Pupils to play along with top orchestra on 20th June

Three thousand schoolchildren from across Derbyshire are preparing to perform a song written about their county with one of the UK’s finest orchestras.

The primary school pupils will sing ‘The Best That You Can Be – A Song For Derbyshire’, which was composed by the Derbyshire Music Education Hub last year, accompanied by the Hallé Orchestra at the Derby Arena on 20 June.

As well as singing, each of the children has also been learning to play an instrument since last September and will perform in two pieces alongside the Hallé in two concerts - Tchaikovsky’s Waltz of the Flowers and Pérez Prado’s Mambo No.5.

The tuition has been provided through the Derby & Derbyshire Music Partnership's Wider Opportunities programme, a 30-week teaching course which helps primary schools to deliver the National Plan for Music Education to Key Stage 2 pupils.

Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Young People Councillor Alex Dale said: “These concerts will be an unforgettable event for thousands of Derbyshire schoolchildren.

“It is fantastic that the Music Education Hub is able to offer opportunities such as this, not only to learn to play an instrument but also to perform alongside a world-renowned orchestra at a major venue. It will, I hope, inspire them to continue to learn and to play music for many, many years.

“I would like to wish every one of the children taking part the very best for the day.”

Tickets for the two concerts were completely sold out within three days of release.

Jayne Briggs, from the Music Education Hub, said: “This is a very exciting opportunity for everyone who has been taking part in Wider Opportunities to join in and experience playing with a professional orchestra in a large venue. It is an event which has always been very successful at the Derby Arena.

“The Hallé Orchestra is made up of some of the finest musicians in the world and it is a real privilege to have been able to once again arrange this very special day for all the children.”


  • Derbyshire Music Education Hub is a collaboration between key local and regional music organisations, led by the Derby & Derbyshire Music Partnership, working together to create joined up, high quality music education in and out of school.

    The two overriding aims of the Derbyshire Music Education Hub are to broaden and increase the opportunities for music-making for all children and young people in the city and county, regardless of their background or personal circumstances; and to raise the standards of music provision to the highest levels possible.
  • The Best That You Can Be – A Song For Derbyshire’, was composed by Dan Whibley and James Manson to lyrics suggested by schoolchildren, and the recording is sung by 1,700 pupils from 46 schools and three area music centres.

    The music was played by members of the Derbyshire City & County Youth Orchestra and Youth Wind Band, and the song has been accompanied by a video filmed at 32 locations across the county and city, including Crich Tramway Village, the Chatsworth Estate and Pride Park Stadium, and starring many of the pupils whose voices feature on the song.

The video and song are now available on the music video sharing site Vimeo and can be watched and heard in full when downloaded for just £1.49.