It was on the 16th February 1956 that 19 members of the former Derby Borough Police met in the library of Full Street Police Station to form a male voice choir. That choir is now known as the Derbyshire Constabulary Male Voice Choir and is recognised throughout Derbyshire and its neighbouring counties for raising money for charities and good causes.
In 1956 the then Chief Constable Colonel Horatio Rawlings expressed a wish that 'a male voice choir be formed in this force.' The February meeting was quickly followed by the first concert at the Derwent Hospital on 6th June 1956 and a further 12 concerts in the first few months of the choir's life.
The years have included many memorable occasions - appearances with John Hanson, Russ Conway and Ken Goodwin. Even a television debut on 'The Shane Ritchie Experience' which then held a prime Saturday evening slot.
The choir has also joined other choirs to sing at the Albert Hall in Nottingham, Hull Town Hall, Hereford and Worcester Cathedrals and, most memorably, as part of a 1,000 strong choir at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
In April 2011, the choir travelled to Newquay to take part in the Cornwall International Male Voice Choral Festival.
In 2016, the choir hosted their 60th Anniversary Concert at Derby Cathedral, performing with three other Derbyshire choirs and Derwent Brass. One of the highlights of a wonderful night was being able to present cheques for £5,000 to both Safe & Sound, Derby, and the East Midlands Air Ambulance.
Softly As I Leave You
This piece of music is one of the choir's favourites and they sang it at the cathedral for the Musical Director, George Dunning. This piece, as sung by the choir, has been requested on numerous occasions by local people at the crematorium. Wesley Music Company who supply recorded music to crematoriums contacted the choir and they now have the CD "Stout Hearted Men" on their file for future use.
Helping the Community
In the last five years over £50,000 has been raised benefiting the local community and those further afield. In the last two years we have donated £5,000 to Air Ambulance, £5,000 to Safe & Sound and £4,400 to Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre.