J26 Sinfonietta was originally founded by Deena Draycott and John Watson in 2009, bringing together specially invited musicians to perform high quality music. Initially we focused predominantly from the Baroque and Classical periods, and now we are expanding our repertoire including some more recent composers. The name comes from the fact that when we started, we rehearsed in a location close to Junction 26 of the M1 and our musician base is similarly located!
We play throughout Derbyshire, putting on our own concerts and also as invited guests at selected events. To date we have performed works from including: Mozart to Mendelssohn , Sullivan to Suppe, Gluck to Glazunov Beethoven to Bizet visiting many other composers including Haydn, Prokofiev and Bizet to name just a few!
As well as performing full orchestral works, J26 likes to showcase the talents of local soloists, not only from our own musicians but also from specially invited guests.
Solo works are numerous have included a Bassoon Concerto, a Trumpet Concerto, Concerto for Two Flutes, and a Double Viola Concerto, too many to name!
We were thrilled to work with local guitarist Hugh Millington twice prior to him studying at
The Royal Academy of Music.
We were privileged in 2013 perform the Haydn 'cello Concerto No 1 with a young
More recently our conductor, Mat Davis gave an exciting performance of the Alexander Glazunov Saxophone concert.
A recent graduate of the University of Hull, where he gained an Honours Bachelor of Music Degree, Mat has spent the last few years building an impressive CV of professional music experience. Using his expertise as a wind player, he has spent the last years conducting and contributing to a variety of music groups in a number of different contexts.
These include the University's Music Society Wind Band, Orchestras, Bilton Singers Community Choir, and Humberside Police Concert Band.
Mat currently works as a woodwind teacher in Nottinghamshire schools, and combines this with conducting J26 Sinfonietta and Saxondale strings alongside regular performances with Nottinghamshire Police Concert Band and Ravenshead Swing Band.
Nicola has played both the guitar and the violin from an early age and was a pupil at Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester. She continued her musical studies as a guitarist at the Royal Northern College of Music, where she won a scholarship. She has had a career as a classical guitarist, performing as soloist with major orchestras, such as the Halle, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and the London Mozart Players. Nicola won first prize and the gold medal in the Royal Overseas League Music Competition and made three CDs on the Decca label. Although ultimately not pursuing a musical career, music still plays a huge part in her life. She continues with her violin studies, and has been leader of the J26 Sinfonietta since 2017.
Where we are based:
St Werburghs Church, Spondon, DE21 7GL