Member blog: Making some noise

Singers in community choirs across the country can testify to the feel-good nature of raising their voices together. One of these is the Big Noise Chorus, which at the end of 2019, celebrated a landmark ten years of singing together with a huge concert involving over 450 singers at Exeter Cathedral. Alto singer and volunteer, Jo Toffolo, tells us more.

Founded by director Colin Rea in September 2009, Big Noise Chorus (BNC) has grown from one choir in Torquay with 20 people, to a network of five community choirs across Devon with 500 singers today. We sing Pop, Soul, World, Motown and Rock music and have performed a wide variety of concerts around the South West with other choirs and performing groups. The people in BNC are a complete cross section of society including doctors, nurses, teachers, retirees and housewives, all aged from 20 to 90. Anyone can join regardless of experience. We have no audition process, so whether you are a seasoned singer or you just sing in the shower you will find a warm welcome in one of our choirs.

The Exeter Cathedral performance was an anniversary concert that brought together all five choirs on the same stage. It was the largest concert the cathedral has ever housed with 450 singers, an eight-piece band, six hand bell ringers and a collection of pop and Christmas favourites from Tina Turner to Mariah Carey.

The people in BNC are a complete cross section of society including doctors, nurses, teachers, retirees and housewives, all aged from 20 to 90. Anyone can join regardless of experience.

But we’ve got plenty more to shout about than just making a big noise. This ten-year anniversary concert saw us celebrate another great milestone as the retiring collection for The Trussell Trust food bank charity tipped us over into now having raised a grand total of £100,000 for charity. That’s an average of £10,000 per year raised for charity, which we’re very proud of.

The evening was a total success and the sound was breath-taking. The ambience of the whole concert was stunning - all those voices genuinely making a difference in their communities.

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