? Horsley Choral Society History
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Horsley Choral Society

....a Leith Hill Festival Choir

History

In September 1920, Horsley resident Mr Harold H. Coote wrote to several of his fellow villagers asking them to become either members or vice-presidents of a new choral group.  

Horsley Founders




Harold H.Coote and his wife Mabel,

 a Covent Garden contralto

 

Tommy Sopwith

A donation of one guinea bestowed the honour of being vice president and one of the earliest to respond to Mr Coote’s letter was Tommy Sopwith (of Camel fame) who lived at Horsley Towers. 

In the years following, ‘The Horsley Glee Party’ held concerts in the local village hall and following a fortuitous name change finally became ‘Horsley Choral Society’

In 1930 the choir, under conductor W.H. Maelor Jones, joined the Leith Hill Musical Festival, founded by Margaret Vaughan Williams and Evangeline Farrer and conducted by Ralph Vaughan Williams,  at the new Dorking Halls. Rising through the ranks Horsley joined the ‘Advanced’ division in 1979 with the ‘Horsley Quartet’ dominating the Quartet (and latterly Ensemble Class) for nearly three decades. HCS continues to be a LHMF choir singing in the competition which takes place every spring, still at Dorking Halls, culminating in a large concert under the baton of Festival Conductor, Jonathan Willcocks.

Currently HCS numbers approximately sixty mixed voices, singing and performing a wide variety of choral and other music at twice yearly HCS concerts and also by invitation at various festivals and special events.  HCS have toured in Europe, regularly sing at Eton College and often sing with other choirs.