Lincoln interpreter hopes first sign language choir will bring music to the hearing-impaired

A Lincoln sign language interpreter is hoping the county’s first signing choir will bridge communication gaps for people with hearing disabilities.

Natalie Stacey, 26, has studied sign language since her school days and has almost finished her high-level qualifications.

As a classically trained violinist, her musical flair and knowledge in the signing field sparked an idea which she hopes people of all abilities can get involved in.

Natalie (R) with her sister Nicole. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Natalie (R) with her sister Nicole. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Demonstrating how sign singing works with a rendition of Let It Go from Disney’s Frozen, Natalie visited The Lincolnite in order to invite people from across Lincolnshire to join her choir.

She expects to create a Facebook page soon, where people can look out for updates and she’s asking that anyone interested in joining contacts her at bslchoir2016@gmail.com or by calling 07584071851.

Natalie has big ambitions for the choir if enough people come forward and she has her eyes set on this year’s Lincoln Christmas Market for her first group performance and competitions in the future.

She explained how she got into signing: “I was at school and a good friend of mine and he taught me a few signs and it really sparked an interest.

“From then I started learning and did a British Sign Language (BSL) course in Lincoln and have been completing qualifications for the last few years.

“Then I decided to become a communication support officer for the deaf and I work in a college and university in Peterborough.

“I will have my level six qualifications at the end of December, which is at an honours level.

“Before I got into sign language I was a classically trained violinist so I’ve been learning music for a long time.

“A lot of people think that deaf people and music don’t really go together but they can. Expressing that through an art form is really special.

“In a sense I am bringing music to deaf people and bridging communication barriers by bringing hearers and deaf people together.

“Lots of people see people signing and don’t know how to make contact so this is a good way of getting everyone involved and meeting people.

“All my performances are full BSL translations.”

She also plans to launch a business in communication support for the deaf in the near future, offering interpretation services and sign language help to firms.

Natalie has already got her sister Nicole on board with the choir and is encouraging anyone who is interested to get in touch.

Spaces are first come first serve and Natalie has booked her first meeting for November 8 (location still to be decided).