Monthly Archives: August 2016

“La Folia perform miracles” with Evening Songs

“Literally awe-inspiring… For me, one of the most special moments was watching one of our Choristers singing alongside two students from Exeter House and smiling as if they were old friends. …What an amazing project, bringing children together and broadening horizons. By the end of that special service, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.” Cary Sinclair-Kemp (Teacher, Salisbury Cathedral School)

La Folia’s most recent project, Evening Songs, culminated in an innovative Evensong service in July 2016. A creative collaboration between La Folia, Exeter House Special School, Salisbury Cathedral School and Salisbury Cathedral, Evening Songs saw pupils from Exeter House and the Cathedral School together devising words and composing music for the service, responding to the Liturgy in highly individual ways.

BBC South Today had a look behind the scenes during one of the workshops, run by artistic Director Howard Moody. You can watch the footage and read some of the inspiring feedback here.

The service itself drew a crowd which almost filled the cathedral, and the stunning, heartfelt performance resonated powerfully with the audience. Here’s just some of the amazing feedback La Folia has received.

Helen Birchenough (Trustee, Ageas Salisbury International Arts Festival)

“It is hard to believe that anything could be done to Salisbury Cathedral to make it more beautiful…but something happened at Evensong last Tuesday to bring an extra level of beauty to this hallowed space.

…It was as if a blast of fresh air had blown into the Cathedral and slightly dislodged the timeless symmetry and order of the place, making the choir and congregation alike experience it with new eyes and ears. In the opening words of their new Nunc Dimittis: ‘O my God, we have seen something amazing. Amazing’. We certainly have.”

Richard Hooper (Lay Vicar, Salisbury Cathedral)

“Remarkable, a real privilege to have been involved. I was struck by the overall musicality of what was produced, the fascinating way the new words were different but entirely suitable, and the wide range of different things the young people brought to it, including unwavering commitment!”

Janine Hillary (La Folia donor)

“There was the most amazing atmosphere in the Cathedral. The singing was wonderful and it was so good was to watch the parents and families of the Exeter House children looking so incredibly proud. …Watching the Exeter House children come back down the nave hand-in- hand with the choristers and other musicians and punching the air with joy was one of the most amazing things that I have ever seen in the Cathedral. …Roll on the next one!”

Janet O’Callaghan, NADFAS

“La Folia is such an inspiration and the work you do for those young people, I want to stand and SHOUT ALL ABOUT THE MARVELLOUS WORK”

Staff at Salisbury Cathedral

“Thank you. You have transformed us.”

Tom Clammer (Canon Precentor, Salisbury Cathedral)

“It was absolutely a pleasure to host and to be involved in this service, about which I am getting comments and emails daily which all say the same thing: that this was one of the most, if not the most important thing the cathedral has ever done. It has undoubtedly been transformational for all of us, and we must build on it in our planning for the future.”

Rose Harding (Development Director, Southwark Cathedral)

“Congratulations to all of those involved in Evening Songs at Salisbury Cathedral. A mighty and almighty occasion of beautiful music and song and liturgy and prayer. An experience to make the heart palpitate, the nerve-endings tingle, the soul lift, and the H! A! P! P! Y! to ring out! I do not doubt for one minute the hard work that went in to this. A very great privilege to be present last night. I will remember it for the rest of my life…”

Jeff Moore (composer and violinist)

“Words still completely fail me, as they did on the day. I can’t remember ever being quite so moved by the raw power of music”

Parents of students at Exeter House Special School

“A truly magnificent and uplifting experience…quite simply one of the most joyous occasions I can remember”

“So amazing, so proud, wonderful – what a school”

Students from Exeter House Special School

“Really happy”

“Two thumbs up! Howard made good songs”

“Singing in front of lots of people was the best”

“I made new friends”

“The Cathedral School are FANTASITCAL at singing. I’m proud to sing with them”

“It’s fun, it’s musical and it makes me dance!”

“It’s amazing working with other schools and hearing them sing.”

Staff at Exeter House Special School

“A truly magical evening. So proud of you all”

“It was a very emotional and it was great to see the confidence in our Exeter House students”

“Couldn’t be prouder of everyone involved. It was perfect and the response has been overwhelming”

“A superb example of true inclusion”

“Quite simply beautiful. Howard is a magician. He takes the smallest sounds or movements from the students and creates a masterpiece. The project this year has been breath-taking. I’m immensely proud of both schools and how they have combined to create a wonderful piece.”

Alistair Watson (Chorister, Salisbury Cathedral)

“I really enjoyed Evening Songs. It was really special…Let’s do it every year..?”