Press Release: Surrey Music ‘Music with a Heart!’ Concert

Elmbridge Ladies Choir

Elmbridge Ladies Choir


Music with a Heart (and Soul!)

Surrey Music’s two impressive community choirs sang their hearts out in Walton on Saturday night in a truly memorable concert to raise funds for Elmbridge Rentstart.

As long-established choirs of the Borough, Elmbridge Choir and Elmbridge Ladies Choir had been invited by Cllr Shweta Kapadia to support her Mayoral charity, and with a winning combination of joyous music, fun and laughter together with sincere and heartfelt emotion, the concert raised a fantastic £2597.49 for the charity.

“Music with a Heart” took place at Cornerstone the Church in the presence of several dignitaries and special guests including The Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Elmbridge, The High Sheriff of Surrey, The Mayor of Spelthorne, and Michael Aspel OBE.

With a delightful programme of popular songs, Elmbridge Ladies choir set the tone for the evening with a lively medley of 60s hits, followed by rather more contemporary songs from Christina Perri and Coldplay amongst others, notably a quite superb acapella version of Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel”. The choir enchanted the audience of almost 300 with a very accomplished and polished performance under the direction of Christine Parker, who introduced each song with gentle humour and charm.

After the interval it was the turn of Elmbridge Choir, led by the irrepressible Founder and CEO of Surrey Music, Cliff van Tonder. The choir sang its way through showstoppers and anthems from Andrew Lloyd Webber, Les Miserables and The Greatest Showman, as well as medleys of music by Judy Garland and Johnny Cash. The choir’s set was pure entertainment, with Cliff distributing red roses to ladies in the audience, and the choir’s Deputy Musical Director, Anita Auch, making a very sassy and sizzling entrance in full 1920s flapper costume to lead the choir in ‘‘All That Jazz’’ from the musical “Chicago”.

Despite the fun and frivolity, the underlying reason for the concert was not forgotten. Tracey Blandford, Elmbridge Rentstart’s Community Fundraising Officer, delivered an informative and moving speech about the important work of the charity and how they are succeeding in breaking the cycle of homelessness in the Borough of Elmbridge.

Cllr Shweta Kapadia was delighted with the success of the concert, saying that she was very ‘humbled’ that the choirs had willingly given up their time to help raise funds for her charity. "I am so honoured that Elmbridge Ladies Choir and Elmbridge Choir put on a concert in aid of my chosen Mayoral charity, Elmbridge Rentstart. The concert - “Music with a Heart” - was truly ‘Music with a Heart - and Soul’! It was fabulous, and everyone enjoyed it. I was so very touched both choirs gave up their time so that I could raise money for the charity. My thanks to each and everyone in the choirs for an amazing evening of music."

The Mayor also paid tribute to Cliff, congratulating him on his recent and well-deserved British Citizen Award, and thanking him for the energy and commitment he has shown over 14 years in promoting musical activities in Elmbridge and beyond.

For more details of Surrey Music visit .

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For further information contact:

Communications and Publicity: Debbie Groves 07771 467472

Founder of Surrey Music and Musical Director of Elmbridge Choir

Cliff van Tonder 07880 796623


Surrey Community Music Society (Surrey Music)

Two community choirs making one musical family of 240 volunteer members.

Formed in 2005 by Cliff van Tonder, Surrey Music consists of two choirs – Elmbridge Choir and Elmbridge Ladies Choir which include members drawn from right across Surrey

In doing what they love best – singing - members of the society have helped charities across a broad spectrum raise much needed funds through their concerts and performances. Surrey Music is proud to have raised more than £175,000 over the last 13 years for charitable purposes. The society has awarded more than £14,000 in grants for music related projects and activities in Surrey.

Both choirs have a large and varied repertoire from choral classics, to pop, rock and songs from the musicals. Emphasis at rehearsal and at concerts is on having fun, entertaining and engaging with the audience.

Most importantly everyone in the society share the same principles and ethos: to bring joy to others and themselves through music, and to give something back to the community.

Little wonder that the society’s slogan is “Music with a Heart”!

Elmbridge Choir In 2005 Cliff van Tonder founded Elmbridge Choir which is a mixed-voice, 140-strong community choir. Membership is open to any person over 16. There is no audition and no requirement for a trained voice or previous experience; anyone is welcome to become part of the choir. Prospective members are required only to complete an online registration form to join.

Elmbridge Ladies Choir

Formed in early 2009, Elmbridge Ladies Choir comprises 90 members. The Musical Director is Christine Parker, who was once herself a member of the choir. This choir is also non-audition and welcomes applications from all women, regardless of experience or ability.