Surrey Music’s ‘Razzle Dazzle’ charity concert on Saturday night at Addlestone Community Centre evoked a mix of emotions for the society’s members and audience alike.
Whilst the two community choirs were delighted to be performing and to be raising money for yourSanctuary (a charity which supports victims of domestic abuse), the evening was tinged with sadness as it was the last time Elmbridge Ladies Choir’s Musical Director, Dale Thomas, would be conducting the choir.
Dale, who was originally a singing member of the choir and has been Musical Director for 6 years, is moving back to her home town of Texas, USA to be with her family.
‘My time with Surrey Music has truly changed my life, and I’m so grateful for the
opportunitiesI’ve been given,’ says Dale. ‘I’ve found new confidence, learned new skills, and made lifelong friends. I will hugely miss the choir, but they gave me a memorable send-off with their fantastic performance on Saturday night.’
Cliff van Tonder, CEO of Surrey Music paid tribute to Dale and presented her with a framed certificate of honorary membership of Surrey Music. ‘It has been an honour and a privilege working with Dale and we will all miss her greatly. She has brought so much joy to all of us, but particularly her friends in Elmbridge Ladies Choir.’
The mixed voice Elmbridge Choir kicked off the razzling dazzling spectacular performing a number of songs from stage and screen, as well as a few more traditional choral pieces. Poignantly, the choir, led by Cliff van Tonder, dedicated their last song to those who have suffered as a result of the recent attacks in London and Manchester.
When Elmbridge Ladies Choir, led for the last time by Dale, took to the stage after the interval, the audience was transfixed by an emotional but nevertheless perfect and powerful performance. Dale’s successor, Christine Parker, was introduced as she made her conducting debut for one song.
‘The evening was amazing,’ says Cliff van Tonder. ‘This is the first time we have performed in Addlestone and we had a full house! We would like to thank the Deputy Mayor of Runnymede, Cllr Dolsie Clarke for attending the concert, as well as Fiamma Pather, CEO of yourSanctuary. We are sothrilled to have been able to support the vital work of the charity, and wish them all the best in this, their 40th Anniversary year.’
Proceeds in excess of £1500, in addition to £650 collected on the night, will be presented to yourSanctuary.