Deaf performer stops by Narellan Town Centre on national awareness tour

Spreading music: Murray Mandel was born profoundly deaf, but that hasn't stopped him from playing classical music all across Australia. Picture: Chris Lane
Spreading music: Murray Mandel was born profoundly deaf, but that hasn't stopped him from playing classical music all across Australia. Picture: Chris Lane

Armed with just his guitar and smile, Murray Mandel is raising money and changing minds.

Mr Mandel was born almost 100 per cent deaf in both ears, but despite his hurdles he's been filling shopping centres across Australia with music for almost three years.

He's in the Macarthur area this week, playing classical guitar at Narellan Town Centre to earn donations for Lifeline and inspire the deaf and hard of hearing.

Mr Mandel performed at Macarthur Square last week, which was his 150th shopping centre of his massive Australian tour.

"This type of fundraising tour has never happened before in Australia, possibly the world," he said.

"I decided to go for three years instead of one or two years in order to put all my efforts into raising as much public awareness as possible, which takes time.

"I thought Lifeline was a very worthy cause, and all donations from shoppers passing by are given 100 per cent to them."

Mr Mandel began his tour in Canberra back in March 2017, after purchasing a campervan. He'll finish up back in Canberra on March 9 this year.

The performer had a long career before he ever picked up the guitar, working previously as a hospital microbiologist, then teaching Qigong and Tai Chi.

Mr Mandel said he researched classical music pieces over the internet, practising every night for four to seven hours.

"Over many years I've had a build-up of my sense of determination, and that enabled me to carry on with life and learn classical guitar playing," he said.

"The sense of determination, persistence and patience allowed me to have three successful careers.

"Regular exercises and especially Qigong and Tai Chi help me enormously with my concentration when performing classical guitar over a long period of time - and of course my hearing aid, one of the most powerful in the world, also helps."

Mr Mandel said he had thoroughly enjoyed his tour so far.

"There have been so many incredible highlights," he said.

"It has been a very gruelling tour, but a real privilege.

"People approach me during my performances wanting to have a chat, whether it's regarding Lifeline or not, some want to speak about their own personal problems that Lifeline can help with.

"That keeps me going, it's such a vital tour for my fellow Australians."

Mr Mandel will perform at Narellan Town Centre from Thursday, January 16 to Sunday, January 19, between 10am and 3pm.

He has raised more than $65,000 for Lifeline on his tour so far.

This story Deaf performer stops by Narellan Town Centre on national awareness tour first appeared on Camden-Narellan Advertiser.