If you are going to put on a show, you may as well do it big - and for a good cause.
When Sing It Big, a choir group based in Chorley, was asked to arrange a version of Coldplay’s Fix You as part of the Save Chorley A&E campaign with other NHS crusaders, members jumped at the chance.
Founding member Karen Strickland says: “We were recently approached by the Save Chorley A&E Campaigners who were working with other NHS campaigners nationally.
“Coldplay had given them permission to use Fix You for their cause and they asked fellow founder Debbie Jones and I to arrange a version for Chorley, which was amazing.
“We performed this as NHStival at Picnic in the Park, and it has been released in collaboration with other A&E campaigns nationwide.
“We also released our own version, which can be seen on our Facebook page Singitbig.” See www.lep.co.uk for the video.
The group has become a key part of the local community, as it has sung for many charities and has performed at Chorley Carnival, Chorley Food Festival, Chorley Live, Festival of Light for St Catherine’s Hospice and Picnic In The Park amongst others.
Karen adds: “We are vibrant and passionate and love singing for the townsfolk of Chorley.
“We have an eclectic mix of sound, from musical theatre and vintage popular repertoire by Cole Porter to the likes of Chattanooga Choo Choo, originally recorded by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra.
“We are big Beatles fans and have arranged many songs ourselves, from Mamma Cass to the Beach Boys, Jackson 5, and contemporary classical - John Rutter, Randy Newman - Disney, to name but a few.
“We have made bespoke arrangements for weddings and events and offer a choir for hire service.
“We have just finished writing a special song for our choir family called Something to be Proud of and have also arranged our very own version of Elvis’s If I Can Dream to mark his 40th anniversary this year - a beautiful song and we are very proud of our arrangement.
“We are passionate musicians and singers and this is infectious in our rehearsals. We sing in 4+ part harmony and supply our members with online resources so that you don’t need to be able to read music to join.
“We have a fantastic time with our choir family each week at rehearsals and are all always energised when we leave.”
The group, which has between 30 and 40 members, was founded in 2013.
Karen adds: “Debbie and I started the choir as we were leading children’s choirs together in schools, and wanted to do something for the adult/teen community.
“We love arranging songs for our choir. Debbie is a singer, guitarist and pianist in a very successful New Orleans-style band called Tipitina and has been performing all her adult life. I am a singer, pianist and accompanist and run an online service for singers - www.pianotracksformusicals.com.
“We both teach singing and piano in schools and just love what we do.
“Our taste in music is so vast and eclectic and we just wanted to share our music and energy with others. Singing is so good for the soul and choral singing is proven to improve mood and health so we had nothing to lose.
“We have discovered as musical partners we work really well together and are very proud of our arrangements. We are super proud of the family that Sing It Big has become.
“It really is a joy to sing with them and we openly invite new members at the beginning of each term - there is no audition.”
Members rehearse at Parklands High school in the main hall each Tuesday during term time from 7pm until 8.30pm.
Sessions are £5 per person. New members are welcome to come along and get ready for the Christmas lights switch on in Chorley on November 18.
The group is particularly looking for men - tenors or basses - to join its team.