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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;

Leith Hill Musical Festival
Bringing choirs together
for competitions and concerts in Dorking since 1905

Registered charity number 275176

Events and tickets

March Concert


Next year’s concert:

Sunday, 11th March 2018


George Frideric Handel

Conductor: Jonathan Willcocks

Singers -Your Stands and Sits

We are joined for the performance by the wonderful baroque orchestra Canzona and a team of professional soloists. March 2018 will see a performance of Handel's Messiah, conducted by our  Festival Conductor, Jonathan Willcocks.


Jonathan writes;

    "MESSIAH is a work which many ' know' and relatively few can sing really well.

  Our rehearsals from January to March 2018 are not only to enable those who have not sung Messiah  before to learn the work, but also to focus the various experience within the combined choir into a really persuasive performing style.

Regardless how many times you have sung this great masterpiece, I hope the singers will only miss rehearsals if there is a pressing reason to do so. Ben and I will do our utmost to make every session really enjoyable and productive musically. Of greatest importance are the final rehearsals on the afternoon of Sat. March 10th and Sunday March 11th(the latter with orchestra) at which I expect everyone to sing. "


                                        Singers - here are your cuts

                                                    Watkins Shaw edition                  

                                           Part 1      complete
                                           Part 2     omit 33-36 inclusive

                                           Part 3     omit 49-52 inclusive