AN INSPIRATIONAL borough teenager who suffers from multiple learning difficulties and lives life on crutches will shine a light on Solihull when singing solo in Paris at the Notre Dame later this year.
13-year-old Harrison Morton-Deaville has been a member of St Alphege Boys Church Choir for five years and suffered with aspergers and dyslexia from a young age – which initially made it impossible for him to keep up with the challenges that music brings.
In addition to his learning difficulties, Harrison also suffers from an acute slipped upper femoral epiphysis (SUFE) resulting in severe damage to the hip – meaning he is still on crutches to this day.
Currently, Harrison makes the 90-mile round trip every day to Bredon School near Tewkesbury – a specialist dyslexic school.
The story doesn’t stop there, however, as now Harrison is preparing for the biggest year of his life after proving himself as an elite singer and is now the choir’s principle soloist.
Despite all of his setbacks, Harrison will appear at the Notre Dame as part of the choir’s tour of Paris – which will take place in July – and also work towards singing a substantial solo ‘Hear my Prayer’ on a disc to be produced by Regent Records.
Joe Cooper, director of music at St Alphege Choir, said – despite his own personal disadvantages – Harrison is a valued member of the team and has an unparalleled level of commitment.
He said: “Harrison’s level of commitment to our choir is extraordinary, he travels thousands of miles each year to sing and as director of music I’m chuffed with his progress.
“He turns up to rehearsals and is always there without fail – he’s a popular member and everyone gets along with him.”
Mr Cooper added that anyone is welcome to the choir – ahead of their plans to release another professional CD.
He added: “The boys meet every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday and we sing services at church, various concerts and tour also.
“Even for boys with problems like Harrison, they find a place within the choir and are welcomed warmly.
“Every boy is taught to work as a team and encourage one another to achieve results none of them could achieve on there own.”
Also featuring in the boys choir is Matthew Baumber – who this year became the choir’s new head chorister after being born with tricuspid atresia, often referred to as half a heart.