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)
Belper Music Festival
Saturday 20th May 2017
A Choir’d Taste were accompanied by Richard Allen and commenced the evening with a set of more formal pieces “Festival Gloria”, “Come ye sons of Art”, “Three Hungarian folk songs”, “An die Musik”, and “Il est bei et bon” written by Porterfield, Purcell, Seiber, Schubert and Passereau respectively.
Wearing a black dress in a very Spanish style, Karen England joined them to sing Bizet’s “Habanera” from the opera Carmen before introducing her solos “Quando men vo” from La Bohѐme, “Mon Coeur s’ouvre à ta voix” by Saint-Saëns, finishing with “O mio Babbino caro” by Puccini, accompanied by Beate Toyka.
During the interval drinks, soft and alcoholic, were served, giving time for us and some of the Friends of the Dalesmen to meet up to have a chat.
With everyone back in their seats, the atmosphere was certainly building for the Dalesmen to sing their chosen songs “Let all men sing”, “Gwahoddiad”, “The Rose”, “My Luve is like a red red rose”, and “What would I do without my music” that were all received with tremendous applause.
Paul invited us to participate and provide the percussion for their last piece “The Rhythm of Life” that has now become a favourite for the audience to show off their clapping skills.
With their session complete the Dalesmen left the stage and Karen returned to entertain us, now dressed in a lovely white gown.
She sang Gershwin’s “Summertime” and “Can’t help lovin’ dat man” showing off her jazz singing talents.
A lovely touch to the evening was the handing out of red roses as she walked around the audience singing her last piece “On my lips every kiss is like wine” from Guiditta by Franz Lehar. The first red rose recipient was her fiancé, Nigel who had recently proposed to her on the Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence.
A number of other lucky men in the audience also receiving a rose, including Bryan Mann from the Dalesmen, a wonderful memory for his first concert with the choir.
Then the “Last Night of the Proms” event took shape and with Richard Allen playing the violin, Paul Marshall at the piano rendering the perennial favourite sea shanty ‘Sailor’s Hornpipe’ from Henry Wood’s ‘Fantasia’. This was rendered Belper style.
The grand finale was a very colourful one with the Ladies of A Choir’d wearing red, white and blue scarves, Karen draped in a union jack and numerous flags waved by the audience in true Last Night of the Proms style, “Rule Britannia”, “Jerusalem” and “Land of Hope and Glory” brought this wonderful evening to a conclusion.