‘Over Hill, Over Dale’ August concert

Vaughan Williams Singers an a capella choir in Surrey

Vaughan Williams Singers is an exciting new local chamber choir. The group, which was founded in January this year, already has a wide repertoire, with a leaning towards 20th and 21st century a cappella works. Their first concert at Leith Hill Place will be on Bank Holiday Monday 27 August.

The choir is, it seems, the only one to be named after Ralph Vaughan Williams, the Surrey Hills most illustrious musical resident, and a man whose legacy has made a huge and lasting impact on its choral life. As such, the group is particularly thrilled to be presenting its inaugural public concert right here in his childhood home at Leith Hill Place, and in the week marking the sixtieth anniversary of his death.

Vaughan Williams Singers was founded jointly by its Musical Director Ian Assersohn and Associate Musical Director Amy Bebbington, two musicians with strong links to the Leith Hill area and its choral traditions, and they will be conducting and introducing the programme. The choir’s accompanist is accomplished pianist (and Ian’s wife) Jan Assersohn.

The programme for this concert features works, in a largely pastoral vein, by great 20th century British composers including Finzi, Moeran, Ireland, Stanford and Elgar, alongside a variety of other music and readings. Vaughan Williams himself is represented by his small masterpiece for unaccompanied choir, the “Three Shakespeare Songs”. As a contrast, the programme finishes with three songs by a contemporary American composer, Morten Lauridsen, from his suite Les Chansons Des Roses, which will be sung in honour of his 75th birthday.

It is the last of the Vaughan Williams Shakespeare Songs, ‘Over Hill, Over Dale’, that gives tonight’s concert its title. As well as being an apt summary of the concert’s musical theme, the title is made particularly appropriate by the house’s magnificent and beautiful setting looking out over the North Downs. 

The concert is on Monday 27 August from 6-7:30pm. Tickets cost £15 and can be booked on 0344 249 1895.