The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – The MBE for volunteer groups.
We are proud to announce on 2 June 2012, Dee-Sign Choir received notification that they had been given this prestigious award.
This award is made annually recognising and rewarding excellence in voluntary activities carried out by groups in the community. The choir were nominated by Deafness Support Network (DSN) and we thank them for their support.
Her Majesty the Queen announced the Award in 2002 to mark the occasion of her Golden Jubilee. The Award is given every year to groups of two or more people in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man who volunteer their own time to enhance the quality of life for individuals and groups in the community.
The award is the highest honour given to voluntary groups and is equivalent in status to an MBE.
The choir was particularly delighted to gain this award during Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations 2012.
Four volunteers from Dee-Sign choir were invited to attend a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace on May 29th 2012. An occasion they will never forget.
On Tuesday 16th October 2012 the Choir received a certificate signed by Her Majesty the Queen and a commemorative crystal presented by HRH The Duchess of Gloucester at an Award Ceremony at the Town Hall, Chester, The Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, David Briggs was also in attendance and The Lord Mayor of Chester, Councillor Pam Booher and Lady Mayoress of Chester, Julie Knight.
The choir were one of 112 volunteer groups chosen to receive the Award during 2012. They are very proud to have been successful.
Jersey Eisteddfod – Signing Choirs’ Competition Class
The competition first began in 2010 and Dee-Sign came away the overall winners. The choir achieved a Gold Award. The highest Award being Platinum, which no-one achieved on that occasion.
The competition is adjudicated by Dr Paul Whittaker OBE who despite being Deaf himself is an accomplished musician.
In 2011 Dee-Sign returned to Jersey to defend their title, this time their junior choir Dee-Sign Dynamix also competed. Again, the choir achieved Gold and were the first winners of the Billy Dorkin’s Memorial Trophy. While Dynamix won a Silver award.
Since setting up the competition the Eisteddfod have now introduced additional competitive classes, solos, duets, ensembles as well as full choirs, and more UK choirs are participating, so Dee-Sign decided they would enter once again.
Leading up to the date of the competition was hectic, choosing which songs to learn for the event and fitting rehearsals around our bookings.
Our volunteers all funded themselves initially, but it was agreed to try and raise funds during the lead up to the competition in order to try and reimburse some of the costs to members. We managed to raise just over £4,000, a huge thanks to all who helped. FOR DETAILS, PLEASE CLICK HERE
On November 6th, 2015, 38 choir members flew to Jersey for their 3rd visit to this wonderful Eisteddfod – the only one that includes a competitive class for British Sign Language (BSL) choirs. We entered 4 Classes –
- 1 x Solo
- 2 x Trios
- Dee-Sign Dynamix Ensemble and
- Dee-Sign Senior Choir.
Our soloist achieved a Silver Award, our trios achieved one silver and one gold award, Dee-Sign Dynamix won Gold and the Paul Whittaker Cup, and Dee-Sign Seniors achieved PLATINUM with 90 marks and the Billy Dorkin’s Memorial Trophy.
What a wonderful weekend that was. Our aim was Platinum and ‘WE DID IT‘.
We celebrated into the early hours, before having an enjoyable tour of the Island before returning home to the UK tired but very happy.
Please click below link to watch our performance on “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” at Jersey Eisteddfod 2015
The first National Signing Choir Competition
This was a fantastic event, championing British Sign Language as a visual art form and celebrating Sign Language. The event was held at Nottingham’s Albert Hall on Saturday March 11th, 2017, and showcased Signing choirs from around the UK.
According to the Dee Sign Choir Director Anne Hesketh:
What a fantastic event from start to finish. Good drive down, roads with very little traffic. The Nottingham Acapella choir were a joy to listen and watch, such an innovative performance. Andy Higgins was there and Paul Whittaker in the audience.
So proud of them all they performed to perfection, and with only eight practices to do it in. The competition was very stiff and the choir that came second, I felt was our strongest competition, Vision Signing Choir, and they performed just before us.
Thanks to Sallie and Lorraine for all their hard work.
2018 competition was hosted by Vision Signing Choir from Kent, and in 2019 it travels up to Dundee. It was featured on See Hear as BBC 2 filmed it.
First Dee-Sign Choir (Chester), 2nd Vision Signing Choir (Kent) 3rd Revolution (Kent), 4th Radcliffe Community Signing Choir (Nottingham), 10 choirs competing. All choirs received certificates.
Well done to all, I would not like to have judged it – the Junior choirs were amazing also. 4 choirs competed; youngest child aged 5. Thanks, Simon, for a fantastic night, and thanks to the Judges, and all the staff at the Albert Hall Nottingham.
Please click below link to watch our performance on National Signing Choir Competition 2017
To watch the complete performance of Dee Sign Choir at National Signing Choir Competition 2017, Click Here (please note this video may not play on some of the devices e.g., mobile phones, video game consoles, or set-top boxes.)
Dee Sign Choir featured on BBC 2 “See Hear” programme
Some pictures from the day: