The Beginning - 2005

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July 2005 - An enthusiastic South African named Cliff van Tonder ran articles and adverts in the local newspapers for anybody interested in joining a proposed new choir in Cobham to turn up at Cobham Village Hall at 8 pm on 6 September. Cliff had spent 25 years as a church organist and director of congregational and regional choirs in South Africa.

At doors opening time there was a queue of over 90 ladies and 10 men eager to seize the opportunity to be part of a great new venture, especially as it was to be open to any adult and, best of all, no auditions! It was like the Harrods' sale or Britain's Got Talent Auditions!

Cliff was at the door welcoming everybody and Brendon was frantically writing down everybody's names. After some considerable sorting and juggling of people packed like sardines into the small hall, with people spilling out into the gardens around the hall, Cliff wasted no time in teaching Bette Midler's "The Wind Beneath My Wings".

At the end of a hot and uplifting evening, people were invited to take the music home to practice and turn up at the first rehearsal on 6 September.

So that was the start of the "Impossible Dream" and Elmbridge Choir was born! Cliff even issued a Newsletter in which he outlined his choice of music, his intention to issue every member with rehearsal CDs and future plans for the choir to the extent that the formation of an orchestra/band might be an exciting future project.


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