupa UK Foundation, Edward Cadbury Charitable Trust, Headley Trust

as well as Sinfonia Viva’s own fund raising.

Media enquiries:

Sarah Jenkin-Jones, JJPR, Tel: 01332 515102; 07951 945 665; [email protected]


Note to Editors

Sinfonia Viva is a virtuoso ensemble delivering original and extraordinary creative musical experiences. Founded in 1982, Sinfonia Viva has a national reputation as a leader in creative music activity in the UK. Its work offers relevant and enriching possibilities for all.

Sinfonia Viva is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. For more information about all of Viva’s other performances, visit the website,