Welcome to the Dalesmen Male Voice Choir
Formed in 1987 from the white dust of a limestone quarry that is Middleton by Wirksworth, the Dalesmen have grown from a few like-minded friends to a near 70 strong choir. Their original aims of bringing the enjoyment of choral music to the wider public and of supporting charitable institutions are still very much what the choir is about. Each year we take part in over 12 concerts in venues ranging from modest village halls to grand concert halls, and in the process we entertain many hundreds of people and over the years have raised tens of thousands of pounds for charity.
In addition to keeping our local audiences entertained we usually manage an annual concert trip away for a few days, with recent years have seen us in Whitby, Glasgow and St Davids – where we attempted the difficult task of out-singing the Welsh! We also like to join in with other choirs on their home territory and have recently sung in Northampton and Bury St Edmunds.
For the last few years the choir have sponsored and organised a musical competition for students, usually in their final year of secondary education, with the winner receiving financial help towards the next stage of their education.
One of the earliest members of our choir and for many years our President, the late Rev. Reg Dean, achieved national fame as the oldest man in Britain at 110 years of age. On his passing, his son Chris Dean the well known Trombone instrumentalist and owner of the Syd Lawrence Orchestra accepted an invitation to become one of our Patrons. Chris regularly keeps in touch with the choir and often plays, sometimes with his band at our concerts.
The choir were also immensely pleased that HM Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire, Willie Tucker similarly accepted our invitation to become a Patron and often supports us at our events. As does our third Patron, James Roberson, the well known TV presenter for the BBC’s East Midlands News. James often helps us at our larger concerts where his skill with the microphone is put to good use in the role of Master of Ceremonies.
The choir has always believed that everyone should be given the chance and encouragement to sing; hence we are a non-auditioning choir. Any male singer is welcome to join us on Monday evenings at the Strutt Centre in Belper from 7.15pm.; there is no requirement to be able to read music, as music files are available for members to download for their own use.
Whatever we do we always try to keep sight of the simple fact that we all joined the choir to enjoy ourselves and maybe that’s why we are known as a very happy choir.
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Joining this prestigious and popular choir in 1993 and during that time serving as secretary for 14 years, I felt very privileged to be appointed President on the death of our former President, Rev. Reg Dean.
The Dalesmen MVC is a very friendly and caring choir, always striving to provide its audiences with the very best in entertainment.
Our MD, Paul Marshall joined us in 2014 and is ably assisted by our joint deputy MD's, John Lloyd and Robin Fugil, who work together to constantly to improve our performances and introduce new songs to our repertoire.
They are supported by our accompanist, Bill Templeman (alias Mr Reliable). The choir has a very busy programme of events we are fortunate to have a dedicated and hard working chairman and choir committee, giving freely of their time to ensure the choir is running efficiently.
2017 is our 30th anniversary, so look out for our special celebration concerts, a new CD and possibly even a DVD.
I'm looking forward to meeting you at one of our concerts. Please come and introduce yourself.
Gordon Bright President
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Bring Him Home from 'Les Miserables'
The Dalesmen perform at a spectacular 30th Anniversary Concert at Derby Cathedral on Saturday October 14th 2017
On a very warm October Saturday evening the Dalesmen celebrated their 30th Anniversary with a concert at Derby Cathedral. They were joined by The Mansfield and District MVC and St. Edmundsbury MVC (replicating a concert held in Bury St. Edmunds three years ago).
Paul Marshall welcomed everyone to the concert and in particular to two of The Dalesmen MVC Patrons, The Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire, Willie Tucker (and his wife Jill) and James Roberson (whose wife Dianne could not attend as she was suffering with flu).
Paul Marshall MD of The Dalesmen conducted the combined choirs in the opening song “Let All Men Sing” the title given to the concert evening of celebration. This was followed by the Dalesmen singing “Anthem" and “Rhythm of Life”.
Mansfield’s MD, Meryl Chambers then conducted all the choirs “With a Voice of Singing”. The Mansfield choir then took us on a journey into the plains of Africa with an “African Trilogy” as a tribute to Nelson Mandela. Ian Grice featured as soloist. This was followed by the American folk song “Shenandoah”.
The last of the three MDs, St Edmundsbury’ s Mark Jefferson then took charge of all the voices to deliver a wonderful version of “The Rose”.
Paul Marshall then brought the first half of the concert to a close by conducting “Gwahoddiad”, again sung by all the choirs.
The second half of the concert started with Meryl Chambers conducting all choirs in “An American Trilogy”. This was followed by the Mansfield choir singing “Mansions of the Lord” and “Comrade in Arms”.
120 voices then sang “Bring Him Home” conducted by Mark Jefferson that was followed by St. Edmundsbury choir delivering a wonderful medley of Burt Bacharach hits together with the Robbie Williams song “Angels”. Both these items were accompanied by the guitar and piano.
Morte Criste was sung by all the choirs (Paul Marshall conducting) and the Dalesmen then sang “Do you Hear the People Sing” and “I Write the Songs” as their last individual pieces of the concert.
However they had introduced a twist to “I Write the Songs”. The winner of the 2017 Dalesmen MVC Student Award competition, Wil Pearson, sang a couple of the verses as a solo with them.
Wil continued with two solo offerings and what a performance! He captivated the audience with his renditioning of the songs he had chosen which culminated in a standing ovation to him by all present.
All the choirs then sung “What Would I Do without My Music”, “When The Saints Go Marching In” and “You Raise Me Up” to complete the concert.
A brilliant and thoroughly enjoyable evening of musical entertainment then continued in the nearby St. Mary’s Church hall. The Dales Ladies had set out a magnificent buffet for all to enjoy and the visiting choirs decided that they wished to carry on singing and took it in turns to entertain with more songs.
Terry Chell (Chairman Dalesmen MVC) made a presentation to both choirs of hand-crafted wooden spoons carved from the same piece of wood. He hoped that they would go on separate journeys and be presented to someone who gave exceptional support to their particular choirs to replicate our President’s Award, given each year to an unsung hero in the Dalesmen MVC.