Addlestone Community Centre was ablaze with colour and bursting at the seams last Saturday, as crowds flocked to see Surrey Music’s Christmas concert, “Colours of Winter”, featuring the society’s three choirs, including the most recent addition to their choral family, Surrey Rainbow Choir.
Although the new choir had launched just seven weeks before the concert, they performed magnificently with no apparent nerves, under the confident direction of their Musical Director Christopher Wray. Bedecked in rainbow accessories, the choir opened the show in dazzling style with a superb seasonal medley, “Christmas on Broadway”, followed by toe-tapping renditions of “Last Christmas” and “All I Want for Christmas is You” with some quite excellent solos.
Equally dazzling, Elmbridge Ladies Choir graced the stage next to deliver a polished programme of stirring and emotive seasonal songs, mixed with humour and the timely use of props during an alternative version of a popular Christmas song, “The Twelve Days After Christmas”. The choir was skilfully directed by Christine Parker, whose enthusiasm encourages the very best from the ladies.
Last, but by no means least, it was the turn of Elmbridge Choir, who delivered a passionate performance under the exuberant direction of Surrey Music’s Founder and Musical Director, Cliff van Tonder. The audience were thoroughly entertained, from the lively African song, “Sisi Kushangilia”, to a rather dashing version of “Jingle Bells” and ending with a rousing rendition of “Let It Go” from Disney’s ‘Frozen’.
“I am so incredibly proud of all of our choirs – they work so hard and pour their heart and soul into their performance,” says Cliff. “Even though Surrey Rainbow Choir have only been together for a matter of weeks, not only did they perform really well, but they have already integrated into the society and have embraced our ethos of having loads of fun while giving something back to the community.”
Surrey Music has so far raised in excess of £210,000 in 14 years for local charities, and a retiring collection held at the concert raised more than £700 for Elmbridge CAN. Steve Wells, Trustee of the charity, delivered a moving and inspiring talk about the charity’s fantastic work welcoming, settling and supporting refugees.
Thanking Surrey Music after the event, Steve said, “I thoroughly enjoyed the evening, transported by the infectious vitality and sheer happiness generated by the three wonderful choirs in their different ways. We raised the quite amazing total of £708, which was way beyond our expectations. You made a lot of people very happy, not least us!”
Surrey Music was delighted that The Mayor of Runnymede, Cllr Parshotam Sohi, The Mayor of Elmbridge, Cllr Mary Sheldon and The Deputy Mayor of Guildford, Cllr Marsha Moseley were in attendance at the concert.
The next opportunity to see Surrey Music’s three choirs performing will be on Saturday 23rd May 2020 at the HG Wells Conference Centre in Woking.