Projects 2017-19

Evening Songs 2019

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January – July 2019: following the success of Evening Songs 2016, which attracted a congregation of over 700 and caused Precentor Tom Clammer to write, ‘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’, we have been invited by Salisbury Cathedral to produce another Evening Songs project with the students of Exeter House School and Exeter House Vocational Centre along with Salisbury Cathedral choristers.

In the 2019 project, a new group of students and choristers will devise their own words and music in response to the traditional Evensong liturgy, directed by Howard Moody and alongside acclaimed tenor Mark Padmore. All are welcome to join the congregation in Salisbury Cathedral on Tuesday 9 July 2019 at 5.30pm.

Click here to see the BBC South Today report from Evening Songs 2016


Current projects (2018)

Sei Solo workshops at Exeter House Special School 

June – September 2018: the story behind Bach’s Sei Solo mirrors many of the themes we have explored with students from Exeter House School and Exeter House Vocational Centre throughout this project. How can their voices be heard? How can they use music to express themselves in a culture where intellect, words and regulation override their own language of instinct and feeling? Students have worked with artistic director Howard Moody, alongside project artists Emma Payne, Adrian Zolotuhin, Jeff Moore, Bryony Moody, Charlotte Beament and visual artist Susan Francis.

The project will culminate in an informal sharing of the students’ creative responses to the music of Bach at St Martin’s Church, Salisbury on Friday 28 September at 10.30am. Admission is free and booking is not required. There will be a retiring collection for future projects.


Continuing Songs workshops at Salisbury College

June – November 2018: through our developing relationship with Wiltshire College, Salisbury, we have been continuing our work with students who have left Exeter House School, along with other young people who are new to our projects. Working alongside students on the Foundation Course, project artists Howard Moody, Adrian Zolotuhin, Jeff Moore and Colin Brown have been gathering together songs the students have created – old and new – into a recording.

All are invited to join us for the launch of the Continuing Songs CD at Salisbury Arts Centre on 28 November 2018 at 6.30pm. Admission is free but booking is essential. Please contact Sue Kent to reserve your place.


Recent projects (2017-18)

Songs of Courage workshops at High Close School, Wokingham

Our 2017-18 Songs of Courage project is currently taking place at High Close School, a Barnardo’s School for young people with a range of social, emotional & mental health difficulties, along with speech, language & communication needs.

La Folia musicians are working alongside students to creatively explore ‘ordinary’ people’s extraordinary acts of courage, starting with Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat on the Alabama bus in 1955. The students have been creating their own Songs of Courage, drawing on inspiration from the stories they hear about in the workshops as well as from their own lives.

I would like to say how utterly AMAZING the ‘Songs of Courage’ project is and what a buzz it is creating. Time after time we are seeing young people touch parts of their innermost selves through music and song in a way that they have never experienced before. Considering how trouble and anxiety ridden so many of these young people are it is extraordinary to watch the process. Howard and the team are doing it all over again…! It’s life changing.

Hilary Craven at High Close School

Feedback from participants:

“I didn’t tell you my real name because I was scared, but now I’m feeling more brave”

“I love songs of courage because we get to make something amazing out of our deepest thoughts.”

“When we first started this I couldn’t believe that we would make our own music. I thought that our song would be rubbish but it is really good.”

“I’m proud of myself because I find doing new things really scary. At first I really didn’t want to do it but the people are really fun and nice and now I look forward to it.”


Hospital project

June 2017: Howard Moody, Emily Blows and Ken Aiso spent four days working with older adults with dementia in Salisbury District Hospital. Drawing on patients’ memories and current experience, they created music with individuals who were assigned to them by the medical staff, exploring their responses and documenting outcomes. In some cases, patients chose to simply hear the musicians play and sing to them. One patient’s family member described the music as “a real blessing”.


Swan Songs pilot workshops

March 2017: Howard Moody and Emily Blows led sessions with patients, parents and carers at Jacksplace Hospice for young adults, creating words and music for several songs. One young man had a strong alto voice. He had not sung since leaving school and had come to Jacksplace only recently, which he said had changed his life. Within minutes he was singing, composing a song, saying he had been longing to let that out for ten years, and thanked Emily for “giving me back my voice”.