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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 16 April 7.30

In 2020, the honour of opening the April Festival on Thursday 16 Apr to the choirs of the Blue Division
Buckland & Betchworth, Beare Green & Newdigate, Horsley, Leatherhead

Main work:  Vaughan Williams – A Sea Symphony

                     Ensemble: Passereau – Il est bel et bon

The first April concert series in this season.

Festival Conductor, Jonathan Willcocks.

Orchestra  - Southern Pro Musica


Buckland and Betchworth rehearse!