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School choir to sing on the big screen

BIG TIME: The Mareeba State School Auslan Choir will get their second shot on the big screen after they recently finished filming their performance for Channel 10’s Creative Generations.

THE Mareeba State School (MSS) Auslan Choir has been given the chance to get back on the big screen after they recently filmed their choir performance for Channel 10’s ‘Creative Generations’.

Creative Generations features state school students from all across the country performing in the biggest on-stage production of state school students in the country.

The 2019 Creative Generations production was the first time that MSS had been invited to attend and 16 students were able to go. This year they return for a second time with 28 students from both the state primary and high school.

Students showcase their talents whether it be singing or dancing and for the second time MSS Auslan Choir was selected to participate.

Due to COVID-19 however the students were unable to make the annual trip down to Brisbane for the production, however channel 10 said that the show must go on and selected MSS to film their performance and send it in.

The MSS Auslan Choir is a choir that is made up of students with hearing impairments and other students, they both sing and sign songs and have often been the recipients of a number of awards.

Mareeba State School Creative Generations Organiser Sabrina Fink was delighted that the kids got the chance to perform in the Creative Generations production for a second time.

“Getting involved in this production means a lot to the students,” she said.

“The signing choir makes performances more accessible to the community and that is very important to them.

“The kids love being a part of a team, they love doing Auslan, they love what they do.”

The MSS Auslan Choir got the chance to sign with the Brisbane Signing Choir during last year’s production and this year the schools signed together over skype so that Channel 10 could showcase the partnerships between the few signing choirs in Queensland.

The MSS Auslan Choir has been around since 2013 and was made due to the high number of children at MSS that are hard of hearing.

MSS Head of Inclusive Practices Pina Carroll said that the choir is open to all students for anyone interested to come and participate.

“So that the choir is more inclusive we open it up to all students to practice doing Auslan Choir,” she said.

“The students volunteer, they give up their own time to come down and practice.

One of MSS’s key learning areas now includes Auslan learning so students in grade five and six learn how to sign.

MSS Principal Hannah Simpson has done this purposely to ensure that the students who are hard of hearing or hearing impaired are not excluded.

“It is also for that population of kids that we want to come to school every day and be happy and learning and successful,” she said.

“Part of that is ensuring that their entire peer community are supporting them.

“You can see students around the school and in the classroom signing to each other just to communicate.”

Mareeba Shire Council Mayor Angela Toppin got the chance to look at the choir from the perspective of both Mayor and a school Principal.

“Firstly as Mayor I want to acknowledge the great work that Mareeba State School does in terms of inclusivity, it’s just amazing,” she said.

“It’s an outstanding example and I acknowledge this wonderful initiative in our community.

“I am really proud about the that fact that these students from our shire are allowed this opportunity so thank you Mareeba State School for persevering and making sure our students are included.”

Mareeba State School expressed their gratitude to the community for the overwhelming support they have been giving with the students being able to go to Brisbane last year, due to the community support.

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