More Glass Than Wall


Sinfonia ViVA ‘More Glass Than Wall’ project – Derbyshire

more-glass-than-wall-1-for-websiteJune 2008 saw the premiere of ‘More Glass Than Wall’, a new oratorio celebrating the life of Bess of Hardwick in the year of the 400th anniversary of her death.

Former poet laureate for Derbyshire, Cathy Grindrod, and composer James Redwood were commissioned to write the oratorio and lead a large scale education project in Derby and Derbyshire.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Asterdale Primary School, Cresswell Junior School, Heritage Mathematics & Computing Specialist School, Hodthorpe Primary School, Springfield Primary School and West Park School participated in the project, which began in October 2007 with young people from the schools visiting Hardwick Hall. Following this, each group worked with Cathy Grindrod in a series of writing workshops during which they created texts for the new piece. During this time Cathy and James were writing the oratorio, and in March 2008 they introduced it to the teachers.

Conductor David Lawrence visited each of the Primary schools to help them learn the piece, and James Redwood and a team of ViVA and CMW musicians then held workshops at all six schools involving the young people creating songs and instrumental sections for inclusion in the oratorio.

Performances of More Glass Than Wall were held at Derby Assembly Rooms and in the grounds of Hardwick Hall, where 180 young people performed alongside soloists Sophie Grimmer and Robert Davis, and an orchestra of 27 players from sinfonia ViVA directed by David Lawrence and James Redwood.

The project was organised through a partnership between sinfonia ViVA, Derby City Council, Derbyshire County Council, Children’s Music Workshop in harmony with Music Platform, The National Trust, Orchestras Live and Bolsover District Council.

Listen to the More Glass Than Wall audio clip
More information from:

Stuart Bruce, Partnership Manager, Orchestras Live
Tel: 020 7629 9601 or email

Peter Helps, Chief Executive, sinfonia ViVA
Tel: 01332 207572 or email