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;
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How do I get my music?
For the March concerts
Scores need to be obtained individually, although the Festival Secretary & Organiser has a limited number of copies for hire. It is important to use the correct editions when singing at the Festival, as follows:
- Bach St John Passion: Novello's Elgar/Atkins 1929 (ref. NOV 070036)*
- Bach St Matthew Passion: Novello's Elgar/Atkins 1948 (ref. NOV 070038)*
- Handel Messiah: Novello's Watkins Shaw 1992 (ref. NOV 070137)
* Some members have found the recently re-issued A4 spiral-bound copies particularly useful - obtainable from ChoraLine and other suppliers.
For the Youth Choirs' Competitions
All music is supplied by choir conductors.
For the April Competitions and Concerts
Each Member Choir has its own Librarian who is responsible for obtaining enough copies of all the works to be performed. Normally music is hired, but with options to buy if desired.
The music is announced well in advance and is sourced and distributed to Choir Librarians by the Divisional Librarians, to ensure consistency of editions and fairness for all and to help with the cost.