‘DEE-SIGN BSL CHOIR’ are a fund raising group of volunteers under the umbrella of Chester & District Committee for Deaf People Reg.Charity No. 237910 based at Chester Deaf Centre, South View Road, Chester CH1 4JG.
The funds raised annually by the choir appear on page 12 of Chester & District annual accounts under the heading VIPs (Volunteers in Partnership) – see Charity Commission site for details (Chester & District Committee for Deaf People reg.charity No. 237910) Details of donations made by Dee-Sign Choir also appear HERE.
The choir also support Deafness Support Network (DSN) with applications for funding for people residing in Chester & District. DSN is registered in England and Wales as a Registered Chartiy No. 506791 and is a company Ltd by Guarantee No.1323762, Registered address: 144, London Road, Northwich CW9 5HH.
Originally formed in 1997 “Dee Sign” Choir performs in British Sign Language to music. British Sign Language (BSL) is the official language of Deaf people in the UK. We translate the words of many popular songs into BSL and perform them at events in and around Chester.
The Choir is made up of parents of Deaf children, students of BSL, volunteers and members of the local Deaf Community. As we perform mostly in the Chester area our name is a combination of the river “Dee” and what we do best….. “Sign”. We hope that Dee Sign Choir will encourage more people to learn BSL and become involved with the local Deaf Community.
The music we sign to is varied, Pop, Rock and Christmas Songs and Carols in season. Not every song lends itself to sign language and repetitive songs although tuneful are boring to do.We try to choose interesting songs where the signs flow into one another making the appearance of what we do more graceful.
Profoundly Deaf people in our choir only have the words of the songs not the music, so it is important that they like what they are signing.
The choir competed in and won the BSL Choir competition at the Jersey Eisteddfod in 2010/2011 & 2015, with the Juniors winning silver at their first attempt in 2011. The winning performance was filmed by BBC 2 and broadcast as part of the See Hear programme.
In 2012 the Choir was Awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (MBE) and in 2013 they received the Team of the Year Award from Scottish Power/Trinity Mirror.
The choir has also appeared on various televised performances including Granada TV during a Christmas broadcast where they joined a local choir ‘Handbags of Harmony’ performing ‘White Christmas”.
The Choir are members of the National Association of Choirs.
THE AWARDS WON 2015 – JERSEY EISTEDDFOD
- Platinum Award & Billy Dorkins Memorial Trophy – Senior Choir
- Gold Award & Paul Whittaker Trophy – Junior Choir
- Gold award – Junior Trio
- Silver Award – Junior Trio
- Silver Award – Adult Solo