Our History

How It All Began

Elmbridge Ladies Choir was born in 2009 from the roots of the highly successful Elmbridge Choir founded in 2005 by Cliff Van Tonder.

Over 12 years together Cliff took both choirs on an amazing musical journey of concerts, International music festivals and competitions and raised more than £14,000 in grants for music activities and more than £200,000 for charitable purposes.

In 2019, Cliff was delighted to be awarded a British Citizen Award for services to the Arts for his contribution to the community. What a well deserved award!

As our choir grew in strength and numbers Cliff was able to pass over the reins to Ramon Davis, and then for six very successful years to our talented MD, Dale Thomas, already a member of our choir, an alto, who led ELC until her return to her native Texas in 2017.

Touring and Music Festivals
  • 2011 – Krakow music festival, where ELC won a bronze diploma.
  • 2013 – Veneto Canta Festival in Italy, one of the highlights was singing together in St Mark’s Square, Venice
  • 2014 – Bratislava, another bronze award.
  • 2016 – Croatia, a non-competitive international choral festival.
  • 2017 – Malta, 195 members (including the Elmbridge Choir) travelled to the Malta International Choir Festival.  Privileged to sing in the most beautiful churches and cathedrals in Malta and parade through the capital, Valletta.

Moving on

Cliff was recently relocated to Australia in 2021 and although we will miss his leadership and guidance and amazing passion for music and our choirs, we have much to look forward to as ELC becomes an independent choir in its own right.

Our future – a new home in 2022

We are very excited to announce that we have been asked, along with Elmbridge Choir, to perform as the resident choirs of the newly refurbished Esher Theatre.

Here we will benefit from the latest in sound technology, lighting, auditorium, staffing and of course the bar!!