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; The Dorking Halls was built to house the Festival and opened in 1931; 'Song for a Spring Festival', written by RVW to celebrate the Festival's 50th year, may only be performed at the Festival; RVW retired as Festival Conductor in 1953, but continued to conduct the St Matthew Passion until 1958; Whilst living in Dorking, RVW composed works including Serenade to Music, Symphonies 4 - 7 and The Pilgrim's Progress; RVW conducted the first combined choirs concert at the Festival on 10 May 1905; The first competition day at the Festival exclusively for children was held in 1921; In 1934 the BBC broadcast part of the Festival performance of Dream of Gerontius; The first Festival performance of the St Matthew Passion in 1931 had 800 singers;

Book tickets at Dorking Halls:
01306 881717


Registered charity number 275176

Events and tickets

Come and Sing

Verdi Requiem

Ben Costello appointed as Chorus Master for March Concerts

Ben will lead the rehearsals for the March concerts which in 2015 will be a performance of Handel's Messiah.

Born in London in 1976, Benjamin Costello has a portfolio career as a freelance musical director, singing coach, accompanist and adjudicator working in diverse genres, but principally vocal music, and he has been involved as a musical director with numerous productions across the U.K.  In addition to his performing schedule he works extensively for most of the major London performing arts colleges and is currently on the vocal faculty at Laine Theatre Arts. 

Ben adjudicates at competitive festivals, colleges and schools throughout the U.K. and overseas.  He is Artistic Director of Thames Concerts Ltd, Founding Director of Kingston Chamber Singers, and was recently elected a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians.

Ben read Music to post-graduate level at both Kingston University and the London College of Music, specialising in conducting, singing and piano accompaniment.   His interests include composing, travel, food and drink, and motorcycling.