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Signing Choir continues to grow
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John McArdle meets the Liverpool Signing Choir

Liverpool Signing Choir are one of the most innovative groups in the country.

Formed ten years ago at Knotty Ash Primary School, the choir uses a mix of sign language and vocals in their performances.

The choir has over 100 members aged from 6 to 24, some of whom are profoundly deaf.

"You don't have to sing, it's all about signing, the priority is sign language," explains the choir's founder Catherine Hegarty.

Previously called Knotty Ash Signing Choir, the choir now have members from 12 schools across Liverpool.

Meeting once a week to rehearse at Broadgreen International School they have performed at venues across the country, including the Hillsborough Disaster's 20th Anniversary Memorial Service at Anfield in April 2009.

"I thought it would last about six weeks, maybe two terms," Catherine says looking back at the choir's beginnings.

Liverpool Signing Choir
Brothers and sisters who can hear perform alongside siblings

"It got bigger, we started off with 12 children, one of whom was profoundly deaf, and it just grew from there."

Brothers and sisters who can hear perform alongside their siblings who have hearing difficulties, while parents help with the organisation of the choir.

"It's teamwork and without that teamwork this would not be where it is at the moment, or where its going in the future," says Catherine.

"We've got big plans for the future."

The choir has recently spent six months working with tenor Martin Toal, who met them at Wembley at a youth international football tournament.

"For me it is so important to promote talented youth from all walks of life," says Martin.

"This particular choir is very different and is a wonderful experience."




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