NOTE: This content is old - Published: Wednesday, Dec 7th, 2011.
An award winning deaf choir is set to perform in Wrexham this weekend.
The Dee Sign Choir will perform at the Eagles Meadow shopping centre, in Wrexham, on Saturday between 11am and 3.30pm.
The choir consists of members who are either profoundly deaf or hard of hearing and rely on sign language to perform.
According to the choir’s director, Anne Hesketh, choir members have plenty to celebrate having just won a national competition for the second year running.
Anne said: “We have just won the Open Class Section at the Jersey Eisteddfod.
“One of our deaf members, who has been in the choir for 10 years, was selected to go on stage and collect the award. He was so proud and held it up high, he didn’t want to leave the stage.
“I am sure, as a deaf person, he never imagined being on stage at the Jersey Opera House receiving a cup for performing to music!”
She said that shoppers at Eagles Meadow are in for a real treat as the choir will be performing a number of Christmas carols as well as some of their own personal favourites.
The choir is based at Chester Deaf centre and consists of 60 members from across the region including Wrexham, Mold and Abergele.
Anne added: “The choir does brilliant work promoting deaf awareness and the beauty of sign language as well as raising much-needed funds for Chester and District Committee for Deaf People and the Deafness Support Network. In fact we have raised more than £150,000 since the choir was first formed in 1997.”
The money raised goes towards supporting deaf people and those who are hard of hearing and their families for items required to let them live a normal life such as flashing light doorbells.
Anne says signing the songs they perform “in tune” is just as tough as if they were singing them.
She said: “We film someone signing a new song and then each choir member is given a DVD of the recording. That way they can practice and learn it at home.
“We then bring it all together and perform it as one. Some songs are easier to sign to than others but some of our younger members don’t like the sort of songs the, shall we call them, more senior members, do.”
“As a result they formed their own choir, Dee Sign Dynamix, which is made up of youngsters aged eight to 15.
“Despite only being formed in February this year they came away from Jersey with a silver award in the Under 18 class which was a brilliant achievement.”
She added: “I would encourage people to come down to Eagles Meadow and watch us perform and maybe join in and have a go at signing themselves. We need as much support as we can and aim to put on a really good show for Christmas shoppers and visitors.”