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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

Leith Hill Place on BBC's Great British Railway Journeys

Vaughan Williams' family home, Leith Hill Place was visited recently by Michael Portillo for an episode of Great British Railway Journeys. The programme airs on Tuesday 26 January on BBC 2 at 18:30. Stef Conner, who runs the Timeline Choir in Forest Green and has run workshops at the house, will be singing in the programme. Sadly, the Festival could not be accommodated, but we look forward to hearing what Michael discovered. The house is now closed for winter and re-opens on 4 March.

Details of the programme (East Grinstead to Guildford) and others in the series may be found here.