meet our big C choir
The Big C is quite simply, unique.
It isn't that they've been together for just three months or
that many of them had never sung before in public before.
What makes this choir so extraordinary is that all thirty two
members have been on the same incredible, sometimes terrifying,
journey - each and every one them is, or has recently been, in
treatment for cancer.
The Big C is our 5th Tenovus choir. Working with Exclusive TV,
it was created for the Channel 4 programme, Sing For Your Life, but
we have never done anything quite like this before. The
Big C is different from our other choirs as it's
singers are all ages, ranging from 10 to 80 years old, have been
recruited from Wales and beyond and every member - some terminal,
some just diagnosed, some in remission - have all recently had, or
When we started our very first choir back in 2010,
our pioneering research showed that singing was beneficial not only
for patients' state of mind, but also helped to reduce their
pain. The research on 'The Big C' has proved that the group's
social function and mental health both improved as did lung
strength. We want singing on prescription; it works!
The programme/sing for your life
From the very first week, The Big C's shared experience of this
devastating disease has bound them together. Rehearsals have
become joyous occasions - part choir, part support group, part
exclusive club. Despite the illness or the debilitating
effects of chemotherapy, The Big C singers have been
reluctant to miss out on their weekly fix of choir
practice. And while their health has fluctuated, what
has never wavered is their newfound love of singing.
The Big C is led by
our own Cat Southall, choir mistress.
They've learned to sing, been taught by opera star and brain
cancer sufferer Russell Watson, met singers as diverse as Emeli
Sande and Shaun Ryder and performed at life-affirming moments like
a surprise wedding proposal.
And they've had a surprise sprung on them - the climax of their
story is a performance at a sell-out concert at the Royal Albert
Hall... if they're ready, willing and able to sing.