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BIG Sing to help hit right notes for trio of local charities

Community choir The BIG Sing, which shot to fame on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent, are set to headline at this year’s Gala Charity Concert, in Rugby.

The concert, organised by Rugby Dunsmore Rotary Club and Friends of The Hospital of St Cross, returns on March 10th, for the first time since the pandemic brought the curtain down on their 2021 plans.

Proceeds from the night, which is being sponsored by F Geo Robinson Ltd of Coventry and McCarthy Stone, will go to support three local charities – The Friends of the Hospital of St Cross, Shine A Light and New Directions Rugby.

The BIG Sing, charity gala, Rugby
Big Sing Directors Gemma & Howard Francis

The Friends of St Cross donates equipment and supports projects which improve the experience of patients attending the hospital. Visit: here

President of The Friends, Willy Goldschmidt, said: “We are most grateful for the support we have received from Rugby Dunsmore Rotary over the last 10 years.  Thanks to them and the community in Rugby we were able to spend £167,000 last year buying equipment which improved the experience of patients or brought NHS hospital services closer to the town.”

Rugby Dunsmore Rotary Club’s Mike Folly said: “It is great to be back in partnership supporting The Friends of St Cross and our other charities by organising this evening.

BGT, The BIG Sing, charity gala concert
A look back at the last gala concert in 2019

“We believe everyone has missed the excitement of these mass band and choir events and to be back raising the roof of this iconic venue at Rugby School will stir hearts and create a real feel-good factor for the people of Rugby. Just one of the things we like to do in Rugby Dunsmore Rotary Club.”

Rugby-based The BIG Sing are joined by The Band of Central England – formerly the Jaguar Land Rover Band – for the fourth curtain-raiser – at which they’ll perform a range of pop, gospel, soul and inspirational songs.

The choir, which has members aged between three and 83, won four ‘yesses’ from the judges following their televised audition on at the Britain’s Got Talent quarter-finals last year. They have also performed alongside such names as Mica Paris, David Grant and Ellie Goulding and have toured with Leona Lewis.

BGT, The BIG Sing, charity gala concert

Big Sing manager Bernie Dawson explained: “Uniting communities with uplifting and motivating music, inspired by gospel music and teaching, The BIG Sing is more than a choir; we are a ‘family’. So many members have found the choir to help them through loneliness, depression, grief, illness and have given them two hours a week to find ‘them’ again. The choirs have been growing from strength to strength in number and ability, showing the members that together we CAN achieve greatness.

“The choir is working hard to show community singing at its best. The members are people from the local community who have a desire to sing. The BIG Sing gives them the opportunity to be taught by expert tutors, turning the choir into an amazing sound and giving them unique performance opportunities.”

Shine A Light, in Rugby, delivers valuable support services and a community for children and young people with cancer, up to the age of 24, and their families in Coventry and Warwickshire. Visit here

BGT, The BIG Sing, charity gala concert, Rotary Rugby Dunsmore

New Directions Rugby supports people with learning disabilities and their families and carers to lead a full and valued life and works in a real partnership with them. Visit here

Paul Tolley, CEO of New Directions, said: “As a local charity supporting over 100 vulnerable adults on a daily basis to live life to the full, it is fantastic to receive support and recognition from fundraising events such as this which help us to raise our profile, increase the number of people we support and reach a greater number of families.”

This year’s charity gala takes place at The Temple Speech Room, in Rugby, from 7.30pm. Bar and doors open at 7pm. Tickets cost £16 and are available to purchase by visiting here. Any remaining tickets will be available for £18 on the door.