The Big Sing

The Team

Introducing our Founders

The BIG Sing was founded by Howard Francis, Gemma Francis, Jon Rattenbury & Adetoun Anibi over eleven years ago!  Having performed alongside some BIG names such as Jamie Cullum, Ellie Goulding, Westlife, Kylie Minogue, Leona Lewis, Will Young and James Brown to name a few, and being full time members of The London Community Gospel Choir, our founders were passionate about making a difference in our communities.  It was at this moment that The BIG Sing was born!  More recently Howard and Gemma have taken the reigns and are now heading up The BIG Sing family and Jon currently leads our Sister Choir ‘Sing London’ in Central London.  Check them out here.

Gemma Francis

THE BIG SING FOUNDER – MANAGING DIRECTOR
Oversees the BIG Sing family

Gemma is the business brains behind The BIG Sing. Having been mentored by The Lions who helped Gemma’s vision for our charity The BIG Sing SOUL come to fruition, Gemma now works in business 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 the BIG Sing family

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 and Mica Paris.

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.
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.
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.
Joseph Perry
Choir Tutor
Joseph has spent many years singing and playing keyboard in various contexts, from function bands to gospel choirs. He’s enjoyed travelling the world, and performing in some of the UK’s most iconic venues, the Royal Albert Hall, Wembley Arena and Earls Court Arena, performing with artists such as Matt Redman & Michael Jackson! Joseph has spent the last 10 years leading the City Gates choir, performing regularly, songwriting and releasing original music.  We are delighted to welcome Joseph to The BIG Sing Team.
Liz Jai
Choir Tutor
Liz is a professional session singer, song-writer and is part of a regular soul function band.  Liz started her journey as an alto in the London Community Gospel Choir which led to opportunities to tour the world as a backing singer performing with some of the UK’s top artists including Joss Stone, Emeli Sande, John Newman, Maverick Sabre and Leona Lewis.  One of the founder members of the Urban Development Vocal Collective (UDVC) Liz has grown as a choir director – even directing the choir for an XFactor finalist on the National Television Awards!  Liz is very passionate about making people believe in their abilities, understand how to work together and use their gifts to grow in confidence.  Performing is about allowing your light to shine and be happy doing it!
Lucy Joy
Choir Tutor
Lucy is our newest member of the BIG Sing Team with 10 years experience singing with the Kingsland Community Gospel Choir.  Lucy works for the NHS and finds singing the best way to relieve stress and re-energise. With a background in performing arts and music, Lucy loves how the choir brings all walks of life together in unity.  Lucy is most passionate about creating a space where you can come, just as you are, whatever your abilities, to be a part of something special that lifts up your spirits and confidence whilst being united through singing.
Sarah Jackson
Choir Tutor
Sarah is a professional singer, choir leader and vocal coach.  You can also find Sarah gigging as a Karen Carpenter tribute; hosting Open Mic Evenings; leading well-being sessions and coaching 1:1 sessions. Sarah’s passion is to help people grow in confidence, and she has a wonderful way of making people feel both at ease and also comfortable to just give it a go.  Keen to learn and develop her skills further means Sarah is very excited to join us on our BIG Sing Team! Sarah brings with her five years of experience leading other choirs.
Charly Kitchen
TINY SING Tutor

Charly joined our team in May 2021 after loving coming to TINY Sing as a mum for two years with her little ones.  Charly loves to dance and sing around the house with her family and has a background in musical theatre and choir singing.  Charly formerly worked for Disney World in Florida and has a great love for music and movement which she enjoys bringing to our babies and tots each week.

Letitia Wells
TINY SING Tutor
Letitia is the newest member of our TINY Sing Team .  With 4 small boys, music and movement is an important part of Letitia’s family life.  They love singing, dancing and moving which Letitia believes to be a vital part of their emotional, physical and mental well-being.  Letitia loves seeing the joy in our children when the music starts playing and is passionate about bringing parents and carers together in a welcoming environment where they can escape everyday stresses for a while at least. Letitia can’t wait to share the new TINY Sing SOUL sessions with everyone each week.
Jackie Snow
TINY SING Tutor
Jackie has been a member of The BIG Sing for eight years.  Jackie loves the way we reach communities with our songs which helped her personally to uplift her spirits after she had depression.  Jackie loves teaching the babies and toddlers to sing with actions and instruments and is especially thrilled now that her new grandaughter joins in the sessions.  “It is great to see each child’s confidence and memory develop as they grow”.

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 alongside Gemma, helps with the finance. 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 member of our team.
Evie Francis-Miller
ADMINistration ASSISTANT FOR The BIG Sing & THE BIG SING SOUL

Evie is at a great time in her life where she has finished her GCSE’s and is now on board with us to help behind the scenes.  Having been a part of the BIG Sing since she was only 6 years old, Evie has seen The BIG Sing develop over the past 11 years and has all the background knowledge required to help us.  Evie is assisting in The BIG Sing Office, helping with social media and overseeing the co-ordination of our SOUL projects.  We are SO excited to have Evie on our team.  

Emma Smith
Charity Manager for The BIG Sing SOUL Charity

As the daughter of an original committee member who helped set up The BIG Sing SOUL, Emma has delighted in watching SOUL grow.  Emma has been involved in fundraising for many different causes for as long as she can remember – arranging events, applying for funding and completing challenges.  Emma is family orientated with three children including two sons with additional needs giving her first hand experience of seeing how our charity can give singing opportunities to communities bringing joy and confidence.  This has driven her passion to ensure activities are accessible for all.  Emma is organised and committed and is very excited to join our team in January 2023. Welcome Emma!

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contact sandra@bigsingsoul.org.uk if you have any queries.