Informal music at Leith Hill Place

Being the childhood home of composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, Leith Hill Place lends itself to being filled with music. Many local groups and performers support the house and carry on Ralph's legacy of sharing and creating new music.

Morrigan, Sunday 24 June

Morrigan are a four-piece a cappella group from South London who have performed at many festivals including the Brandenburg Festival and the Lancaster Music Festival. In the folk world they have supported artists such as Martin Carthy and Martin Simpson. They have been praised for their “stunning harmonies” and bridge the classical and folk genres with their musical backgrounds. Morrigan have sung together since 2010.

They perform their own arrangements of a selection of folk songs that were originally collected from around the country by composer, Ralph Vaughan Williams. Vaughan Williams collected songs all over England, including in Sussex, Herefordshire, Norfolk and Yorkshire.  Some of the songs in Morrigan’s performance were collected at Leith Hill Place itself from people who lived and worked in the vicinity. Morrigan will be explain the history behind the origins of the songs and where they were collected giving an insight into how Vaughan Williams developed them for his classical repertoire.

Childe Rolande, Sunday 5 August

Childe Rolande is a six-piece electro/acoustic folk group originating in South East London but whose members are now widely scattered over the South East.  Like Vaughan Williams, they draw their inspiration from the folk music tradition which has evolved over the centuries –  including some traditional pieces in their repertoire but much of the music is self-penned, often referencing historical events as well as myths and legends and drawing on the influences of contemporary, traditional and celtic folk.  They tend to perform at occasional fund-raising events for charity, and sometimes put on a concert in South East London. 

Visiting for a performance

All of these performances are free, with normal admission to the house. The performers usually give two or three sets of about 20-30 minutes each. There are some chairs set up in the performance room, and the audience is encouraged to drift around the house listening to the music, rather than sitting for the whole performance. In good weather it may be possible for some groups to perform outside.