This year’s Hannells Darley Park Concert 2018, organised by Derby City Council’s entertainment arm, Derby LIVE, with orchestra Sinfonia Viva and media sponsor Classic FM, was another resounding success. The event was supported by Hannells Estates Agents, Flint Bishop Solicitors, HUUB, Invictus Communications, Mortgage Advice Bureau, PKF Cooper Parry, Redrow Homes and Stratstone BMW Derby.

With 11,500 people buying tickets for the event, the fine weather contributed to the high attendance numbers as members of the audience gathered on the hill in Darley Park to secure the best spots to view the entertaining concert. Families and friends gathered for a spectacular evening of classical music and fireworks, enhanced further by the mild weather conditions, perfect for an evening outside. Peoples experience was further enhanced this year by the addition of large screens, which whilst giving a closer look at the main stage also provided the opportunity for people to announce birthdays, share pictures and post messages. Classic FM’s Tim Lihoreau, presenter of Classic FM’s More Music Breakfast, was a terrific host for the event which included popular pieces to reflect hope, peace and reconciliation in celebration of the centenary of the end of the First World War.

Councillor Chris Poulter, Leader of Derby City Council, said:

“It has been a fabulous evening. We are already booking the weather again for next year. Absolutely everyone enjoyed the talent Derby has to showcase.”

The audience were delighted with a resonant mix of moving classics and popular favourites played by the exceptional Sinfonia Viva, and conducted by James Holmes. The evening began with Beethoven’s fifth symphony before later moving on to popular cultural pieces such as Imagine and All You Need Is Love. Special guest, Duncan James, made an appearance on stage during the concert, in advance of his performance in this year’s pantomime at Derby Arena, Jack and the Beanstalk. Duncan performed the spell-binding Somewhere Over the Rainbow to the delight of the Darley Park audience, who sang along beautifully.

The Darley Abbey Choir, made up of 36 primary school children aged six to 12, gave a wonderful pre-show performance with numbers including The Darley Abbey Anthem, written for the joint choir by local musician Anne de Waal. International award winning youth saxophone ensemble, Saxophonix Ensemble, also performed during the evening and both performances were very well received.

Soloists Mary Carewe and Andy Quinn lead the vocal numbers and the audience joined in singing along with famous songs of hope such as Burt Bacharach’s What the World Needs Now and John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s All You Need is Love. The concert rose and fell in a moving wave, encapsulating the themes of the evening perfectly in an emotional tribute to the centenary of the end of the First World War. From Beethoven’s First movement from 5th Symphony, whose famous opening rhythm pattern is the same as the morse code for V. Through to his Final Section from 9th Symphony, containing the famous Ode to Joy which has been used at many major events including in a concert to mark the fall of the Berlin Wall. The audience were moved through a fantastic selection of music before the fireworks brought the evening to a fitting spectacular and joyous end to the sounds of Land of Hope and Glory.

Audience comments on social media were extremely positive about the event.

Janice Warren commented on Facebook:

“Absolutely brilliant concert. The music was fantastic, the weather couldn’t have been better, and of course the fireworks were the icing on the cake.”

Helen Oliver tweeted:

“#darley18 first Hannells Darley Park Concert & I think I’ve got the vibe. Great music, friends, fizz and then fireworks.”

Julie Harbon commented on Facebook:

“Fantastic evening – loved the music and the fireworks were amazing”

The Hannells Darley Park Concert, will take place at Darley Park on Sunday 1 September 2019 from 6pm, with gates open from 2pm. Tickets are now available for £3.50 when bought by 31 July 2019, with under 16s free with a ticket. Tickets can be purchased from 01332 255800, online at the Derby Live website, or booked in person at the Sales and Information Centre, Assembly Rooms, Market Place, Derby.