A CLARINETIST from Cwmbran is hoping to inspire hearing-impaired children to pursue their dreams after winning a national competition by the National Deaf Children’s Society.
Fifteen-year-old Poppy Clough lost her hearing following a degenerative condition, but that has not deterred her from continuing with her passion for music.
The Cwmbran High School student is one of 24 winners of the Raising the Bar competition, which features deaf children from all over the UK and across the performing arts.
“I hope that other children in the area are able to see what I’ve achieved and use it to inspire them,” said the Llantarnam teenager.
“Being deaf, it keeps a lot of children back and stops you from doing what you want to do, like listening to music or TV. It is quite common for deaf children to think, ‘Well, I can’t hear, so how am I I am going to play music?’.”
Poppy, whose winning entry was a clip of the iconic Raiders’ MarchRaiders’ March from The Raiders of the Lost ArkThe Raiders of the Lost Ark film, was selected by a panel of experts and professionals from the arts industry, all of whom are deaf as well, for “‘showcasing exceptional talent in music”’.
She will join the other competition victors in Birmingham over the weekend of Saturday, June 18 and Sunday, June 19 for a masterclasses and live performances to friends and family.
“It’s very exciting to win. The competition featured a lot of deaf children from across the UK, so to win is fantastic. It is more special to me, as a deaf person, this is something which only deaf children can win,” said Poppy, who started playing in year three at school.
“The doctors discovered that I was deaf when I was nine and I had already started playing the clarinet at that point. I started before I lost my hearing,” she added.
“Despite being deaf, I have not found learning the instrument any more difficult than someone who can hear. It has spurred me on to be better at the clarinet.”
Her mother, Rebecca, said: “What I have found really exciting is seeing Poppy as a very positive role model and ambassador for deaf young people.
“It shows that deaf young people can achieve things.”