Deaf News: Nottingham to host first UK National Signing Choir Competition

Posted on May 20, 2016

The first national Signing Choir competition will be held in Nottingham.

It promises to be a fantastic event championing British Sign Language as a visual art form and celebrating Sign Language like never before, according to the event organisors.

The event, which is being held at Nottingham’s Albert Hall on Saturday March 11th 2017 will showcase Signing Choirs from around the UK.

The event, which is being organised by Simon Astill, who is Deaf himself, is being run with the support of local businesses, aiming to be a fully accessible event where the audience can expect a carnival atmosphere.

Simon and his partner Sue are both seasoned signed song performers and have previously performed at Wembley Arena and the O2 in London amongst other venues nationally. They also run two Community Signing Choirs in Radcliffe on Trent and Derby.


The competition has been a dream of Simon’s since he took two choirs to Jersey to perform at the Eisteddfod there in 2014.

“We competed against 3 other choirs and I thought there are a lot more choirs who should be performing on this level but the cost of travelling to Jersey was a huge mountain for choirs to climb.”

After that, Simon decided to make it his ambition to create a Signing Choir competition on the mainland.

Simon who himself is profoundly deaf, was struck down with Mantle Cell Lymphoma in 2015, and it was during his recovery periods that he built his dream into reality.

“The choirs were what kept me going through some really tough times, I spent a lot of time organising events for them to perform, translating songs from English to British Sign Language and sourcing the music before passing all my ideas over to Sue who conducts the choirs under my directions”.

Tickets are available now from or through


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Posted in: deaf news