The Evening Standard has reported that the NDCS deaf children’s choir, which signs in Trafalgar Square every Christmas, has pulled out of this year’s carol service after officials insisted that they sign traditional songs with no backing music, and initially banned the use of a public address system.
This is a real blow to the London Deaf community, who often come out in force to support and join in with the choir.
A deaf children’s choir has pulled out of a Trafalgar Square Christmas carol service after officials banned the use of a public address system and objected to their performance of Last Christmas by Wham!
The National Deaf Children’s Society uses sign language to accompany festive carols which are played through the PA system.
The Greater London Authority, which organises the event planned for 12 December, said this year that no PA will be allowed. The GLA wants to make the service more traditional with no backing music or modern tunes. Last year the choir raised £700 in an hour for deaf children with its appearance at the carol service.
Emma Watson, community and events executive at the the Islington-based charity, said: “The choir have been practising for weeks in their lunch hours and are incredibly disappointed, as it looks unlikely they will now be able to perform. Practising to sign along to songs takes a lot of time. It is simply not possible to learn a whole new song list by December.”
After being contacted by the Standard, the GLA agreed to allow the choir to use a small PA system. However, the choir has said that it is still excluded because its songs are not traditional enough.
A GLA spokesman said they got rid of the stage and PA to create “a more traditional atmosphere” and encourage the audience to gather closer to the choirs taking part.
With thanks to Sara Jae.
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