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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:
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Registered charity number 275176

Events and tickets

Come and Sing

Verdi Requiem

Brian Kay’s Final Festival:
Report, results & video

Brian Kay's Final FestivalWasn’t it a fabulous Festival? Brian said he wanted to go out with a ‘bang’ and he certainly did! He was over the moon with all three concerts, and was especially touched by his presentation book. Thank you to everyone that contributed such thoughtful comments and beautiful artwork.

As you can see in this video of his farewell speech recorded at Sunday’s reception, having 700 friends in Surrey is certainly something he cherishes and will continue to do so. Sporting an eye-catching jacket that previously belonged to George Shearing, in the video you’ll see him with his predecessor Bill Llewellyn and his successor Jonathan Willcocks - a rare occurrence for three of our six Festival conductors to be in a room together.

We were delighted too, that our President John Rutter, a very good friend of Brian, could join us for the Verdi Requiem. Thank you to everyone who helped to make 2016 a very special year for us all.

You can read Ian Codd’s report of the three days of competitions and concerts on our website, and on our Facebook Page where there was a running commentary throughout the Festival. We are ever grateful to Simon Ames OBE for his enthusiastic support and for his reports and photographs for the local press.

The winner of our Really Big Raffle was Independent Singer, Peter Abbot, who took home a cheque for £1000. Thanks to everyone for supporting the Festival through the raffle and our other fundraising activities throughout the year.

We shall look forward to seeing as many of you as possible for the Come & Sing with Jonathan at the Dorking Halls on 15th October.