Our Musical Director is the multi-talented Alison Bletcher, who is well-known and respected in the Greater Manchester and High Peak music community. Alison gained an honours degree at the Royal Academy of Music, London with singing and recorder as a joint first study. She also studied trumpet and piano.
Since graduating from the Academy, Alison has had a varied and full performing career as a singer and musical performer. She has sung as the contralto soloist in numerous oratorios, taken leading roles in operas, including Carmen, and been the guest soloist with a large number of choirs, and performed in many recitals. Alison also plays in recorder recitals and has been a regular performer as a trumpet and cornet player in different orchestras and brass bands. In recent years Alison returned to education and achieved an MA in music performing (singing) at Salford University.
In addition to performing, Alison also greatly enjoys teaching. She teaches singing, recorder, piano and brass, and her pupils have received great success in examinations and competitions. Quite a few pupils have continued to read music at universities or music conservatoires.
Alison conducts a variety of local choirs and brass bands and is greatly enjoying her new post as MD of the Dovedale Singers.
Our Accompanist is Celia Maylor. Celia was born in Wallasey and at the age of 13 she was awarded a music studentship by Wirral Metropolitan Borough Education Department, to study piano. She studied first with John Ramsden, Principal of the Liverpool Matthay School of Music, and later with Eva Warren, who then taught at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. Celia continued her studies with Czech pianist Jana Frenklova at Lancaster University, where she performed, amongst other works, Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No.2 with the University Orchestra. She also studied harpsichord continuo with Richard Langham Smith.
Nowadays, Celia works as a pianist and piano teacher from her home in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester. She has taught at schools in Stockport and Manchester and has also worked as accompanist and teacher for Resonate, Liverpool’s Music Hub. Besides accompanying the Dovedale Singers she also works as an accompanist for the Ladybrook Singers. Additionally, Celia has performed for a number of years with soprano Sylvia Martignoles as the duo “Two’s Company”.