Big movie night for BBC Big Band

Some of the world's most iconic movie songs will fill the Guild Hall as vocalist Emer McParland joins the BBC Big Band on Saturday.

Monday, 11th July 2016, 2:04 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 4:21 pm
BBC Big Band

The Sound of Cinema will feature music and themes from films such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Meet Me in St Louis and James Bond, all performed in the BBC Big Band’s own inimitable style.

Emer, who is more than capable of keeping up with the huge sounds of the big band, cannot wait to add her tones to the concert as she performs songs made famous by the leading ladies of film music, including Judy Garland and Marilyn Monroe.

She said: “It is a great programme to do as I am given the opportunity to sing very different styles through the night. For example, He’s a Tramp from Lady is a Tramp, is very different to Shirley Bassey’s Bond themes.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Emer McParland

“So it is a bit of a challenge for me, but being with the Big Band and with their musical colours, it inspires me to up my game and perform the best that I can.

“When you are singing with a big band, you are not just a singer, you are another instrument. You are slotting in with the big band arrangement as you sing with them.

“It is really rewarding, with textures and sounds coming out of the big band, which inspires you.”

Emer began working with the BBC Big Band more than 10 years ago and has travelled all over the world with them.

Emer McParland

She has also sung on soundtracks of Harry Potter and Sleepy Hollow, and has been a backing vocalist for Bjork and Peter Gabriel.

More recently, she provided backing vocals for Shirley Bassey, Gary Barlow and Kylie Minogue at the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations.

Emer studied piano and the violin at Trinity Music College in London, but as she joined a big band, she became a professional singer.

She joined other big bands, but it was the BBC Big Band which captured her heart.

She said: “BBC Big Band is the best big band in the country and it is a great privilege to sing with them.

“Next month we are going to Snape Maltings for the prestigious Aldeburgh Festival, which was started by Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears in 1948.”

The Sound of Cinema will be at The Guild Hall, Preston, on Saturday July 16, at 7.30pm.

Tickets start at £19.50. To book visit