Our history

The Leith Hill Musical Festival was founded in 1905 and (war years excepted) has been held in Dorking every year since. Its first conductor was Ralph Vaughan Williams who remained the festival conductor until 1953. The festival is partly a competition between various local choirs (in three divisions) and partly a concert given by combined choirs. The current festival conductor is Brian Kay, former King's Singer and regular broadcaster on BBC Radio 3.

Holmbury Choral Society was a relative late comer, joining in 1925. (Both Abinger and Coldharbour Choirs, now long defunct, were founder members). We don't have many singers in the choir now who were there at the start but we do have some who joined in the 1960s.

Rehearsals then were in the Hollybush Tavern, and the lady who ran the shop used to bring up tea and biscuits in the interval! Later we moved to Felbury House and then, after a brief spell in the Church Room, to Abinger Hammer Village Hall.

Holmbury merged with Peaslake in the mid 1960s, and more singers joined us from Westcott when that choir closed in 1979.

We always competed in Division 2 (the grouping originally for smaller village choirs), and in recent years have done rather well there. So in 2003 we moved into Division 1 (a sideways non-promotion) where the competition is somewhat tougher.