For over thirty years, Denis has been at the forefront of Celtic music in Glengarry. He joined the Brigadoons in 1977 and it soon became apparent to anyone who saw him perform that he was an accomplished vocalist. He sang songs from the “auld sod” that he knew from his youth; his repertoire was large and his vocal styling was traditional in every sense of the word.
During his many years with the Brigadoons, Denis has been a valued asset at the Glengarry Highland Games where he not only performs with the Brigadoons in the Friday night Tattoo, but on numerous occasions, he capably did the job of Emcee. Wherever he performs at the Games or elsewhere, his stirring rendition of “Bonnie Dundee” or “Glencoe” or his resounding delivery of “Johnnie Lad” are greeted enthusiastically by his audience.
Denis has not only been generous with his own talent, but he has also been a selfless promoter of Glengarry talent. Many Glengarry Celtic performers whether a stage band, piper, fiddler or pianist are indebted to him for having given them an opportunity to meet and play for other international performers and promoters who may not otherwise have heard of their respective talents. Bill Reid of the East of the Hebrides Entertainments says, “Denis brings to every show a message through his songs of love of home, family and friendship. He has become an envoy for Glengarry, the people and the music…” Brigadoons founder, Rob Taylor—who nominated Denis—says Denis “gave a voice to Ken McRae‘s ‘Glengarry My Home’ which is now a part of Glengarry’s heritage.”
Denis was also a part of the fundraising contributions to St. Raphael’s as part of the CD Friends Helping Friends, the Glengarry Highland Games on the CD, Building On Tradition and the rebuilding of the Angus Grey Hall with the CD Hard Times. He has also given freely of his talent on numerous occasions at nursing homes and fundraisers for worthy causes.
A member of Cornwall’s City Council, Denis was also one of the founding members of Cornwall’s Worldfest/Festimonde and as such, was instrumental in bringing International groups to this area. In addition, he played an integral part of the performances of the Internationally known MacCulloch dancers.