Let’s Face the Music, and Dance!

A photograph from the 1920s proclaims “Music hath charms – so has Woking”. This new display explores music making in Woking from Leonel Power, musician to the Duke of Clarence in Woking manor house in the early 15th century, through to composers and performers such as Ethel Smyth and Adelina de Lara, who came to live in Woking.

Find out how music and dance developed alongside Woking’s growing town from the 1890s, with the founding of Woking Musical Society and the opening of the Atlanta Ballroom.

The display also looks at the emergence of local talent in Woking following on from WW2. Discover more about iconic bands who formed in the town such as The Jam and Status Quo.

Throughout the town there have always been numerous teachers of instruments, singing and dance. A Woking Conservatoire of Music in Chertsey Road was founded in 1916 by Ernest Read and many pupils at these schools have competed since 1923 in the Woking Music Festival, and since 1995 performed in the Woking Dance Festival (now Dance Woking).

To find out more, visit Woking’s Story.

The Lightbox would like to thank: Rick Buckler, Dance Woking, Jenny Fowler (Woking Choral Society), Genesis Chorale, John Godsland, Simon Hawkings, Richard Langtree, Sylvia McMaster, Jenny Mukerji, the Northern Ballet, Kathleen Pawley, Bob Potter, Les Reed, Jenny Sohl (Woking Symphony Orchestra), Tracey Summerscales and Summerscales Performing Arts, Surrey History Centre, Susan Robinson School of Ballet, Keith White (Woking Amateur Operatic Society) and Hilary Witts (KASJOG).

Image credit: Dancers from the Susan Robinson School of Ballet. Courtesy of Susan Robinson.