Throughout the early 1980s, the New Zealand Deaf community created two sign singing supergroups: The Sign Singers from Auckland, and The Silent Singers from Christchurch. These two groups pioneered Sign Singing as an art form and gained considerable public admiration for their efforts. Both groups made appearances on national Telethon events, and the Auckland group also were regulars on the Stars on Sunday programme, making more appearances than any other single group. Sign Singing was not only great fun for the performing sign singers, but also gave the hearing population a cultural point of reference in relating to NZSL and Deaf people. It created an universal connection, and hearing people took to supporting the groups with great enjoyment during numerous appearances and tours.