As Elmbridge Choir celebrated an amazing 15 years in September, our inspirational founder and Musical Director, Cliff van Tonder, decided that it was time for him to step down from his MD duties to allow him to concentrate his time and energy on growing and building Surrey Music - and knowing Cliff, there is little doubt that he already has some exciting plans in mind!
Sad though that is, we have been extremely fortunate in finding an eminently talented and enthusiastic replacement, and are delighted to introduce Elmbridge Choir's new Musical Director, Hugh Beckwith, who has already made a great impression on the choir, both musically and personally, despite having only met choir members so far via Zoom rehearsals!
Hugh, a former student of the Junior Royal Academy of Music, completed his BA (Hons) Music at University of Manchester in 2018 and has led a number of choirs including the Magna Carta Chorus, the Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel Choir and others. As a Tenor soloist, Hugh is much in demand; he has appeared in a number of BBC Radio 3 & 4 broadcasts and has performed at the English National Opera and the Royal Opera. Hugh also has experience in musical theatre as a performer and musical director, including at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Cliff's presence will be sorely missed by both choir members and concert audiences alike, but as the visionary founder and CEO of Surrey Music, he will still be leading from behind, encouraging, inspiring and urging us ever forward. These are new and exciting times and we are 100% confident that Hugh will be a huge asset to Surrey Music, and we can't wait to see the growth of Elmbridge Choir under his direction.