In early 2011, an Open Call went out for 100 singers from any musical background to come together to form a choir to sing an exciting and challenging piece of new music to celebrate the opening of Turner Contemporary in Margate.
Composed by Orlando Gough, The Red Volcano was inspired by JMW Turner’s poem of the same name and his painting of the volcanic eruption on the Caribbean Island of St Vincent in 1812.
Under the expert guidance of musical director Tony Castro, The Big Sing performed The Red Volcano, accompanied by a local orchestra, for the opening of Turner Contemporary Gallery on the 17th of April 2011.
Following their debut performance, the Turner Contemporary invited The Thanet Big Sing Community Choir to be their resident choir and they have gone from strength to strength.
The Big Sing has performed at key events at the Turner Contemporary Gallery, and has regularly held concerts, participated in festivals and community events and collaborated with various artists.
Performances have included:-
- The 2012 London Olympics Festival with the folk singer, Megan Henwood and the Regent Brass Band.
- The Rochester Sweeps Festival
- The Poetry Isle Festival Poet to lyrics written by Lemm Sissay and set to original music by Tony Castro
- The 2013 world premiere of Lachrymose, a WW1 commemoration piece by composer Jonathan Hering. In collaboration with singers from across Kent, a choir of 150 voices was formed for this concert
- The 2014 50th anniversary of Radio Caroline with Charlie Dore
- LANDSCAPES, a new choral work, which premiered at Turner Contemporary on April the 16th 2014. Inspired by the works of JMW Turner and Helen Frankenthaler.
- The opening of the English Magic exhibition by the artist Jeremy Deller with the Steel Melodians from London
- The celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Landmark Trust in 2015 at the Grange, Augustus Pugin’s House in Ramsgate