The Big Sing

The Team

Introducing our Founders

The BIG Sing founders have performed alongside some BIG names already Jamie Cullum, Madonna, Beverley Knight, Will Young, James Brown to name a few and have toured with Leona Lewis, Ellie Goulding and Kylie Minogue. They have all been session singers or members of The London Community Gospel Choir.
Gemma Francis

THE BIG SING FOUNDER – MANAGING DIRECTOR
Oversees the Midlands BIG Sing, all Tiny/Little Sing and SOUL

Gemma is the business brains behind The BIG Sing. Having been mentored by millionaire businessmen who helped Gemma’s vision for SOUL come to fruition, Gemma now works with the Lions to help mentor others. As a professional singer she has worked with the best and draws on this experience to unite the community with uplifting music!
Howard Francis
THE BIG SING FOUNDER – MUSICAL DIRECTOR
Oversees Essex & Suffolk BIG Sing
Howard is one of the UK’s top keyboard players & gospel songwriters. Well-known for his dexterity and nimble-fingered skills, Howard’s unique skills on the keyboard mean he even comes endorsed by Yamaha Music. Howard has been working with Choirs for the last 30 years and has written many songs for other famous artists. Howard is currently touring with the soul singer Alexander O’Neal. Howard is responsible for our amazing arrangements and harmonies!
Jon Rattenbury
THE BIG SING FOUNDER – CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Oversees London and Kent BIG Sing and Pro Choirs
Jonathan is an expert singing tutor and as well as directing choirs he is the Musical Director for the TED Group who provide entertainment for all the top hotels around the world. Jonathan’s creative flair and unique vocal arrangements give The BIG Sing that extraordinary sound.

Meet our Choir Tutors

We have such a GREAT team of Choir Tutors at The BIG Sing
Peter Francis
Choir Tutor
Not only the former choir director of The London Community Gospel Choir, Peter is a renowned Choir Director both in the UK and Poland, with a wealth of experience as a Producer, Vocal Tutor, Backing Vocalist and Soloist. He has had the privilege of singing with Elaine Page, Paul McCartney, Foreigner, Madness as well as Gospel artists Al Green, Donnie McClurkin and Andrae Crouch to name but a few. Peter travels to Poland every month where he manages three Community choirs and is now working on a fourth. His passion, humour and unique style of teaching gives him the ability to bring out the best in everyone.
Edie Farrell
Choir Tutor
Edie grew up in a very musical family often taking part in different concerts and studied piano since the age of 3. Edie is our most recently qualified BIG Sing tutor who runs both the BIG Sing and LITTLE Sing choirs in Ipswich. Edie joined The BIG Sing at the age of 11 and in Edie’s own words: ‘it changed my life giving me the opportunity to actually teach music and see the difference it made to people’s lives including my own’. Edie is a very valued member of staff and loves working with the BIG Sing!
Carol Brewster
Choir Tutor
Carol has extensive experience in vocal training, performance and development including facilitating vocal and percussion workshops in schools; community projects and youth centres. Carol has worked as a vocal coach for the Stagecoach theatre school and ER Mason Youth Academy. Carol is a valued member of The BIG Sing team.
Patricia Burrowes
Choir Tutor
Patricia is a singer/songwriter with over 25 years’ experience singing in choirs and groups and as a solo artist and her talent has afforded her the privilege of backing many pop and gospel artists at amazing events. As a vocal coach, she enjoys sharing the knowledge learnt through her studies and seeing the confidence grow in her students as they tackle and master new vocal techniques.
Rachel Smith
Choir Tutor
Rachel has been working for the Big Sing for a year now. She loves doing Rayleigh’s Tiny Sing and the SOUL projects in schools/pre-schools/care homes. She is based in Essex and has done projects in Rayleigh, Southend, Hadleigh and Wickford so far. For the rest of the week, Rachel is a primary school teacher and has always run school choir clubs; in her own words she says ‘it’s great to be able to take the joy of music and singing to as many places as possible. I’m also mummy to 3 small people so life is very busy!’
Andrea Miles
Choir Tutor
Andrea is our TINY Sing tutor in Essex. She has always loved to sing and perform from acting in school plays and local pantomimes to singing in a duo in pubs but when her mum died in 2010 she stopped singing. Then in 2012 she saw an advert for the Big Sing choir and decided to give it a try. Andrea never imagined that she would be working for The BIG Sing, doing what she loved singing. Andrea loves singing with the babies and tots and watching them grow in confidence and skills through music. She also works for our charity, The BIG Sing SOUL taking Tiny Sing in to nurseries and preschools. Andrea says: ‘I love singing with the tots. They are so excited to show their parents and carers what they’ve been doing with us, plus the feedback we’ve received makes you realise how important what we do is’.
Jasmine Mackman
Choir Tutor

Jasmine is so excited to be a new tutor with The BIG Sing family after recently returning from two years in New York working as a singer/pianist and vocal coach. With over fifteen years experience as a vocalist in bands, choirs and as a soloist, she has had the privilege of performing across the UK, Europe and America at some fantastic venues. Jasmine uses her enthusiasm and knowledge in performance and vocal technique to inspire all ages. She has worked extensively in summer camps and schools as a vocal coach creating and leading choirs, facilitating music workshops and giving one to one lessons.

Having graduated in Musical Theatre, Jasmine is a trained dancer and loves acting. She has performed in the West End and for BBC’s Comic Relief, alongside Simon Cowell. You may also recognise her as Elsa from Frozen; she regularly performs as the Ice Queen herself! Jasmine is taking The Big Sing SOUL projects into schools and developing LITTLE and BIG Sing Choirs around Essex.

Alex Wiseman
Choir Tutor
Alex is a vocalist, singing teacher and choir director. She currently sings with Soul Sanctuary Gospel Choir, Camden Voices and is lead singer of a function band. Alex’s first experience teaching choirs was as musical director of the Royal Holloway Gospel Choir whilst studying music at university. Since then she joined The BIG Sing team and is helping us lead choirs in schools, centres for disabled adults and community choirs.
Ruby Wood
Ruby Wood
Choir Tutor
A singer-songwriter and more recently a choir leader, Ruby was born in West Yorkshire to jazz loving parents who named her after the Thelonious Monk classic Ruby, my Dear. Exposed to a wide variety of different musical styles from an early age she was first inspired to sing jazz, which lead to her embracing numerous styles of music. 2019 sees Ruby not only enjoying her new position as a BIG Sing and SOUL tutor in Kent but also celebrating 10 successful years with her band Submotion Orchestra, who have performed in prestigious venues such as The Royal Albert Hall, The Barbican and London Jazz Festival and are currently working on their sixth album! Catch Ruby singing live when she guests with Afrobeat jazz band Nubiyan Twist.

Meet our Support Staff

We have an AMAZING team of support staff at The BIG Sing and The BIG Sing SOUL Charity
Bernie Dawson
The BIG Sing Manager
Bernie came on board as The BIG Sing Manager in 2017 bringing an abundance of over 35 years business and teaching experience. A whizz at organisation, Bernie sorts all the administration and day to day running of the BIG Sing office such as booking events, managing new tutors, liaising with choir members and helping with the finance alongside Gemma. Passionate about gospel music and singing, Bernie is a well-established member of both BIG Sing Essex Gospel Choir and Rayleigh’s BIG Sing. Bernie always has a smile on her face and is a valued addition to our team.
Sandra Woodward
Charity Manager for The BIG Sing SOUL Charity
Sandra joined the team in 2016 bringing a breadth of 40 years business skills and her own personal experience of how singing can reduce stress, uplift your spirits and create a more positive attitude to your wellbeing . This gives Sandra the edge in promoting and managing our charity The BIG Sing SOUL which aims to take our uplifting music to those in the community that cannot come to us. From fundraising, sourcing grants, seeking sponsorship and managing the strategic direction of projects Sandra is passionate about helping others and is tenacious, never leaving a stone unturned. Sandra loves singing and is a long-standing member of Maldon’s BIG Sing and Essex Gospel Choirs and is a valued member of the team.
Donna Tristram
Charity Administrator for The BIG Sing SOUL Charity
Donna, a long-standing member of Maldon and Essex Gospel BIG Sing choirs, joined the SOUL team in May this year. She has been a member of the Fundraising Team for some time and is always coming up with ideas and suggestions to raise funds and seek performance opportunities. Donna brings a wealth of business administration skills along with her dedication and passion for our charity which stands her in good stead for assisting Sandra with the implementation of the SOUL projects in the community.