Warwickshire-based choir The BIG Sing wow Britain’s Got Talent judges as act goes viral

The BIG Sing, which has participants from across Warwickshire and the wider country, performed to thousands of audience members on the popular ITV show
Some 500 choir members impressed judges and views across the nation on Saturday. Photo by The BIG SingSome 500 choir members impressed judges and views across the nation on Saturday. Photo by The BIG Sing
Some 500 choir members impressed judges and views across the nation on Saturday. Photo by The BIG Sing

A Warwickshire-based community choir hit all the right notes after its Britain’s Got Talent performance went viral on Saturday.

The BIG Sing, which has participants from across the county and the wider country, performed to millions on the popular ITV show, which began its 16th series on Saturday.

The act was introduced by The BIG Sing director Gemma Francis, from Rugby, whose husband Howard and children Evan, Evie and Eden joined her on stage. Musician and choir co-founder Howard got a shout out from judge Alesha Dixon for whose band Mis-Teeq he supported and played the keyboard for some years back.

Over 350 choir members – including some from the Warwick district – surprised both spectators and judges Alesha, Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden and new panellist Bruno Tonioli , as small groups of members ‘hid’ among the audience, popping up at certain points of the performance of Emeli Sandé’s ‘Brighter Days’. The act hit the jackpot with four resounding yeses. Amanda said the act reminded her of the scene in The Wizard of Oz when everything turns from black and white to colour, while notoriously hard-to-please Simon said he thought the choir didn’t seem ‘that big’. “And then you got me,” he admitted, referring to the choir members in the audience.

Gemma told the Advertiser: “It felt amazing. We were just ecstatic to get four yeses. We just wanted to represent the choir in the best way we could. The members worked so hard and did us so proud, all of them just absolutely pulled together on the day.”

The performance also received praise from singer Emeli Sandé herself. In a Facebook post, she wrote: “Wow […] Tears in my eyes watching this! 350 people singing Brighter Days spot on! Thanks you The BIG Sing for brightening up my day and spreading the joy of singing to the world. Absolutely beautiful.”

Gemma launched the choir along with Howard in 2011. The couple met through their love for music, during a tour of the London Community Gospel Choir, they were both involved in. And from there, romance, as described by Gemma, ‘just blossomed’.

The duo decided to combine their mutual passion into a project to help their surrounding community, giving rise to The BIG Sing.

She added: “We could both see something was needed in the community and we felt like it was our calling to use music to bring people together in the community and uplift people.”

In 2017, to further seal their commitment, the couple created a charity arm which aims to make music accessible to as many people as possible.

Julie Williams from Warwick said: “Joining the choir was the best decision. After a stressful day at work it’s great to meet up with lovely people and sing your heart out it makes you forget about any troubles and you come out smiling. Singing is really good for your mental health, mood, sense of well-being and feeling of belonging.”

The choir meets weekly on Thursdays at the Rugby Methodist Church and welcomes people of all ages and backgrounds, and no experience or skill is necessary.

Visit www.big-sing.com for more.

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