Handy Voices members to be involved in Buddy Ensemble at Blenheim Palace on 10th July 2019

Great news!   HV members have been asked to be part of the performance by Oxfordshire County Music Services.  Handy Voices and Youth Handy Voices were part of the incredible performance at the Music for Youth Proms performed at the Royal Albert Hall in November 2018. OCMS has been asked to repeat this performance in style at Blenheim Palace on Wednesday 10 July and we will have invited to have a special role in this show.

This show promises to be  a spectacular performance featuring the Buddy Ensemble from the Royal Albert Hall and featuring other top Oxfordshire Ensembles including Flute Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, Clarinet Choir, Bassoon Ensemble, String Quartets and Oxfordshire Youth Choir.

Tickets £10 from www.blenheimpalace.com/ocms

A message from Angela Turton, Head of Oxfordshire County Music Service:

I am delighted to invite you to a very special concert at Blenheim Palace on Wednesday 10 July at 7.30pm.

Last November, 570 of our Oxfordshire children and young people performed magnificently at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the Music for Youth Proms. Oxfordshire’s Lord Lieutenant, Tim Stevenson, has asked me to produce a local version of this spectacular concert. The participants: singers, orchestral players and dancers, were buddied together – those with special educational needs and disabilities alongside their able-bodied buddies.

The children not only performed to an extremely high standard, they also brought the house down with an extended standing ovation and many audience members reduced to tears!

Whilst we cannot reproduce the 12-minute performance exactly as it was, the indoor space at Blenheim Palace will accommodate 50 performers who are excited to re-live this special performance, the memory of which will remain with them for many years. Additional items in the concert will be provided by Oxfordshire County Music Service’s advanced chamber ensembles, making for a varied and high-quality concert programme which I am sure you will enjoy.


Handy Voices reinstated! Sessions from 3 June 2019 to 22 July 2019

Very happy to announce that after a short hiatus that Handy Voices Signing Choir is back!  We have a few performances already lined up,  Oxford Pride: 6 June, Cowley Road Carnival: 7 July and the Supernormal Festival: 2 August.  Session still run on Monday evenings from 7:15pm to 9:00pm from 3 June to 22 July.  Sessions are £5/session including free tea/coffee/biscuits.  All are welcome and no BSL experience needed. Hope to see you there!

Handy Voices Closing for Time Being

It is with great regret that I have decided to close Handy Voices Signing Choir for the time being. As most of you know my family has had two family bereavements that have taken emotional and physical toll. My focus must be right now on taking any extra energy that I have to heal. This will take effect immediately– so this means there will not be a session tomorrow (Monday).
All subs that have been paid for future sessions by members who sent a bank transfer will be reimbursed asap. I am very sorry about this, but hope that we can reinstate Handy Voices again when I and my family am strong enough. I thank you for your help, support and kindness.

Stop the Press– Article on Youth Handy Voices entitled ‘Life changing’ choir to perform at St Edward’s

‘Life changing’ choir to perform at St Edward’s

Monday 3rd December, 7pm, open to the public, free admission

A unique carol concert performed by sign language choir, Youth Handy Voices, including pupils from St Edward’s School will take place at 7pm on Monday 3rd December. The programme will feature festive favourites such as Silent Night and hit songs including This is me from The Greatest Showman.


Some of the performers will sing the carols whilst the choir sign them in British Sign Language, offering a visual expression of the lyrics which can be very emotive.  The community project brings together young people with different abilities from different backgrounds to learn from each other, make music and have fun. The young members of Youth Handy Voices will be joined for the performance by the adult choir – Handy Voices. The experience has been rewarding and even life changing for those involved.


Of their recent participation in a major concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London for the Youth Proms (7th November), Teddies pupils Bunny Lytle and Val Purik said, ‘Maybe we did not change the world that night but certainly a lot changed for most of us in the choir. I have met a completely new group of people that I would never have met if I hadn’t signed up to take part. Being one team with such beautiful people helps me to understand the world a little better – it has been a very emotional experience.’


Choir member Shakeel, from South Oxford, feels his experience with the choir has been ‘life changing’, helping him with interactions and even a clear career path that he wants to follow.


The sign language choir is just one of a range of community partnerships undertaken by pupils at St Edward’s – elsewhere, pupils give one-to-one support at the Endeavour Academy, enjoy crafts sessions with pupils at Northern House, offer sports coaching with Wolvercote Primary, perform concerts at the Lady Nuffield Residential Home, and work with adults with autism and learning disabilities at Farmability, a co-farmers programme.


‘One of the huge advantages of being a city school is that we can be part of our local community and really get involved ….’, said Paula Diaz Rogado, Head of Community Service.


For more details, contact Tracy van der Heiden, details above and below.



Will Griffiths

Media Manager

St Edward’s School

Woodstock Road

Oxford OX2 7NN

Tel: 01865 319398

Youth Handy Voice and Handy Voices Signing Choirs to perform at Royal Albert Hall!

We are very excited that it has finally arrived. Youth Handy Voices and Handy Voices Signing Choirs are going to be performing at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the Music for Youth Proms 2018 on Wednesday 7 November 2018. We have been rehearsing for a couple of months and it is finally here. .  We will be performing as part of Oxfordshire County Music’s offer to this Proms and there will be about 500 performers from across the county. It will be an amazing site and event to be part of and I could not be prouder of my team. Wish us luck or even better, come and watch. Ticket are available on the Music for Youth site or the Royal Albert Hall website.

We will be uploading photos on our Instagram @handyvoices and our twitter account  #handyvoices.

Handy Voice and Youth Handy Voices to perform at Cowley Road Carnival 1 July!

Both Handy Voices and Youth Handy Voices Signing choirs have been invited to perform at the Cowley Road Carnival on 1 July. The Cowley Road Carnival is a loud, colourful day long festival that celebrates the diversity in Oxford once a year. One of the main arteries into the city centre, the Cowley Road  is closed for the day for all the fun and festivities to take place.   See more here for details: http://www.cowleyroadcarnival.co.uk/

We will be performing at:

11:15am on the main Carnival Music Stage on Manzil Way

12:30: In the Main Procession

1:30pm: ROAR Stage on Temple Street

Hope to see you there!

YHV and HV perform at the Common People festival

It is ALMOST here! The Launch of Youth Handy Voices!

We are very excited to announce that on Monday 16 April  2018 we will be launching a Youth Handy Voices. We will meet at the Oxford Deaf and Hard of Hearing Centre in Oxford, St Ebbes Road from 5:15pm-7:00pm

This new group is open to all youths aged 13-25 years old and we are able to offer these sessions for FREE!!

See the video that I made all about it by clicking here!

Hope to see you there!



What a weekend!! Handy Voices at the Jersey Eisteddfod 2017

Wow, what a weekend!

Handy Voices was part of the sign singing competition at the Jersey Eisteddfod.

So proud of everyone and so happy about the time that we had together.

The adventure started even before we got there with with late and/or cancelled flights.

As a team, we rehearsed on the beach in the sunshine, performed on stage in the gorgeous Jersey Opera House with work that we can be proud of and laughed hard celebrating our time together.

We presented the songs translated into BSL in a visual, funny, sweet, moving way.

The judges preferred songs that were direct translations — lyrics to sign with no or little interpretation or variation.

The certificate colours we were awarded do not match our passion, drive, or quality of performance however here is what we were awarded with: Alex and Jo received Silver Awards for their solos. Jen and Pete received Bronze for their duet, Rand received Bronze for his solo and Christine received Copper for my solo.

Thank you team for an amazing weekend and for your hard work. See you at our next session.

A massive thank you also to Vision Signing Choir (Karen and Emma) and Significant (Stef) for being great competitors and looking forward to seeing you again in the near future.