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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 Chorus Master

Ben CostelloBen Costello is a freelance conductor, singing coach, accompanist and adjudicator, working internationally.  He is also Artistic Director of Thames Concerts, Founding Director of Kingston Chamber Singers, Chorus Master for the Leith Hill Musical Festival March concerts, Assistant Artistic Director of Thames Philharmonic Choir, and on the faculty at Laine Theatre Arts.He is an adjudicator member of the British and International Federation of Festivals,
making recent visits to adjudicate or perform in Zimbabwe, China, Sri Lanka,
Belgium, Italy, Poland and Ireland, as well as throughout the UK.

A specialist in musical theatre, Ben works for most of the major London
colleges. His permanent posts have included Arts Ed, Laine Theatre Arts,
Guildford School of Acting and the London College of Music, whilst also working for the Royal Academy of Music, Trinity Laban, Mountview Academy, Drama Studio London, and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. He has also lectured for universities including London, Surrey, Kingston and Portsmouth. Countless of his former singing students enjoy successful careers in the West End and beyond.

Born and based in London, Ben’s early career included répétiteur work with the London Symphony Orchestra and various London theatre and opera groups, and he remains much sought-after as an outstanding accompanistin musical theatre
repertoire. He is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians, organising
and chairing the Company’s annual musical direction scholarship.  Outside of
music he is a keen motorcyclist.

Ben's association with LHMF began in 2014, when he was adjudicator for the
Division 1 Ensembles, Women’s Song, Part Song and Own Choice competitions.  He
has also adjudicated the Youth Choirs' Competition.