Formally known as the Encore Summer School, Surbiton Summer Salons is now in it’s 7th year. Originally devised by members of a local community choir and their choir leader, Charles MacDougall, as an opportunity to get together and participate in musical activities in an informal atmosphere over the summer months when their usual activities paused, the festival has grown from one-off concerts given by Charles to a week-long festival of concerts, talks and workshops given by professional musicians and local speakers.
At the core of the festival has always been a lively social element, with the host, Liz Magennis, providing food and drinks at each event, allowing the participants to mingle both with other audience members and the performers. This interaction is at the heart of what Surbiton Salons aims to achieve: to enable people to enjoy musical performances on their doorstep in an informal and enjoyable environment.
For the Summer 2019 festival the Salons moved into a new venue, The CornerHOUSE Community Arts Centre, Surbiton. This new partnership allowed for a more adventurous programme and larger audiences, as well as the opportunity to reach more of the local community. Looking to the future, we're already planning next year's festival to be bigger and better than before, so watch this space!