Member Profile: Les Dempsey

Copyist? tick
Arranger? tick
Offers written quotes? tick
Software: Finale

Born 16 June, 1930. At age 12, won a government scholarship to study violin as a full time student at the Sydney Conservarorium of Music while attending the 'Con' High School. After failng to secure permanent work as a violinist, he spent 13 years arranging and playing jazz piano for the house band at Vic's Cabaret (Strathfield) before joining the house band (1963) at Parramatta Leagues (as pianist 4 years) and later, at South Sydney Leagues Club (4 years) working 8 performances per week with many noted imports such as Jane Powell, Dick Roman, the Clarke Bros and Billy Eckstein. He started work in 1963 for the motion picture industry where, over a period of 12 years, wrote and recorded many documentary film scores, several of which won awards at film festivals. As acting Musical Director for Film Australia, he created probably the first electronic sound tracks used in an Australian film years before computers and music software became available. This is mentioned in the book, "The making of an Australian Composer". He arranged for and was staff copyist at ABC Light Entertainment  Division and performed a series of ABC radio programs during that peiod. He was arranger and M.D. for the 'Ice Spectacular' that performed during the opening weeks of the Sydney Opera House. He arranged for and headed his own bands at the Georges River 16ft Sailing Club and Campsie RSL ('MO' Award nom) until the late 70's before again becoming M.D. for local and imported artists including, Ronnie Corbett, Steptoe and Son, the BBC Black and White Minstrel Show, Morcambe and Wise, Jimmy Rogers, Gene McDaniels and so many other noted artists for their 'seasons' and TV appearances.  In the "Currency Companion to Music and Dance in Australia" he wrote about the Arranging / Copying profession. As President of MAGA, one of his proudest, personal acheivements was the ultimate breakaway (2 years in the making) from the MUA and at the same time, bringing about the Guild's Incorporation. This launched the Guild as an independent and professional organisation in its own right and the beginning of a journey to excellence.  Now retired from performing but still arranging for the entertainment profession.