27th September 2020

Musicians and choirs packed Devizes Corn Exchange, and thousands more tuned in on BBC radio and TV, as Alzheimer's Support and BBC Wiltshire staged The Big Jam for BBC Music Day.

More than 200 music makers from across Wiltshire answered our call for musicians to share their sounds alongside our own Music for the Mind choirs for the event that celebrated the power of music for people living with dementia. 

BBC Wiltshire broadcast live from the Corn Exchange with more than a dozen interviews and live songs during the three-hour Drive programme presented by Graham Rogers. The finale, a mass singalong to Abba's Thank you for the Music, was also screened live on Points West, which linked up with BBC Wiltshire for a simultaneous outside broadcast. 

The singalong was led by 10-year-old soloist Ellie Jenks on her first public appearance. 

Other musicians taking part were: Sing Alive, Tuneless Choir, Find your Voice, Sloe Jam, Alice Simmons and Jonathan Causebrook, Swindon Carers Choir, The Village Band, DeMugsPugs Ukeleles, Maurice and Diane, Wiltshire Heights Choir, Wade Merritt, Macho Nachos, 10p MixUp, Frankie Simpkins, Hiilperton Recorder Group, Will Blake and PSG Choir and Eddyoke. 

People living with dementia kicked off the evening with a rendition of Moon River, and another highlight was Maurice Smith, performing jazz standard Walking My Baby Back Home with support worker Diane Vose. 

Alzheimer's Support CEO Babs Harris said: "Thank you one and all for your contribution to what was truly great, great fun. I was moved by so many of your songs and truly amazed by the talent on show. Together we created such a beautiful atmosphere of goodwill and respect, demonstrating what an important factor music plays in all our wellbeing."

Andy Eddy, of duo Eddyoke said: "Thank you so much for letting us take part in such a wonderful life affirming evening. I was touched by the different acts and the individuality of each one. It is clear the power that music has on our lives. The event was amazing and it was an honour to be there." 


Tune in to hear more

The Big Jam on BBCWiltshire

You'll hear interviews throughout the programme including Babs Harris at 7 mins in, Frankie Simpkins at 27 mins, Music for the Mind members Phyllis at 40 mins, Ken at 1hr 07 and Mike and Jill at 1.56. Ellie shows what a star she is in her interview at at 2.27 - and if you only listen to one section make it the the grand finale singalong at 2.48!