T here was a first Chobham Flower & Music Festival in 1973 and a second in the Silver Jubilee year of 1977. Some years were to pass before Chobham enjoyed a Festival of Flowers & Music in September 1994 when which raised money to help renovate the Church Hall at the Parish Church of St Lawrence.
Since that date there has been a Music Festival every year, with a Flower Festival running alongside it every third year. Although both music and flower festivals have made regular financial gifts to the church, the events have been about nurturing community spirit and bringing something special to village life as much they are about fundraising.
Classical music concerts in St Lawrence have included such glorious music as Vivaldi’s ‘The Four Seasons’, Handel’s ‘Water Music’ and ‘Fireworks Music’, Schubert’s ‘Trout Quintet’, Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, Fauré’s Requiem, Chopin Piano Music, Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’, Elgar’s Serenade and Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto.
The unique baroque music group, the brilliant The Red Priest, have given outstanding concerts in St Lawrence Church and music events of various genres have sold out at other local venues including Planet Abba, Shadows of Motown, Friary Guildford Brass Band, The Redbridge Brass Band, Sussex Jazz Kings, Excel Jazzmen and the Barbershop Group ‘ The Royal Harmonics’.
Literary, art and children’s events, including the Schools’ Prom, which brings local schools together, have also been an important feature.
Since its start, Chobham Festival has attracted people from neighbouring villages and towns as well as Chobham itself. It continues to enrich local arts and music, to encourage a sense of good community, to showcase Chobham’s beautiful historic church building to large audiences and to support the parish church financially.