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Welcome to the home of Surrey Music - The Choirs with Heart!

Surrey Community Music Society consists of two choirs - Elmbridge Choir and Elmbridge Ladies Choir - which are based in the County of Surrey, United Kingdom.

Membership of our choirs is open to any person living in the County or surrounding areas regardless of sex, race, religion, creed, sexual orientation, belief or musical ability.

Joining one of our choirs will not only ignite your own life with passion through the joy of music, but you will also be helping to make a big difference in the community. Our goal is to nurture, protect and grow musical talent and initiatives in Surrey,  and to provide help and hope for those less fortunate than ourselves. As well as awarding grants of more than £14,000 for music-related activities and projects in Surrey, we have raised more than £170,000 for other deserving charities through our concerts and perfomances.

We hope you will enjoy these web pages. Please do feel free to browse around and contact us if you have any questions whatsoever about our activities, or if you wish to join one of our sections, we would be pleased to welcome you on board.

Marquees, Picnic & Prague - 2008

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11 March As a result of being talent spotted by important people in Claygate, we were invited to be part of the Claygate Music Festival. So we performed at Holy Trinity Church, Claygate "A musical romp reliving the fab sixties, careering through the West End stage musical era and landing with a bang right here in the trendy 2000's"!

This was the first time we had had big screens with a slide show of us all - oh, no, not those mug shots again, and, what's more, enlarged this time! As this date was close to St Patrick's Day, we included a lilting and jolly Irish Medley and the men wore sparkly green scarves whilst the ladies continued to wear the red ones. During the Andrew Lloyd Webber selection, Cliff danced round the audience having fun with the ladies! He also brought children up to the stage to help with the singing! It really goes without saying that the concert was enthusiastically received.

A Busy year - 2007!

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10 March - We had intended to reward the residents of Churchfield House for their tolerance of our invading their space with a special Christmas concert scheduled for 12 December but, due to unforeseen circumstances, it had to be postponed until March. However, undaunted by the fact that it was now Spring, we sang a selection of our Christmas songs at Cobham Village Hall followed by some more contemporary music including Abba Forever and an Andrew Lloyd Webber medley. We provided tea and cakes for the residents and at the end of the concert we cleared the Hall and had our choir belated Christmas Party! But it was well worth waiting for with delicious food prepared by Cliff and a team of helpers and good old-fashioned entertainment for all the family - bingo, beetle drive, music, dancing and karaoke - when we discovered a few new soloists who had hitherto been hiding their lights under a bushel!

A Colourful Year - 2006

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28 April - The Theatre, Leatherhead. We were invited to take part in an evening of music organised by Cobham Uganda Partnership to raise funds to build a children's clinic at a school in Gulu, Northern Uganda.

With a mixture of nerves and excitement we sang our hearts out to an enthusiastic audience in this, our first full concert. The evening was compered by David Taylor, a well-known Cobham figure First to perform was Valeriy Sokolov, a prize winning violinist formerly at the Menuhin School, followed by the Land Girls, a local Blues and Jazz all girl group and then the 60 members of the Elmbridge Choir wearing bright multi-coloured polo shirts and sashes - Cliff had been shopping at Primark and bought up virtually the whole stock of polo shirts!

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!

After our "Christmas Capers" concert - 7th December 2013

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Saturday 7 December 2013 7.30 p.m - "Christmas Capers" -  Epsom Playhouse: Now was certainly the time of the year for carolling and holiday cheer as, hot on the heels of Cobham at Christmas where, although it was cold outside, we sang with great delight, and only a week later here we were putting on some more seasonal sparkle and festive frolics but this time the welcome was so nice and warm inside the Epsom Playhouse.

It was an ambitious venture to feature the Elmbridge Young Musicians, the Ladies Choir, the Big Band and the Elmbridge Mixed Choir in two separate concerts on the same day – what a logistical nightmare it must have been for those hard-working invisible people behind the scenes to organise it – and not only that, now was not the time to diet as it was decided that feasting their ears with heavenly music was not enough for our audiences - so we provided them with cheese and wine and they grabbed their forks and dived right in – there was enough to feed the Navy!

To the Veneto (how do you pronounce it?) Canta.

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Michael's MemoirsFeeling rather foolish, we are standing in front of a very young security officer at Gatwick Airport.  Who would have thought that 2 small WeightWatcher yogurts were a security risk?  So we stand there and eat them in front of him.  Well, we are not going to waste them.  We just hoped that the rest of our group couldn’t see us.

Our small group, members of Surrey Music, was one of the first to leave the UK to sing in the Veneto (how does one pronounce it?) Canta to represent the UK in their first Corale Internationale.  We are members of the Elmbridge Mixed Choir which, along with the Elmbridge Ladies Choir, were due to sing in four concerts in four days culminating in a very special, final sing-along in St Mark’s Square.

I do have to say that we are a very large group. With hangers-on, groupies and the inevitable partners we total around 175 or so.  That is really why we are travelling separately in a number of small groups on different airlines, at different times, from different airports and on different days.  It also explains why little glitches happen.