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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

April Competitions & Concerts

April sees three consecutive Festival days at the Dorking Halls, each consisting of competitions between four of our member choirs in the morning, followed by an afternoon rehearsal for a concert by the combined choirs in the evening.

Why not come and watch the competitions and support your local choral society? There’s a great variety of music performed including an "own choice" by each choir (entry by programme only £3). Friends and Patrons can also watch the rehearsals in the afternoons.

The evening concerts are, of course, special highlights, with the performances conducted by our Festival Conductor, Jonathan Willcocks, and supported by professional orchestras and young soloists of the highest calibre. There is also a special guest each evening who presents the awards for the competitions.

For further details see below.