These singers aren't heard, but seen - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

These singers aren't heard, but seen

October 1, 2006

Albany -- A unique choir performs their songs for crowds of people, but these singers don't neccessarily need to be able to carry a tune.

The Southwest Georgia Silent Singers use American Sign Language to interpret songs. The group performs their talents in a way both deaf and hearing people understand.

It's a small choir of 16. Their songs aren't very loud, but their voices touch many.

"It's just a whole new world, I never expected it was going to be this fun to learn sign language," said Clemons.

Stephanie Clemons has only been with the group four months, and like every other member she has her own reasons for learning the language.

"A friend of mine had a stroke a couple of years ago and he can't talk. I said that would be neat if I can communicate with Danny through sign language," said Stephanie Clemons.

It's language that speaks, though no words are heard. The Silent Singers want to bring the joy of music to those who can hear, and at the same time those who can't.

"Our aim is to reach out and touch the lives of people, and to put a little joy, a little excitement back into their life," said Kitchens.

Excitement to the young and the old, those hearing impaired and those who are not. The group reaches out to all people.

"Everybody should have an interest in some other type of language or to be able to communicate with people, no matter what language they speak," said Suttles.

Stephanie Clemons is new at signing, but says communicating to the deaf enriches her life and someone else's.

"It gives you a joy to know hey I know what they're trying to say," said Clemons.

Through signing songs instead of singing, the group wants to bring people joy.

And their message is heard and seen by all.

The group dedicates twice a week to practice and developing their musical talents. All performers are volunteers, and they've shared their message to people statewide.

Their programs include these themes: "A Salute to America," "Delightfully Christmas," "National Anthem," "Rejoice!" (Gospel music), "That's Entertainment" (broadway and popular television themes), "The Joy of Being American," and other musical selections.

To learn more about joining the group or booking a show call director of the Southwest Georgia Silent Singers, Jeanne Sexson at 888-2220.

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