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Derby Joins BBC Music Nation

  • Date: 24/06/2011
  • Category: General

Key arts organisations in Derby have been selected to be part of the BBC Music Nation Festival- a weekend of live music events taking place across the UK on 3 & 4 March 2012.

In a project led by sinfonia ViVA orchestra, professional musicians will perform a new commission which will be part of an exciting programme of performances taking part in only 45 locations across the UK.

BBC Music Nation is one of the keynote `countdown’ events for the London 2012 Festival, the finale of the Cultural Olympiad, and is a key part of the BBC’s Cultural Olympiad programming.

ViVA, working with Derby Live and Orchestras Live, has commissioned composer Tunde Jegede, who brings together classical, African and pop music in his highly acclaimed work.

The new commission, entitled Invocation is a concerto for Cello (Matthew Barley) Orchestra and African Percussion as well as solo contemporary African dancer Bode Lawal.

The inspiration for Invocation is both classical and African – from Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring and the ritualistic music rooted in the Yoruba religious belief system of the Orisha tribe.  The use of divination and trance in the invocation of ancestral spiritual forces is traditionally expressed through movement, dance and music.

The music will be driven by the infectious rhythms and musical language of the Yoruba translated into a classical score, and the concept for Invocation is to have a dialogue between the cello soloist and the dancer.

Invocation will also be the inspiration for a series of workshops in February 2012 in schools and colleges throughout the county as part of a creative music and dance project which will culminate in a concert on 1 March at Derby’s Assembly Rooms.

The full commission will then be performed alongside Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring with a brand new choreography from Tom Dale involving Bounceback – a group of young dancers from Déda on 3 March conducted by Nicholas Collon.

ViVA Chief Executive Peter Helps explained: “We are delighted that the plans that we have been forming with Déda, Derby LIVE and Orchestras Live have been chosen to be part of BBC Music Nation which is a crucial element of the Cultural Olympiad.

“This has brought a dynamic new dimension to our Spring Residency plans and puts the new commission by Tunde Jegede in the national arena.”

“Invocation will be an exciting piece – harmonising music and dance – incorporating an education element – an area in which we are gaining a national reputation – giving young people the chance to perform alongside professional musicians in a performance that is set to further establish Derby as a centre of excellence for innovative arts partnerships.”

Henry Little, Chief Executive of Orchestras Live,  is equally upbeat about the project: “Our relationship with Tunde Jegede began more than a decade ago when he was appointed as our Innovations Composer, a three-year association working with a range of British Orchestras and other performers.

“The national celebration that is Music Nation has given us the perfect opportunity to rekindle that link.  Orchestras Live is proud to be co-commissioning the piece with sinfonia ViVA and Derby LIVE as part of our role enabling people across the country to have inspirational experiences of high quality orchestral music.”

Clare Limb, Dance Development Manager at Déda added: “Déda is delighted to be working with sinfonia ViVA and the other Derby Partners in the Music Nation Project. The young people from Déda’s flagship Youth Performance Company Bounceback go through a tough audition process and have earned the opportunity to take part in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity such as this.

“The project is set to further develop the talent here in the region, whilst working alongside talented international choreographer Tom Dale.”

And Peter Ireson, Director, Derby LIVE, concluded: “Derby LIVE is excited to be involved with Invocation, as part of the Music Nation weekend. Music is a vital strand of Derby LIVE’s programme and we look forward to working with sinfonia ViVA, and other partners, and welcoming a number of talented musical artists to our venue and hosting the concert at the Assembly Rooms.”

Built primarily around classical music, but taking in jazz, folk and world music, Music Nation aims to engage as many people as possible; whether it be attending world-class performances or taking part in community projects and workshops in venues and public places up and down the country.

Devised and led by the BBC, Music Nation is a partnership with Arts Council England, the Association of British Orchestras (ABO), British Association of Concert Halls (BACH), Orchestras Live, Making Music, Conservatoires UK and LOCOG to celebrate the richness, diversity and excellence of Britain’s musical life. BBC Radio 3, Music Nation’s principal media partner, will broadcast live content throughout the weekend, with additional programming on Radio 2, BBC Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and local BBC radio.

Orchestras and performing groups also taking part in Music Nation include: the BBC’s Performing Groups, The Hallé, Britten Sinfonia, the Ulster Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra and the LSO; with venues including The Sage, Barbican and the Southbank Centre.


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Sarah Jenkin-Jones, JJPR, Tel: 01332 515102/07951 945 665;

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The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad is the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements.  Spread over four years, it is designed to give everyone in the UK a chance to be part of London 2012 and inspire creativity across all forms of culture, especially among young people. The culmination of the Cultural Olympiad will be the London 2012 Festival, bringing leading artists from all over the world together from 21 June 2012 in this UK-wide festival – a chance for everyone to celebrate London 2012 through dance, music, theatre, the visual arts, film and digital innovation and leave a lasting legacy for the arts in this country.

Principal funders of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival are Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and the Olympic Lottery Distributor.  For more details visit

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