June 19 2013 Latest news:
by Tim Lamden
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
A Highgate children’s choir on the brink of collapse six months ago is hoping for a brighter future after performing in front of an estimated one billion people around the world at last week’s Olympic opening ceremony.
Kaos Signing Choir for Deaf and Hearing Children performed the national anthem in front of the Queen and a crowd of 80,000 packed into the Olympic Stadium, in Stratford, last Friday – as well as a global TV audience.
The group is believed to be London’s only fully inclusive choir for both hearing and deaf children, running classes at Highgate Primary School and Blanche Nevile School for deaf children, both in Storey Road.
It also runs weekly workshops in Muswell Hill and Hornsey.
Kaos worker Ali Wood, who lead last Friday’s performance as the ‘signductor’, said: “It was a once in a lifetime experience, a global experience that the children will never forget.”
The choir of 87 children aged between eight and 17 years old, including a number of deaf children, sang God Save The Queen, with each child signing the words at the same time.
Chorister Rosa Thorlby, 12, said: “It was really amazing to know that the whole world was watching and it was pretty amazing to be so near to the Queen.”
Kaos were asked to perform by ceremony director Danny Boyle, who was reportedly keen to have sign language represented as a UK language.
But only six months ago the group, who have no official funding and rely on donations to operate, were in financial turmoil and fundraising desperately to survive.
Parent Katherine Mount, 38, of Nightingale Lane, Hornsey, watched her deaf son Ethan perform with the choir at the stadium.
She said: “They are a wonderful organisation - I sincerely hope that this is now a chance for them to prosper because I don’t know what we would do without them.”