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What a success!

The first Lowestoft Mayoral Signing Choir Concert took place in the afternoon of Saturday 25th April

Choirs from all over the country attended and performed to a packed audience.

During the event, The Lowestoft Signing Choir handed over the Billy Dorkins Memorial Trophy to the Derby Community Signing Choir - awarded to the Best Signing Choir at the annual Jersey Eisteddfod.


Our sincere thanks to Stephen Ardley, Mayor of Lowestoft, and staff from The Sports & Leisure Centre, Water Lane, for their support and efforts securing the venue and arrangements for this concert to take place.
More detail and many more pictures can be found at the Lowestoft Journal Article: Lowestoft Journal 

Lowestoft Signing Choir Win at the Jersey Eistedfodd!
What an amazing weekend and phenomenal achievement the Jersey trip proved to be. OMG, members of The Lowestoft Signing Choir you are wonderful!! I can truly say that was one of our best ever performances. The applause we received, the comments and score awarded by PaulWhittaker, is proof of the exuberance, energy, emotion, dynamics and professionalism of the performance. As Paul said, the synchronization was breath taking and he also liked our interpretations, our sincere thanks to Ann for leading us through that element.

Even though we were the only competitors in our class, as you know we could have come away with absolutely nothing! On the mark sheet, which I have photocopied for you all, possible awards were, copper, bronze, silver, gold and platinum, but as you know, the staff at The Opera House were only too happy to tell us that they had previously received one entry from England, and they had gone home with nothing!! Not The Lowestoft Signing Choir!!!
As Marian put it, "We came, we signed, we conquered".

We were hugely successful in other ways too. Everyone we met was interested and engaged by the choir. Deaf Awareness must have shot through the roof at the weekend, from the staff and general public at the airport to the actual flight crew, including the pilot, to the staff at the hotel, and audience at the competition.
Let's also take a moment to reflect on the enormity of the amazing adventure we have just experienced. Plans began 18 months ago, fund raising for over a year. This was no day trip for the meek hearted. It was full on action from beginning to end, both exhausting and exhilarating. Out of the 30 of us who went, 10 had some level of Deafness and 4 had additional needs. Some had never been on a plane, let alone to such a huge airport, while others were terrified of flying - full stop! Going through security in its self was quite stressful for some members. The whole trip was a huge learning curve for all of us in one way or another. One thing that shone through, was the support and kindness that all members shared and offered to each other. The whole choir jelled, got to know each other and came together as one, not only in signing but also in friendship.

Unfortunately due to health and safety issues, and time restraints, there was no opportunity for a walk off hotel grounds. We must remember also,that the trip was solely to attend the competition, not a free weekend away. Our sponsors were extremely generous and all the Jersey money has been spent, exact cost is currently being calculated.
We could not have been looked after any better by any of the people we came into contact with. From Gatwick airport to the super hotel and its fabulous staff in Jersey. The delay to our performance was the only blot on the landscape and completely beyond our control. We got on that stage and came alive!! We rocked we really, really did!
The stars of the show were our five youngsters, Lewis, Alicia, Emma, Ben & Daniel. Their behaviour the whole weekend was impeccable. They are ambassadors and the future of the choir. Let's celebrate and congratulate them.
Anyone who witnessed Daniel, on Sunday morning, clinging onto the trophy, laughing and signing with Paul, will be in no doubt of the success of our trip.

Our thanks to all the committee for their support,especially Ann for organizing the flights, Marian for sorting the finances, Ros for all hotel arrangements and a particularly scrummy lunch, but most of all to you, the 30 members of The Lowestoft Signing Choir - who are The Jersey Gold Cup Winners!!!

One of our members has put pen to paper and cleverly created a poem that encapsulates the choir and a typical choir event - enjoy!

If it's entertainment that you require,
Just book The Lowestoft Signing Choir.
There's many a tune that we have mastered,
In spite of the times when Liz was plastered!
The signing of our Dear Liz Bloice,
is so much better than her voice!
And if she messes up a bit,
We just copy and sign 'Oh S**t'!
We have some laughs as we travel around,
Our Robbie the Roadie takes care of sound.
We have two first-aiders, Julie and Brian,
On hand to make sure no-one's dying!
We get along together and work so well,
To promote Deaf Awareness and BSL.
All dressed in black shoes and trousers,
Aftr texting "Is it T-Shirts or blouses?"
We sign with musicians and bell ringers,
Though some people still assume we're singers!
So if you're planning a concert or local fete,
Look no further because we are great!

By Ann Jillings.
Choir member