Big band, big voice

Michelle Doyle to perform two shows with NSO this weekend

Published on January 20, 2014
Petty Harbour native Michelle Doyle will perform two big band shows with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra in St. John’s this week. — Submitted photo

Sultry, warm and velvety smooth — singer Michelle Doyle’s voice is often described in the same way as chocolate or fine wine.

Her two performances with the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra (NSO) later this week will be no less of a treat.

Doyle, born and raised in Petty Harbour and the little sister of Great Big Sea front man Alan Doyle, has been singing since she was a child, long before finishing up a music degree at MUN and a diploma in musical theatre performance from Sheridan College.

Right after college, Doyle was offered what she says was her “dream job”— performing as a lead vocalist on a Holland America cruise ship.

Doyle released a debut CD in 2004, drawing from a number of genres she has become familiar with over the years: rock, jazz, big band and more. From a version of Ron Hynes’ “Dark River” to a duet with Cory Tetford to pop-based originals, Doyle used the self-titled debut to show her versatility.

Doyle, who has performed across the country in a range of musical theatre productions, lives in Florida, where she and her husband run a special events entertainment company. She’s also the lead singer and agent for her band VoxBlu.

Doyle is prepared to get the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre swinging, performing for two nights only with the NSO in “The Great American Songbook: The Suncor Energy Big Band Shows.”

“It’s an absolute dream come true to get the chance to sing the music I adore with musicians I admire in the place that I love most of all,” she said in an emailed statement.

Symphony CEO Neil Edwards has known Doyle for 20 years.

“You’d never think that possible to look at her,” he told The Telegram. “In that 20 years, few voices have impressed and move me as hers does. This girl is the real deal.”

Doyle will perform music by Gershwisn, Porter, Lerner and Loewe and more with the orchestra, under guest conductor Martin MacDonald, who is accomplished, as well: winner of the 2010 Jean-Marie Beaudet Award in orchestral conducting, he has worked with orchestras across Canada and with his family as a Celtic musician.

“The Great American Songbook: The Suncor Energy Big Band Shows” will take place Friday and Saturday night. Tickets are $40 and $45 and are available at the Arts and Culture Centre box office, by calling 729-3900 and online at

“The Suncor Energy big band shows are, without question, a highlight of the NSO season, and this year’s performances will be among our best ever,” Edwards said.