Oh How That Valley Did Change



Last night was the performance of “Oh how that valley did change” at the Derby Assembly Rooms. This project was a collaboration between orchestral musicians from Sinfonia ViVA, folk musicians from Mills & Chimneys and Derbyshire poet laureate Matt Black. Students performed songs about Derbyshire’s heritage, in particular Arkwright’s Mill and the changes that brought about to local life – hence the title of this project! Students from Cromford and Crich Carr primary schools as well as Beckett and Griffe Field primary schools in Derby were involved in the mass choir and in writing their own songs.

I was helping with the compositional workshops with music students from Belper and Murray Park secondary schools. It was really good to be involved and to learn from other workshop leaders, such as Jack Ross from Sinfonia ViVA and Elly Lucas from the Mills & Chimneys ensemble. It’s always good to pick up new warm-up exercises, ways of encouraging students to compose, and also to hear compositions from other musicians. Both secondary school compositions were brilliant and I was so proud to see them perform. Murray Park’s dealt with the story of Repression-Rebellion-Freedom and Belper school wrote an instrumental piece about the story of the mill, “Life of the Working River”. The photo shows the musical chart for Belper school’s music, complete with a picture of the mill – clearly very important in the creative process!

Other links: Click on the links below for further information about the project, Sinfonia ViVA and Mills & Chimneys.

Sinfonia ViVA – Oh How That Valley Did Change – New Project Combines Folk & Classical Music

Belper News – Heritage is Songworthy

Watch how the Mills & Chimneys project came about on youTube

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