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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

The opening day of the April Festival

Thursday 6 April 7.30

In 2017, the honour of opening the April Festival on Thursday 6 April will go to the choirs of Division 3: Dorking, Epsom, Horsley & Leatherhead

The programme will include:

Main works: Parry Blest pair of sirens and Vaughan Williams Dona nobis pacem
Madrigal: Greaves Come away, sweet love
Lower voices: Eric Whitacre Seal Lullaby
Upper voices: arr Paul Ayres O waly waly
Part song: Peter Aston Alleluya Psallat
Ensemble: arr. Nina Gilbert I got a robe

The first April concert series in this, the opening season of Festival Conductor, Jonathan Willcocks.

Orchestra  - Southern Pro Musica

Bibi Heal                       soprano
Gareth Brynmor John    baritone