1981. The first Fringe Concert was held in Pixham Church. This has since developed into an annual Christmas party/concert. Robert Marsh had resigned in November 1981, and the choir gained its next conductor, Philip White at the beginning of 1982.
1982. The Patrons scheme (now Friends) was started. The generosity of the Patrons and Friends has considerably helped the development of the Society in the succeeding decade. Philip White’s cantata ‘Boniface’ was performed in the November concert.
1985. The Young Dorking Choral Society was formed, under the conductorship of Rosemary Field. Sadly, this enterprising venture lasted only a few years.
1987. The choir’s standard had been rising considerably under Philip White. At the 1987 Festival, DCS won the Advanced Division and started a remarkable run of success. It went on to win every Festival from 1987 to 1992. The Society began giving an additional concert in June each year. The first one included another piece by Philip White, ‘I Saw a Light’. November saw a notable concert when William Mathias’ ‘St. Teilo’ was performed. The composer attended and gave an introductory talk and Philip Madoc took the part of the narrator.
1988. DCS took part in the first Mole Valley Festival of Arts. It joined in ‘Three Choirs in Concert’, together with the choral societies of Beare Green and Newdigate and Brockham. The November concert included Philip White’s ‘Begin the Dawn’.
1989. Another notable November concert included a fortieth anniversary performance of Vaughan Williams’ ‘An Oxford Elegy’, narrated by Gabriel Woolf and a celebration of Armstrong Gibbs’ centenary with ‘The Turning Year’ given in the presence of the composer’s daughter.
1990. The June concert included ‘Summer Sunday’, and was attended by the composer Joseph Horovitz and the librettist Gordon Snell.
1991. The choir joined with the Insurance Orchestra and the Huntingdonshire Philharmonic Choir to perform Verdi ‘Requiem’. The first performance was given at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon, under Philip White. The choir then travelled to Ely to give a second performance in the magnificent cathedral, under Christopher Brown.
1992. Dorking Choral Society celebrated its 70th Anniversary in style by winning all the major classes at the Leith Hill Festival and taking the Julian Armitage-Smith salver for the sixth year in succession. A 70th Anniversary celebratory concert was held in June at The Barn, Norwood Place Farm. 70th Anniversary celebrations continued in November with a performance of a specially commissioned work from Christopher Brown, ‘A Christmas Cantata’.
1993. DCS once again won all the major classes at the Leith Hill Musical Festival. In June the choir joined the singers of East Grinstead Choral Society to give a performance of Haydn’s ‘Nelson Mass’ in East Grinstead Parish Church. In the Autumn the choir performed ‘The Sea Symphony’ by Vaughan Williams with the Insurance Orchestra in the Dorking Halls. This was the last concert conducted by Philip White.
1994. Ivor Setterfield was appointed conductor. A graduate of York University, he studied as a post graduate singer at the Royal Academy of Music, then on the post graduate conducting course and was awarded the Opera Conducting Scholarship for the joint Royal Academy and Royal College vocal faculty. Once again Dorking were the overall winners of the Leith Hill Musical Festival. The summer concert included a performance of Faure’s ‘Requiem’. The autumn concert was a performance of Mendelssohn’s oratorio ‘Elijah’.
1995. Dorking were again the overall winners in the Leith Hill Musical Festival. The main work was Verdi ‘Requiem’. The summer concert was a collection of English music including Parry’s ‘Blest Pair of Sirens’. To celebrate the tercentenary of the death of Purcell, the autumn concert consisted entirely of his works, with the opera ‘Dido and Aeneas’ performed as part of the programme.
1996. DCS came second in the LHMF, Epsom were the winners. This festival was held in the chapel of Charterhouse School during the refurbishment of the Dorking Halls. In the summer, members of the choir gave a concert at Ratley in Warwickshire as part of their Music Gala. The programme included works by Gorecki, Mendelssohn, Copland, Brahms and Dyson. The autumn concert featured performances of Mozart’s ‘Requiem’ and Haydn’s ‘Nelson Mass’ with the New London Soloists Orchestra, conducted by Ivor Setterfield.
1997. DCS were overall winners of the Leith Hill Musical Festival with Elgar’s ‘Music Makers’ as the main chorus. The summer concert was an Opera Gala held at Denbies Wine Estate with buffet supper. The 75th Anniversary Concert was held at the Dorking Halls in November. The works were ‘Carmina Burana’ by Carl Orff and a new commission ‘When All The Earth is Paradise’ by Philip White, former conductor of the choir. The choir was augmented by members of the New London Singers and conducted for the last time by Ivor Setterfield.