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"An amazing sound from a truly wonderful choir!"

-The Millbridge Inn

The Great Sea Choir are a 45 strong mixed-voice a cappella folk choir directed by Julu Irvine and Heg Brignall of folk duo Suthering.

Based in Plymouth, the choir are known for their intricate and rhythmic arrangements and the high quality of their singing. Despite being a mixed ability group of un-auditioned singers, the choir create an impressive and professional sound, brilliantly executing a wide range of folk music; from unique modern takes on traditional songs to textured, choral interpretations of contemporary music. Their sense of community, which is at the heart of what they do, shines through in their singing. 

The choir pride themselves on having high musical standards and excellent vocal technique; they learn quickly and perform textured and often complex arrangements in up to eight part harmony. The choir have a strong ethos of respect, trust and inclusion and at the heart of what the choir creates musically is an incredibly strong sense of companionship which is what gives them the perfect combination of community and musicianship.

The choir was originally founded by Heg in Bristol in 2012 where it thrived for eight years. When Julu and Heg combined forces and relocated to Devon, The Great Sea Choir re-formed Plymouth in 2020 shortly before the pandemic hit. Against all the odds and with a totally new group of singers, the choir remained a united community throughout lockdown, using zoom to learn new material, singing techniques and improve their individual sounds. The choir produced two lockdown videos during this time, enabling them to practise towards an end goal.

Since restrictions have lifted the choir have gone from strength to strength, honing their sound and practising how to sing well together as a group again. Summer 2022 saw them perform to a sold-out show at the Barbican Theatre in Plymouth, as well as perform at Tavi Pride; Tavistock's first ever pride event. 

The choir regularly promotes their own concerts and events including their sell-out winter concerts held in December each year as well as more bespoke gigs; previous events include a gig on boat and a formal concert in a derelict church.​ Each year the choir supports and raises money for different local charities. This year, along with their sister choir Wheelhouse Folk Choir, they raised over a £1000 for Devon & Cornwall Sending Love To Ukraine; a local charity taking aid directly to Ukraine and assisting refugees to safety. 

The choir's performance history in previous years is testament to the high level of training that singers receive; from professional events and festivals, to world class venues like Queen Elizabeth Hall in London and Bristol Beacon, to collaborating with other artists, receiving recognition for their debut EP Within The Sound from local BBC Introducing and BBC radio shows as well as becoming the winners of the 2016 Heart FM choir competition. They were also the featured group on Made In Bristol TV as the headline act at Bristol Festival of Song 2015. 

The Great Sea Choir are available for concert and event bookings, festivals, artist collaborations including recordings and private event hire. The choir can go out as the full forty-strong ensemble or in smaller configurations depending on the requirements and restrictions of an event.

"Stunning arrangements of beautiful songs in a community of warm, wonderful and talented people. Our choir directors have pulled off something quite special here - their energy and expertise have nurtured something truly alive, and our performances bare the fruit"

Windjammer Jeremy and Fran are proud members of GSC



GSC at Cothele photo credit Hanna Collins.jpeg

Heg Brignall and Julu Irvine


Heg and Julu are touring musicians and songwriters. They play together in their folk duo Suthering and alongside The Great Sea Choir, they also direct Wheelhouse Folk Choir in Tavistock. They also run Folk Singing Retreats; a company offering weekend singing holidays in Devon and Cornwall. They have toured the UK and Europe in various different bands and projects and also teach singing and flute privately.

The pair are passionate about working with voices, celebrating every person's capability and bringing exciting music and opportunities to their community singers. 

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