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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


How we are run

The Festival is a Charity registered with the Charities Commission, no. 275176.   The objects of the Festival are the study and practice of music in order to foster the public knowledge and appreciation of such music by means of public concerts, the holding of musical competitions and other activities. The full LHMF Constitution is available through the link below.

Members of the Festival are either:

  • members of participating Member Choirs (not including Youth Choirs, who take part on an ad hoc basis) who have paid the annual singer's entry fee; or
  • independent singers who have paid an annual subscription.

       The financial year for the Festival is 1st July to 30th June.

All Members may attend the Annual General Meeting, held in October, which has the power to:

  • adopt the Annual Report and Accounts (see link below), as required by the Charities Commission
  • ratify the appointments of honorary President, Vice-Presidents, Conductor, members of the Music Committee and Independent Examiner of the accounts
  • elect members of the General Committee and of the Executive Committee.

The General Committee is responsible for the overall management of the Festival, with the exception of professional matters decided by the Festival Conductor or Music Committee.  It meets three times a year and comprises:

  • Principal Officers and Trustees
    • Chairman
    • Vice-Chairman
    • Festival Secretary and Organiser
    • Treasurer
  • Assistant Officers
    • Archivist
    • Assistant Secretary
    • Assistant Treasurer
    • Assistant Treasurer (Funds Co-ordinator)
    • Assistant Treasurer (Gift Aid)
    • Box Office Manager          
    • Choral Librarians (one for each of the 3 Divisions)
    • Friends & Patrons Secretary
    • Fundraising Co-ordinator
    • Making Music Representative
    • Orchestra & Soloist Liaison
    • Press & Publicity Manager  
    • Programme Advertising
    • Programme Editor (April Festival)
    • Programme Editor (March Concert)
    • Trophies and Banners Custodian
    • Webmaster
    • Web Assistant (Mailing)
    • Youth Choirs' Competition Organiser
    • 50:50 Draw Organiser
  • up to twelve other members, normally a representative of each Member Choir
  • ex officio, the Conductor (or his or her representative) of each Member Choir
  • the Vice-Presidents of the Festival.

The Executive Committee, a sub-committee of the General Committee, has devolved powers for the day-to-day management of the Festival, meets as required (approximately monthly) and comprises:

  • the four Principal Officers
  • up to three of the Assistant Officers
  • two other members.

The Executive Committee may co-opt additional members.

Job descriptions for Principal and Assistant Officers may be obtained from the Festival Secretary and Organiser.

Did you know?