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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

Rescheduled Rehearsals

Sunday May 1st (2.30 – 4.30pm) - URC
Saturday May 7th (10.30am – 12.30pm) – Martineau Hall
Sunday May 15th (2.30 – 4.30pm) - URC
Saturday May 21st  (10.30am – 12.30pm) – Martineau Hall
Sunday May 29th (2.30 – 4.30pm) - URC
Saturday June 11th (10.30am – 12.30pm) – Martineau Hall

Concert Day Sunday June 19th (choir rehearsal 2.30 – 3.45pm),  Concert 7.30pm

Responsible decisions are having to be taken across the board in the events industry at the moment in the light of recent pandemic developments; this includes our LHMF Messiah originally planned for 13th March.

Our immediate priority is to plan an event that is as safe and enjoyable for all as possible. With the strong likelihood that there will be difficulties in holding effective rehearsals in January and February, we have come to the conclusion that to ensure a really successful concert it would be prudent to reschedule the Messiah project to later in the year when, hopefully, Covid will be much less of an issue than we are all currently facing.

We are delighted that the wonderful professional baroque ensemble Canzona are available on this new date and the performance will of course be conducted by Jonathan Willcocks.

If you are already signed up as a voice in our Messiah, we very much hope that you will be still able to sing with us for this rescheduled performance date, in which case there is no need for you to do anything.  If unfortunately you cannot be available on June 19th, and for rehearsals leading to that date, then the Festival will of course refund to you the participation fee that you have paid. A separate communication on this will come to you individually.

Thank you in advance for your support. Indeed, if the rescheduled date works for your diary, bookings will be available via the Dorking Halls website in due course; we’ll keep you posted.

The joy of singing is our aim; sometimes the score of life includes an unexpected interrupted cadence as we turn the page!

Ges Ray – Chairman, Leith Hill Music Festival