Support Grows For Creative Project’s Bid For National Lottery Award

Support is gathering pace for an innovative creative project led by East Midlands’ professional orchestra Sinfonia Viva to win a prestigious National Lottery Award.

Sinfonia Viva, based in Derby, is up against six other creative projects across the UK to clinch the Award.  It is in recognition of the success of its ‘Dark Clouds are Smouldering into Red’ education project which, last year, commemorated the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One.

Hundreds of young people in Derby, Lincoln, Mansfield, Louth and Scunthorpe worked with Viva and the Tom Dale Company to create music and dance pieces exploring the impact of the war on soldiers at the Front and the families they left behind.

They then performed their work alongside professional musicians and dancers at venues across the East Midlands.

Voting in the arts project final of the National Lottery Awards started online at and by telephone on 0844 836 9711 on Wednesday June 24 and closes on Wednesday July 29.

Sinfonia Chief Executive Peter Helps explained that the National Lottery Award organisers were keeping voting numbers secret and the results would not be known until the televised awards ceremony in September.

“Although we don’t obviously know how we are faring in the vote, we have been delighted by the feedback on social media. A wide range of individuals and organisations across the East Midlands and nationally are voicing their support for us – including the former Club Captain of Derby County Football Club Shaun Barker.

“We of course hope that we will win the National Lottery Award but just being short-listed is a huge honour and is an opportunity to raise the profile of the high quality work that we do every year with young people right across the East Midlands.

 “’Dark Clouds are Smouldering into Red’ was a powerful and emotional creative project for everyone involved.

“The young people really engaged with the subject and created their own songs, music and dance and it was wonderful to see their confidence grow as they worked and then performed alongside professional musicians and dancers.

“The feedback from everyone involved and the audience who watched the performances was that this has helped to make what happened 100 years ago just as relevant to today’s generations.”

The project receiving the most votes will receive a £2,000 cash prize, a National Lottery Awards trophy and attend a star-studded Awards ceremony, broadcast on BBC One in September.

‘Dark Clouds are Smouldering into Red was backed by a wide range of sponsors and supporters, including the Heritage Lottery Fund, Rolls-Royce plc, Foyle Foundation and Orchestras Live, and the extended tour was made possible by a £89,118 Strategic Touring grant from Arts Council England.

To vote for Dark Clouds please go to  or telephone 0844 836 9711 and follow the campaign on twitter: #NLAwards.  Voting closes at midnight on Wednesday 29 July. 

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