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 concerts in venues ranging from modest village halls to grand concert halls and in the process we entertain many hundreds of people. Over the years we have raised many thousands of pounds for charitable causes.
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
I remember fondly the very first rehearsal I attended when I joined The Dalesmen – 40+ male voices were singing the chorus of the old miner’s song ‘Take Me Home’ and the sound drifted across the room with a gorgeous, sonorous hum. I was hooked from that very first moment! There’s no doubt that the sound of men singing has a stirring effect on the senses which seems to reach the very core of one’s emotions. Research has shown the many health benefits of singing together in a choir - it is not only a social experience but is also a very good exercise for the lungs and increases the oxygen level in the blood. Singing is thought to release ‘happy’ hormones such as oxytocin (which lower stress levels and blood pressure). If any member was asked what benefit he gained from being part of the Choir he would tell you how singing has enriched his life and he wished he had joined many years before.
We have members from all walks of life, accountants, IT consultants, engineers, health workers to students at secondary school, and what binds us together is the love of music and the unique camaraderie which is gained from being a member of such a wonderful Choir.
So men out there, whatever your age, young or old, JOIN US NOW and come and enjoy the singing – who knows it may open a whole new chapter in your life!
John England : Chairman
THE PURPOSE AND AIMS OF THE CHOIR
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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)
The Matlock Methodist and United Reform Church was the venue of the choir’s first festive concert in their busy Christmas period this year on Saturday December 10th.
Bill Templeman accompanied the choir and John Lloyd conducted.
The entertainment comprised some twenty songs additionally interspersed with a selection of traditional Christmas carols, including three Christmas solos sung respectively by Ossie Rees, Dave Weston & Paul Sheward.
During the intermission, Bill Templeman entertained the audience and demonstrated his versatility by playing on the piano and the church organ.
After both song sessions had been completed, the concert concluded with a big thank you from the organisers, who specifically mentioned how surprised they were at the versatility of the choir and the wide range of music sung from “The Rhythm of Life” to “Llullaby" requesting an encore. This was happily provided in the form of “Llanfair”.
The choir are now looking forward to the concert at St. Peter’s, Belper which hopefully will be a Christmas cracker. That’s on Saturday 17th December (hopefully it won’t be raining!!)