Handy Voices part of the RoAR Disability Youth Arts Festival 1 September 2017

Handy Voices has been invited to be part of the RoAR Disability Youth Arts Festival in Oxford at the Art- T Centre (Ark T Centre  Crowell Road, OX4 3LN Oxford, Oxfordshire)  on 1 September 2017.  Our leader, Christine DeBlase will be running a sign singing workshop and working with the audience to find a new way of using their voice to express themselves and the music.

RoAR is a one day festival from 11am- 4pm to celebrate youth disability arts through the creative endeavours of the Arts Awards projects funded by a partnership between Oxfordshire County Council and Artswork.

The Handy Voices workshop will take place at 12:30pm.  Everyone of any age is welcome. Come and check it out.   

Further details available on their Facebook page  or  RoaR 2017_A4

The Oxford Mail published a piece on the Festival. Download that here.


Exciting New!! Announcement of first session in September! Monday 18 September 7:15pm

Great news everyone!

Handy Voices will start back with a bang on Monday 18 September from 7:15pm at the Oxford Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre.

FREE coffee/tea/biscuits on arrival and the fun starts promptly at 7:30pm!

We are open to all levels of hearing and work to be completely inclusive.

No BSL experience needed,  just a willingness to get stuck in and give it a go!

We have members who have never signed before and members who it was their first language and preferred communication method,

Get in touch if you want more information either on the contact form on this site or on handyvoices@gmail.com


We Won! Innovation Award awarded to Handy Voices against huge competition!

Last night, Tuesday 9 May 2017,  Handy Voices Signing Choir was invited to the Oxford Charity and Volunteer Action Awards.  I was there with my husband, Rand Russell to represent the team.

We were shortlisted for 2 categories, Best New Group and Innovation.  It was lovely to be in the Town Hall with about 300 people watching, hearing about our achievements from the speaker and seeing our names on the big screen,  but then they called our name and I was so shocked and surprised.  It was a great moment.  

So proud of all that Handy Voices has achieved since our inception in September 2014 when we were partnered with SongScope and then breaking out on our own from June 2015. Since that time we have gone from strength to strength and have started to make a difference in the local community. Long may that continue!  

Official photos to be put up soon, but here are a few selfies of me with the award from last night!

Handy Voices invited to the OCVA Awards

Handy Voices has been invited to attend the Oxfordshire Charity and Volunteer Awards as it has been nominated for an award in two categories: Best new group and Innovation.

Christine DeBlase, our choir leader will represent Handy Voices at the Award Ceremony held in the Oxford Town Hall on Tuesday 9 May 2017.   Pictures of the event will be posted as soon as possible. Wish us luck!

BREAKING NEWS! HV has a new venue! Moving to Oxford Deaf and HOH Centre!

Yes it is has happened!

Handy Voices has moved its operations to Oxfordshire’s hub for the D/deaf community, the beautiful and historic Oxford Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre.

This centre has been in Oxford and working with the Deaf community for over 60 years and to help with our outreach, our vision and our growth, our move here was timely.

Sessions will continue to take place on:

Wednesday evenings (Term Time only)
7:15pm- 9:00pm.

Google map to venue: HERE   Look forward to welcoming you there!

Jersey Eisteddfod is coming up!

Handy Voices is getting very excited as we have 6 entries in this year’s Jersey Eisteddfod (the world’s largest sign singing competition)held in St Helier, Jersey on 5 November 2016. We have been very brave and this is the first year that we have entered as Handy Voices Signing Choir into the competition with two duets, two solos and two small group pieces. It is very exciting and wish us the luck!  We are really looking forward to it!

January 13th 2016: First session and our theme for the year, DIVAS!!

Great first session of the year– well done Handy Voices!  

We have chosen our theme for the year and it is DIVAS!!   This means I have chosen songs either performed or about Divas and I look forward to bringing out the inner Diva in each of the members. 

If you want to join us, term has just started!  It is a 10 week term 13 January- 23 March ( not 17 February) 2016.   It would be great to see you and join in the fun.

If you are interested in seeing what we do or would like to book us to perform, please contact us on handvoices@gmail.com.

We Won!! HV members won both Solo and Adult Mixed Age Ensemble at the Jersey Eisteddfod Sign Singing Competition!

It was an amazing night at the Jersey Eisteddfod – wonderful to see so many amazing signed song performers in one evening. And we are proud and delighted to report that our very own Christine DeBlase gave a super performance of ‘Rabbit Heart’ by Florence and the Machine and won the Solo category with 86 points and a Silver adjudication!!

We then went on with Christine, her husband Rand Russell and daughter, Alexandra Ballstadt, won the Mixed Age Ensemble category  with their rendition of Nina Simone’s ‘Feelin’ Good’- both hotly contested competitions.

Jersey Eisttoffod photo 5 IMG_0343 IMG_0341 IMG_0362 photo 4

Huge congratulations to Christine and her family – what a wonderful result for us!!   Well done to everyone who performed and entertained us all.  See you next year!

Handy Voices Christmas Performances 2015! Come and check us out!!

We are very pleased to announce that we will have a number of Christmas performances in the coming months.  It is free to come and see us perform and look forward to seeing you there.

Saturday 21 November 6:30pm  Hearing Dogs Christmas Market   Detail of the market are available here

Sunday 13 December 12:00pm  Oxford Christmas Market (Broad Street,  Oxford by Cath Kidson shopfront)

Sunday 13 December 2:30pm     Performing at the BSL interpreted version of The Christmas Carol at The Pegasus Theatre.  Tickets for the show include our performance as well.

Exciting News! Let’s Cheer her on!!

Handy Voices Leader Christine DeBlase to compete at the Jersey Eisteddfod

We are very excited to announce that the choir leader to Handy Voices will be competing at this year’s Sign Singing competition at the Jersey Eisteddfod on 7 November 2015. This evening of sign singing competition is the biggest night in the social calendar in the year for the the Jersey Deaf community. It is an incredible opportunity to raise Deaf awareness as well as to network with other Signing Choirs around England, Scotland, Wales and the Channel Islands.   More information about the event is available on the Jersey Eisteddfod website.

Christine will be performing/competing in two categories; Solo and a Trio.  The solo song is “Rabbit Heat” by Florence and the Machine and the trio ( which will be performed with her daughter and husband ) is Feelin’ Good by Nina Simone.

We wish her the best of luck on the night and can’t wait to see the photos and any videos!! Go Christine!