Even if you aren’t the parent of a young girl, you’re doubtless aware that the “Let It Go” song from the Disney movie Frozen has gained enormous popularity. Now the song will reportedly get exposure to an even wider audience. According to a recent announcement, 2 graduates from the Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf (RIT/NTID) will be featured in an American Sign Language (ASL) music video of the “Let It Go” song.
A report from RIT/NTID, which is a co-sponsor of the Disney-approved video, says the video will be released at 11 a.m. (EST) on January 25, 2015 via the YouTube page of the Deaf Professional Arts Network, or D-PAN. This new video is the latest of a series of music videos performed in sign language and posted on YouTube.
The ASL video of “Let It Go” stars Amber Zion, an actress who signed the national anthem at last year’s Super Bowl, and Jason Listman, an assistant professor who teaches ASL to interpreting students at NTID.
“Because the song has metaphors, it is nice to open your mind and translate that into ASL,” said Zion. She said Disney released 25 versions of “Let It Go” in various languages but, until now, they hadn’t done an ASL version.
In the same announcement, Listman reported that he discovered music when he was 13, and has since posted five ASL music videos, generating more than 1 million views cumulatively. He said he’s happy there is an outlet that allows him to share his struggles and joys through translating songs into ASL, and to show others that songs can be translated in sign language. He’s particularly happy to show hearing people that deaf people should be in the spotlight when it comes to signing songs in ASL.
“The rise in popularity of music videos in sign language is due in large measure to people like Jules, and RIT/NTID alumni Sean Forbes, Amber, Jason, and all those who worked on this video,” said NTID President Gerry Buckley. “We are proud to help sponsor this video as a way to ensure that all audiences—deaf and hearing—get to enjoy the richness and beauty of signed expression.”
The video had an all-deaf crew, including noted film director Jules Dameron. Other RIT/NTID graduates involved include Jess Thurber, assistant producer; Ruan du Plessis, director of photography; and Erik Call, who worked behind the scenes.
The D-PAN network, on which the video will be released, was created by Sean Forbes, an RIT/NTID graduate who performs in live shows and music videos. Forbes said he is happy to add the “Let It Go” video to his website.
Source: Rochester Institute of Technology’s National Technical Institute for the Deaf (RIT/NTID)