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Arts Council England Funding Uplift Secures Viva Expansion

Grammy-nominated Sinfonia Viva, the orchestra of the East Midlands, has expanded its creative projects team thanks to an uplift in funding from Arts Council England (ACE).

Derby-based Sinfonia Viva has received an additional £3,500 from Arts Council this year – bringing its total financial support to £195,641.

The uplift has enabled the Orchestra to recruit Ellie Martindale to the new post of education project assistant initially part time and then full time when she graduates from the University of Nottingham this summer.

Viva’s nationally-recognised and award-winning education and community programmes range from working with pre-school and primary pupils through to creative projects with older people living with dementia.

The latest was an education residency with young people in Derby around the subject of global warming which culminated in two sold-out performances at Derby Theatre.

Ellie Martindale (21) previously secured a work placement with Sinfonia Viva as part of her university studies and made such a good impression that she was invited for interview when the new role was created.

As well as being an accomplished musician, playing piano, cello and violin and performing with Suffolk county youth and Nottingham University’s orchestras, she has had several related jobs in the industry from teaching to working in a music shop.

She said: “One of the main reasons I wanted to study Music at the University of Nottingham was the importance they placed on work experience and I was delighted when I was accepted for a placement with Sinfonia Viva as part of my music education module.

“Working alongside the education team as well as the orchestra and stage managers was all amazing experience and convinced me that this was my passion and ideal career path.

“I have stayed in touch with the Orchestra ever since and am very excited now to be part of the incredible work that the creative projects team does with people of all ages and in a wide range of community settings.

“I feel extremely lucky to have secured a job straight out of university and this is an incredible opportunity to work in music which has always been such an important part of my life.”

Sinfonia Viva chief executive Peter Helps concluded: “This uplift in funding has enabled us to forge ahead with our expansion plans in an area in which we are nationally recognised as leaders and innovators. We are delighted to welcome Ellie on board.”

Peter Knott, Area Director for Arts Council England, said: “Culture and creativity have a powerful effect in improving lives and wellbeing, developing communities and creating vital opportunities for young people – so we’re really pleased to be supporting Sinfonia Viva as they welcome Ellie to their team.

“We look forward to seeing Viva continue to develop and grow, bringing even more musical opportunities to people across Derbyshire and the East Midlands.”

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