Photo by Bogomil Mihaylov on Unsplash
Singing City Christmas will include a selection of singing groups from across the city. Photo by Bogomil Mihaylov on Unsplash.

Choir raises deaf awareness through song

A choir in Hull is on a mission to make singing and music more inclusive.

Hull Visual Voices has 16 members, all of whom are British Sign Language (BSL) users. Their performances aim to be as accessible and as inclusive as possible.

Originally set up with support of Hull City Council’s arts development team in 2016, the choir has steadily grown and in the past 12 months has gone from strength to strength, winning awards all over the country as well as introducing audiences to a more diverse form of choir, music and performance.

What sets the group apart from others is that it is made up of 50 per cent deaf members. Most signing choir groups have a much higher percentage of hearing participants.

Hull Visual Voices at the Jersey Eisteddfod competition.

Hull Visual Voices at the Jersey Eisteddfod competition.

The group has performed all over the region, including Leeds, Grimsby and Beverley.

Last year they came away with a silver certificate at the Jersey Eisteddfod competition and recently competed in a national competition for signing choirs.

Whilst opening up the world of music to deaf participants, the group is also helping raise deaf awareness. As part of Deaf Awareness week last month the choir visited Thorngumbald Primary School to perform in an assembly and talk about deafness and sign language.

Councillor Dave Craker, portfolio holder for culture and leisure at Hull City Council, said: “Hull Visual Choir is doing an amazing job of raising deaf awareness, as well as making singing and music more inclusive.”

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