Controversy over Seattle Men’s Chorus interpreter

Yesterday, the Seattle-Times reported that choir interpreter failed to provide “accurate” ASL interpretation of chorus songs were more geared to the hearing mass. 

“While beautiful and engaging, Kevin Gallagher’s interpretations of chorus performances, the protesters say, seem designed more to entertain the hearing audience than serve the deaf or hard of hearing who want to understand what’s being sung.” 

Today, Ian Aranha penned an open letter to Mr Stilwagner (Frank Stilwagner, executive director of Flying House Productions) that were quite critical of Gallagher performance. Here are some excerpts: 

In short: Kevin’s interpretation is way totally out of context. You now have visual evidence of how of how ignorant he is in interpreting the context of the song. There’s a line that goes: “…if a sperm is wasted, God becomes quite irate.” Kevin signed: “…f*** you God, I will do as I please.” Totally different contexts right? How can a classic of the the modern world be destroyed by incompetent interpreting? Did you see him sign that song? 


I beg you to be partial. Don’t take my word. Take the video and go ask ANY Deaf person if they understand that song. Ask any hearing person who is fluent in sign if they understand the CONTEXT of what Mr Gallagher is signing. I stake my reputation on assuring you that not one will say “Kevin is doing a great job.”

Below is the video (go to 1:42) :

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Thomsen Young

Founder of SG