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 is a very friendly and caring choir, always striving to provide their audiences with the best entertainment.
Our MD, Paul Marshall joined us in 2014 and ably assisted by our long standing deputy MD, John Lloyd together work constantly to improve our performances and introduce new songs to our repertoire. Both are supported by our accompanist, Bill Templeman (alias Mr Reliable). Having a very busy programme of events we have a dedicated and hard working Chairman and Committee, giving freely of their time to ensure the choir is running efficiently. 2017 will be our 30th anniversay, so look out for our special celebration concerts and by then, we are planning to produce 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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A video sample of our concert singing
(running time 4 mins )
2016 joint concert with Beaufort Male Choir
Combined choirs singing
under Musical Director Craig James (Beaufort MC)
For more concert recording videos
click on the OUR MUSIC tab (top of this page)
St Alkmund's Church, Duffield
Saturday 8th April 2017
With the Dalesmen on stage they began with “Let All Men Sing”, followed by “The Gospel Train”, “Sloop John B”, “I Write the Songs” a Barry Manilow song that is a fairly new addition to their repertoire and finished their first session with “What would I do without my music”.
Following on from the Dalesmen was solo pianist & singer Will Pearson. It had only been a couple of weeks since Will had won the Reg Dean Trophy at the annual Dalesmen’s Student Award Competition and the audience were treated to a very polished performance by a very talented young musician.
He chose three songs from the great American song book that had brought him his success in winning the award. They were “You Don’t Know Me”, “I’ve Got the World on a String” and “Ol’ Man River” from Showboat. His repertoire received a standing ovation from a very appreciative audience.
Following on from Will were Derby A Capella, dressed in dark suits with open neck red shirts and patent shoes. They took to the stage and introduced themselves by singing “We are Derby A Cappella”. They followed this with “Zing Went the Strings of My Heart,” Glen Miller’s “Chattanooga Choo Choo”, “As Time Goes By” from the film Casablanca and “When I’m 64” by Lennon & McCartney.
Time for a short intermission and the Dales Ladies were kept very busy supplying the audience with drinks at half time and as usual there was plenty of chatter going on.
Derby A Cappella returned to entertain us with “Blue Moon”, “Java Jive” (I love coffee, I love tea), “Under the Boardwalk”, “The Bear Necessities”, “With a song in your Heart” and finally “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”.
With Will back on stage his choices this time were his own particular favourite songs that he had recently recorded on a CD. He started with his own arrangements of “Feeling Good” and “I’ve Put a Spell on You” and followed this with the Nat King Cole classic “Smile”. His next offering was “Make it one for my baby and one more for the Road” written for the 1943 movie musical The Sky's the Limit and first performed in the film by Fred Astaire and later popularized by Frank Sinatra.
Will’s performance finished with Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”. He received a fantastic ovation with members of the Dalesmen once again standing to applaud him.
You can see Will again soon as he is singing at a couple more of the Dalesmen’s concerts during the year, so we are all in for another treat.
The Dalesmen were left to complete the concert with “The Rhythm of Life”, “Let there be Peace on Earth”, ”You Raise Me Up”, “American Trilogy” with finally “Morte Christe”.
A particularly enjoyable mix of traditional choral music (Dalesmen) , Barber Shop close harmony songs (Derby A Capella) and wonderful blues and movie songs (Will Pearson) made for a memorable Spring evening’s musical entertainment, thoroughly enjoyed by one and all.