Thousands set to head for annual concert

Darley Park Concert
Darley Park Concert

The hugely popular Darley Park Concert returns this weekend, taking place from 6pm onwards on Sunday, August 31.

Derby LIVE, in association with Sinfonia Viva and Classic FM, will present the traditional end-of-summer celebration concert at the venue in Darley Abbey, Derby.

East Midlands-based orchestra Sinfonia Viva will perform a programme that takes its theme from the 175th anniversary of the railway coming to Derby and so is full of all things train-related.

With that in mind, Derby LIVE are pleased to welcome East Midlands Trains back on board as a supporter of the concert.

Classic FM’s Saturday lunchtime presenter, Nicholas Owen, will be introducing an audience of more than 30,000 people to the concert which features classics old and new from concert hall, stage and screen.

The concert will take the audience on a musical journey across British and foreign railways, from Denmark with Hans Christian Lumbye’s Copenhagen Steam Railway Galop, to New York City for George Bernstein’s Subway Ride and Imaginary Coney Island.

Steam mixes with more modern trains through the magnificent Coronation Scot by Vivian Ellis and several tributes from Strauss including Bahn Frei(‘clear the track’) and Mit Dampf, which translates to ‘at full steam’.

Other works within the programme include Lionel Bart’s atmospheric From Russia With Love, the jolly Runaway Train by Warren, Murder on the Orient Express from Richard Rodney Bennett, and, bringing us back to the present, The Day

We Caught The Train from Ocean Colour Scene.

James Holmes is back to conduct the orchestra once again and the award-winning baritone Grant Doyle also returns to lead the vocal numbers. These include Strayhorn’s swinging jazz-standard Take The A Train, Denza’s Funiculi, Funicula (which celebrated the first cable car service on Mount Vesuvius – since destroyed by a volcanic eruption) and two numbers with music penned by Andrew Lloyd Webber, for which Doyle will be joined by members of Big Adventures Youth Theatre Company, who will form the chorus for Skimbleshanks.

The evening will be rounded off with the classic 1812 Overture from Tchaikovsky and the traditional audience sing-along.

Peter Helps, chief executive of Sinfonia Viva, said: “The Darley Park concert is such an important occasion in the orchestra’s diary and everyone at Viva is really looking forward to this year’s performance. It has been great fun putting together the programme of music which has involved some real lateral thinking.

Further entertainment will be provided by the Rolls-Royce Ladies Choir, who will perform at 6.20pm and the Male Voice Choir, who will perform at 7.55pm.

The natural amphitheatre of Darley Park provides the perfect surroundings for one of the UK’s biggest free outdoor classical concerts, which will be rounded off by a fantastic firework display.

More information can be found at