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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

Rehearsal schedule

Festival rehearsals fall into two groups:

  • for the main three-day Festival in April, choirs rehearse and prepare independently for the most part. However, any choir member wishing to participate in a Festival concert must have sung in the competitions and in the combined rehearsals for that concert, unless permission for absence is given by the Festival Conductor. There are three combined rehearsals, on Saturdays, lasting two hours for each Division. The final afternoon rehearsal on the day of each concert is also mandatory. These rehearsals are the opportunity for the Festival Conductor to prepare the combined choirs for their performances at the evening concerts. If you are unable to attend a rehearsal, please send a letter or email to the Festival Conductor via your own choir secretary or the Festival Organiser.
  • for the March concerts, weekly rehearsals are held in the period leading up to the concert on Friday evenings or Sunday afternoons. It is expected that all singers will attend most of these rehearsals, which are taken by our Chorus Master. The Festival Conductor usually attends one or two, as well as taking the final mandatory rehearsals on the Saturday and Sunday afternoons immediately before the concert.

The Schedule of Rehearsals for 2017 as follows:

The rehearsals will be held in the United Reform Church Hall, 55 West Street, Dorking, RH4 1BS (URC) or at the Dorking Halls, Reigate Road, Dorking, RH4 1SG (DH) as shown below:

Event

Day

Date

Time

Place

Festival Combined Rehearsals Div 1 Saturday 14 January 10am-12pm DH
Festival Combined Rehearsals Div 2 Saturday 14 January 1pm-3pm DH
Festival Combined Rehearsals Div 3 Saturday 14 January 3.40pm-5.40pm DH
St Matthew Passion Rehearsal Sunday 15 January 3pm - 5pm URC
St Matthew Passion Rehearsal Friday 20 January 7.45pm - 9.45pm URC
St Matthew Passion Rehearsal Sunday 29 January 3pm - 5pm URC
St Matthew Passion Rehearsal Friday 3 February 7.45pm - 9.45pm URC
St Matthew Passion Rehearsal Sunday 12 February 3pm - 5pm URC
St Matthew Passion Rehearsal Friday 17 February 7.45pm - 9.45pm URC
Festival Combined Rehearsals Div 3 Saturday 25 February 10am-12pm DH
Festival Combined Rehearsals Div 1 Saturday 25 February 1pm-3pm DH
Festival Combined Rehearsals Div 2 Saturday 25 February 3.45pm-5.45pm DH
St Matthew Passion Rehearsal Sunday 26 February 3pm - 5pm URC
St Matthew Passion Rehearsal Sunday 5 March 3pm - 5pm URC
St Matthew Passion Rehearsal Saturday 11 March 2.30pm - 5pm DH
Final St Matthew Passion Rehearsal Sunday 12 March TBC DH
Festival Combined Rehearsals Div 2 Saturday 25 March 10am-12pm URC
Festival Combined Rehearsals Div 3 Saturday 25 March 1pm-3pm URC
Festival Combined Rehearsals Div 1 Saturday 25 March 3.40pm-5.40pm URC
Final Rehearsal with orchestra (Div 3) Thursday 6 April 2pm - 4.30pm DH
Final Rehearsal with orchestra (Div 1) Friday 7 April 2pm - 4.30pm DH
Final Rehearsal with orchestra (Div 2) Saturday 8 April 2pm - 4.30pm DH