The Dashing Devon Dukes have been evolving for the last 5 years and are made up of keen youngsters from all over the South Hams who love to play ukuleles and guitars and sing together.
Their home town is Dartmouth and they regularly play in public to raise funds for Childrens’ Hospice Southwest, one of their chosen Charities.
The name is apt for a number of reasons; the first being ‘DASH’ represents Dartmouth and South Hams in Devon, but also describes very well how much parents and supporters have to rush around rural Devon in order to make the many and varied performances happen….
Why Dukes? Well, the reason is that our Ukuleles are tuned UP a whole tone to the key of D, which makes for a brighter, happier sound and also a set of chords, which young ‘would-be’ guitarists can more easily grasp.
D-tuned ukuleles are also good because the first position ‘easy’ chords, namely D, G and A are particularly friendly keys for violins and ‘cellos to play in and potentially join the ensemble…
Guitars add to the richness of the sound texture the Band can produce, and also make the logical progression from one fretted instrument to another……
Another distinguishing feature of the Dashing Devon Dukes is that they play standing up..a very useful skill to develop, where performance space is limited, and music stands need to be shared between players.
In order to do this, a strap stud needs to be fitted to the heel of the ukulele, and an adjustable strap fitted.
Dukes who can ‘Stand and deliver’ their performance will be equally at home on a street corner, in a Village Hall or even on a Town Bandstand.