Double medal joy for DaleDiva at contest

Dale Diva's Hannah Middleton and Ally Law
Dale Diva's Hannah Middleton and Ally Law

Derbyshire chorus DaleDiva beat off stiff competition to take gold in its class and third place overall in an international singing competition.

The Matlock Bath-based women’s a-cappella group - which has members from right across the area - took the stage at Nottingham’s Royal Concert Hall on Saturday, May 10, to battle it out alongside 16 of some of the best choruses from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Netherlands.

Following a full day of competition, assessed by an expert panel of judges from America, the Divas were named as best in their class (mid-sized chorus) and placed third overall.

DaleDiva musical director Ally Law (44) said: “We’ve worked very hard for this result and the Divas did an amazing job against some tough competition.

“It’s only the sixth time we’ve taken part and we’re so proud to win best in our class and third place overall to bring two medals back to Derbyshire.”

The competition is an annual event organised by global singing organisation Sweet Adelines International based in the USA.

DaleDiva is a member of Sweet Adelines’ Region 31 , which features choruses from England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the Netherlands.

The winners of the annual regional competition are invited to represent the region at the world championships in the USA the following year.

DaleDiva, which was formed in November 2007, has 70 members aged 24 to 71 from around the county including Matlock, Cromford, Belper, Derby, Duffield, Ashbourne, Wirksworth and Sheffield.

The group famously came first in the Channel Five contest for choirs - Don’t Stop Believin’ - in 2011.

Derbyshire Dales author Tim Elgood has won a competition organised by New Perspectives, the East Midlands leading rural touring theatre company.

His play Unforgettable is the winner of Long Play 2014, their new full-length playwriting competition for East Midlands-based writers.

Tim’s first play - A Stone’s Throw from Edward - was performed at Buxton International Arts Festival and won the Granada Foundation Award.

He has written extensively for youth and community theatre groups and has also had several plays performed at various venues across the East Midlands.

Unforgettable is about the unique relationship of a brother and sister, Jed and Rosie, as they face life’s major challenges together.

Tim said: “Receiving the news I had won the Long Play competition is a moment I will long remember - which is pretty appropriate given the subject matter of the play (memory). Big thanks to all concerned with the judging.”