Sign Language Choirs
The Hands of Praise Youth Sign Language Choir
This choir meets Mondays at 6:00 p.m. in rooms D23 and D24. Hands of Praise is a beginning sign language choir for children and youth. The members learn sign language and performance skills in a fun environment, performing in worship services, at other church events, and at other churches. All children and youth (ages 8 and up) are encouraged to join. For more information about the Hands of Praise Youth Sign Language Choir, email Rosemary Glithero at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join the Hands of Joy Sign Language Choir
Join us Wednesdays from 6 pm to 7:30 pm in the Chapel. All are welcome! You do not need to know how to sign. If you would ever want to just learn some sign language but never perform with the choir, you are more than welcome to join us. You only need a love for the Lord and an adventuresome spirit! Contact the director, Gail Hahn, at email@example.com.
The Hands of Joy Sign Language Choir was started at the request of a deaf couple who began attending St Matthew United Methodist Church in 1984. Diana Williams began interpreting the church services for them, started a beginner's sign language class so church members could learn to communicate with the couple, then 3 months later the choir signed Silent Night at their first Christmas Eve service. The rest, as they say, is history.
The choir has been made up of hearing, hard of hearing and deaf members. Some have been interpreters and others have learned to sign just from being in the choir. Some have had deaf children or partners while others have learned to sign for the joy and beauty of interpreting songs. Several have decided to become interpreters and have completed their training at Phoenix College and continue to work in the deaf community. Students from PC have come to observe choir practice and even joined the choir for a semester or two.
Hands of Joy has signed all over the state of AZ from Flagstaff to Green Valley, from the eastern border of the state to Blythe, CA. They have performed numerous times for the City of Phoenix's MLK Celebration, opened Diamondback baseball games with the National Anthem, presented concerts at the Salvation Army, UMOM Day Center, Annual Conference for the United Methodist Church, various churches throughout the valley and many RV parks and assisted living facilities. They have taped several segments for Sign Out, a TV show produced by KAET that gave notice of city and state activities for the deaf community. All of the presentations are done at no charge but with the mission statement in heart and mind - to spread the awareness of deafness and the love of sign language, and to share the love of Jesus Christ. Although sponsored by St Matthew UMC, the choir is ecumenical meaning members do not have to belong to the church to be a part of the choir. Numerous denominations are represented by the members.
The choir is available for concerts throughout the year and can be scheduled by contacting the director, Gail Hahn, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Programs are tailored to the requestor's need.