Divas of the World Unite For Concert To Mark International Women’s Day

The iconic anthems of female superstars from Shirley Bassey to Beyoncé are to be celebrated in an uplifting live music show to mark International Women’s Day.

Diva brings together the 50-piece Limelight Orchestra with pop, soul, jazz and musical theatre vocalists for a special one-off event at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall on 8 March 2020.

The celebratory concert will feature memorable renditions of songs from the most iconic female singers of the last 50 years including Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, Mariah Carey, Kylie, Amy Winehouse, Beyoncé and Lizzo backed by a breathtakingly big sound from the city’s leading contemporary orchestra.

The show captures the strength of women through five decades of classic hits from Get This Party Started, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, I’m Every Woman, Lady Marmalade, I Am What I Am, Run The World and Crazy In Love.

To mark the tickets going on sale, the organisers are now inviting people to vote for their biggest and most badass song by a Diva with the winning number being added to the programme. Follow the Diva social media to find out how to vote and be in with a chance to win tickets.

Co-hosted by singer-songwriter Nina Smith and Kemet FM’s Jackie P, the concert will also feature the Nottingham Women’s Centre choir.

Nina said: “What it means to be a DIVA for me stretches way past just being able to sing huge power ballads. For us women it represents female strength & power. Power to lead, power to be brave and power to achieve. The two artists I’ve invited to perform alongside the Limelight Orchestra for DIVA represent just that. Emily Makis has a special gift of knowing self worth and showing incredible tenacity to achieve in all that she does musically. I admire the way she can command a stage with her beautiful vocals and confidence. Whether she’s producing her own music, or writing songs for other artists, her leadership qualities spotlight her outer DIVA. Betsey was a no brainer to the addition of this show after hearing her perform her power ballad ‘Survive’. Written from her own personal experience overcoming adversities, she’s another perfect example of what it takes to be a DIVA.”

The concert will also be raising money for the Nottingham Women’s Centre, which has been working for more than 40 years to help women gain the confidence and skills to achieve their full potential.

Aga Kelly, Nottingham Women’s Centre, said: “What a great idea! We can’t wait to be part of this night celebrating International Women’s Day. Our choir is already choosing what they want to sing, and we hope everyone comes out to share a wonderful evening celebrating strong women everywhere.”

The Nottingham Girls’ High School Choir will also be performing as the chorus. Further additions to the programme to be announced.

Now the search is on for the most inspiring women in the region to sing a female power anthem on stage with the singers and the Limelight Orchestra at the concert. All you need to do is to post using the hashtag #DivaNotts and finish the sentence ‘I am a Diva because…’ or nominate your favourite Diva for a chance for them to appear on stage.

Perfect as a Christmas gift for the favourite Diva in your life, tickets have now gone on sale and are available to purchase online from the Royal Concert Hall.  Prices range from £19.50 to £29.50. Click here https://trch.co.uk/whats-on/diva/


Sponsorship opportunities to be involved in this worthwhile charitable event to mark International Women’s Day are available. Please contact The Limelight Orchestra at [email protected]





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The Limelight Orchestra

The Limelight Orchestra performs contemporary entertainment music through a unique orchestral and vocal format. Formed in 2016, Limelight originated in Nottingham and takes its name from a reference to the Victorian stage lighting which were lit by burning a Lime mix; hence ‘in and out of the limelight’. Thematic shows have included a celebration of Queen’s Diamond Jubilee birthday, a Ska big band Hootenanny,  a centenary show on World War One and Suffragette votes for Women 1918.



Nina Smith

Nina Smith loves Nottingham. Her music and inspiration stem from CRS Studios, where she learnt her craft. Her use of social media is rooted in the city and its people. Most of her songwriting takes place in London, with Producer Yoad Nevo (Sia/Sugababes/Goldfrapp) and his Nevosound studio. Her tone is reminiscent of early Janet Jackson, but her music echoes early 90’s RnB. Up to date, Nina has successfully had 2 music releases reach the Top 5 iTunes Chart and Top 25 Album Itunes chart. Some of Nina’s experience includes featuring on a Radio 1 and 1xtra maida vale live session for rapper Scorzayzee and being named as BBC introducing artist of the week nationally. Currently, Nina runs a youth record label called ‘First Light’, tutors and mentors over 70 young artists and writes songs for many international artists.


Nottingham Women’s Centre

Formed more than 40 years ago and run by women for women, the centre aims to help all women to gain the confidence and skills to achieve their potential and become stronger and more independent. It provides a safe and supportive environment in which women can do this, either by taking part in training or activities, getting support and services, or campaigning and becoming active in bringing about change. It works across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire offering a range of formal services to women with mental health needs, women offenders, women who are seeking asylum, facing extreme poverty, escaping abuse or women simply wanting to make a change in their lives.



Blog: Reclaim the Night Nottingham 2019

Reclaim the Night Notts 2019

“My first reclaim the night! So Amazing, Empowering and it was so great to meet people with the same views!!! Wow so strong, sisterhood!!”

“Thanks for all the behind the scene and on the night hard work. Despite the rain, a fantastic atmosphere with sisters united!”

What happened?

In spite of the cold and wet weather, around 300 – 400 women* participated in Reclaim the Night Nottingham (RtN) and marched through central Nottingham to protest against gendered violence on Saturday 9th November. 71% of women who filled out the survey said it was their first ever RtN so we’re clearly growing in numbers!

In the run-up to the march, Nottingham Contemporary ran a successful RtN banner-making workshop, providing materials and an artist facilitator for free. Plus the samba band Estrandosas ran an open drumming workshop so women could join the band resulting in 40+ women drummers joining the march, which created an exciting atmosphere and ensured we made an impact on the streets as people could hear us coming! We also ran a stewards’ training workshop and featured on BBC Radio Nottingham.

We decided to use a new route this year, which was designed to maximise our impact and take advantage of the largely pedestrianised areas in town. The march started at Sneinton Market and a local café called Blend stayed open so marchers could gather inside, buy hot drinks and use their toilets. Women marched up through Hockley, along King Street and ended with a rally on Goldsmiths Street.

There were around 15 stewards on the night, working in two teams to block roads and ensure the safety of the march. The march went ahead as planned except for one serious hate crime incident against one of the RtN stewards. The incident has been reported to Nottinghamshire Police and they are following it up with an investigation.

At the rally on Goldsmith Street, five local feminists spoke about campaigns including Pro-Choice Nottingham and No More Page 3, and the Women’s Voices choir sang a few songs. A sound system and marquee were provide free of charge by Nottingham & Mansfield Trades Council and Veggies Campaign group.

The rally was followed by an after-party at Nottingham Women’s Centre (NWC) with hot vegan food made and served by NWC volunteers and live performances coordinated by local feminist group S.A.N.E Sisters. The party went on until 11pm. There was an impressive group effort to ensure the building was left as clean and tidy as possible. Around 200 women attended the after-party.

*all self-identifying women are welcome. Reclaim the Night is trans-inclusive.

Organising committee 

RtN was coordinated by Sexual Violence and Domestic Violence Campaigns group, which is primarily made up of representatives from Nottingham Women’s Centre, Juno Women’s Aid, Notts SVSS and Equation.  The Representation and Policy officer from the women’s centre was the main coordinator this year.

Feedback from survey and social media

We’ve had extremely positive feedback over social media and through an online feedback survey. We’ve picked out the main themes:

What worked well?

  • Women liked the new route as it felt more embedded in the city
  • There was lots of positive feedback about the samba band – women enjoyed participating and marching with them
  • Women said they were happy with the stewarding and the number of stewards
  • There was lots of positive feedback about the after-party food and performers
  • It was great that Nottingham Post covered the march for the first time in a number of year
  • Women in wheelchairs being at the front of the march

Issues or problems

  • Lots of women commented that drunk male hecklers made them feel uncomfortable
  • One woman felt like women didn’t support the choir as they left before the end of the rally

 Ideas to improve for next year

  • We could have a meeting point for ‘singles’ that one steward stays at until the march starts
  • There could be speeches at the start of the March
  • There could be a dedicated coordinator for chants
  • There could be more stewards and a more thorough plan for emergencies, including a March observer who takes details of any incidents.
  • Drummers could walk slower and give breaks so chanting can be heard more clearly
  • A leaflet could be created and handed out to passers-by
  • It would have been good to have a couple of CP officers with us
  • Make end point somewhere people will see us and hear us! Felt a bit anti-climactic, with no passers by

Lovely feedback from a participant 

“Thank you for letting me be a steward on Saturday night for reclaim the night. It was an amazing experience and I am so happy that I did. I think that you guys are working for an amazing cause that is creating a very positive and empowering experience for all women old and young. I can’t believe how many people came out to support it and all ages were there which shows how much of an impact that this cause has for people. I know from personal experience that to be able to do that after going through a tough time and feeling scared when walking around on your own either in the day or at night, it is such a positive and empowering thing to do. I just wanted to thank you all so much because everyone both stewards, samba band and people participating are all so welcoming and amazing.” 

Photo credits: Juno Women’s Aid and Anna Wels

If you have any further comments or feedback, please email [email protected]