Stone Songs radio premiere

An excerpt from Howard Moody’s Stone Songs, commissioned by La Folia, was premiered on BBC Radio Wiltshire’s breakfast show on Sunday 31 May.

Click here to listen to the interview and the exclusive rehearsal recording (from 33 mins in)

Rehearsal recording mixed by Adrian Zolotuhin and featuring soloists Katy Crompton, Helen Charlston, Nick Pritchard, Sam Poppleton and Edward Grint with Howard Moody, composer on piano.

Stone Songs was due to be premiered at Salisbury Cathedral in May 2020, produced in association with Wiltshire Creative, underpinned by the power of the newly-refurbished Cathedral organ and featuring the 120 voices of Salisbury Festival Chorus. It is hoped that the piece will be presented once Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted.

Click here to receive updates about the Stone Songs postponement

May 2020 newsletter

A virtual Epilogue from the opera PUSH, a video interview with Howard Moody and Sue Kent for the Wiltshire Creative Connects programme, and Major Andrew Johnston’s marathon: full details of the latest goings-on at La Folia can be found in our May 2020 newsletter.

PUSH virtual finale

‘My life is only miracles’, the finale of Howard Moody‘s opera PUSH, has been performed virtually by singers in Salisbury, Chichester, London and Brussels to mark the 77th anniversary of protagonist Simon Gronowski’s escape from a train bound for Auschwitz.

https://youtu.be/-sm1rI-j5iE

‘Celebrate Life’ digital downloads

CD postage is currently on pause, but we’re very pleased to say tracks from our Celebrate Life album are now available to buy digitally via Bandcamp! All the songs were created and performed by foundation students from Wiltshire College & University Centre alongside La Folia musicians as part of our Continuing Songs project in 2018.

Click here to buy tracks
All proceeds will go to future La Folia projects with young people with special needs.

March 2020 newsletter

Stones Songs booking has opened today! This brand new community opera has been written by Howard Moody and will be performed by Salisbury Festival Chorus alongside professional singers and musicians. Further information and La Folia project updates can be found in our latest newsletter:
March 2020

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La Folia’s 2019-20 season

La Folia’s 2019-20 season includes a series of workshops in schools and Salisbury Cathedral as part of a project exploring Howard Moody’s Brussels Requiem, three months of music therapy sessions in a residential dementia care setting in Devon leading to the commissioning of a new work by composer Richard Barnard, and working with Wiltshire Creative to produce a Festival Chorus performance at Salisbury International Arts Festival 2020.

800 people attended Evening Songs 2019

A new group of Exeter House students and cathedral choristers devised their own words and music in response to the traditional Evensong liturgy, directed by Howard Moody and alongside acclaimed tenor Mark Padmore and soprano Charlotte Shaw. Over 800 people joined the congregation for the service on Tuesday 9 July. Click here to read more.

Inclusive Evensong service returns to Salisbury Cathedral

Following the success of Evening Songs 2016, which attracted a congregation of over 700 people, La Folia returns to Salisbury Cathedral this summer to present another innovative Evensong service.

Evening Songs 2019 is a creative collaboration between La Folia, Exeter House Special School, Wiltshire College & University Centre, Salisbury Cathedral School and Salisbury Cathedral.

Cathedral choristers and students from Exeter House Special School, Exeter House Vocational Centre and Wiltshire College & University Centre have joined together to devise a new Evensong service that represents each young person’s highly individual response to the Christian Liturgy.

This ground-breaking church service will be sung by the composers themselves in Salisbury Cathedral at 5.30pm on Tuesday 9 July, 2019.

La Folia have been invited back to the Cathedral to present Evening Songs 2019 following widespread enthusiasm for the 2016 project. Speaking about the trail-blazing service Canon Anna Macham, Canon Precentor of Salisbury Cathedral said:

‘I know my predecessor, Canon Tom Clammer, felt Evening Songs was one of the most important things we have done at the Cathedral. It brought a fresh voice to familiar liturgy that proved unique and transformative, and I feel fortunate to be able to share in this joyful and exuberant act of worship.’

The Evening Songs 2019 project is led by La Folia’s artistic director Howard Moody, alongside tenor Mark Padmore, soprano Charlotte Shaw and Salisbury Cathedral Lay Vicars. Visual artist Susan Francis has worked with Exeter House pupils to create designs for an order of service to guide the congregation through what might well be an unfamiliar Evensong experience.

The Evening Songs concept grew from Magna Songs, La Folia’s special needs project performance in Salisbury Cathedral in July 2015. Ian Wicks of Salisbury Cathedral School wanted to share something of the Magna Songs experience with the choristers, which led La Folia Artistic Director Howard Moody to explore a long-held dream: pupils from Exeter House and the Cathedral School devising words and composing music together for Evensong. This year, the project has expanded to include students at Wiltshire College & University Centre, some of whom are former Exeter House students.

Evening Songs 2019 has been funded by the following individuals and organisations: Arts Council England; The Arts Society Wylye Valley; The Girdlers’ Company Charitable Trust; Golsoncott Foundation; Anton Jurgens Charitable Trust; Irwin Mitchell; Salisbury Cathedral; The Geoff and Fiona Squire Foundation; Michael Tippett Musical Foundation; Verdon Smith Charitable Trust; Wallace Curzon Charitable Trust; Wiltshire Music Connect; Individual supporters of the Evening Songs crowdfunder campaign and La Folia’s the singing trust

Applications open for apprentice music leaders

*Applications for the apprentice scheme are now closed*

La Folia is launching an apprentice scheme for students or music leaders at the start of their careers (18+) with an interest in using their musical skills in creative projects in the community. There are two positions available.

The apprentices will gain ‘on the job’ experience working alongside artistic director Howard Moody and other professional musicians developing the Evening Songs 2019 project, in which 75 young people from Exeter House Special School, Salisbury Cathedral School and Wiltshire College & University Centre, Salisbury will devise their own words and music for the traditional Evensong service. Click here for more information.

Apprentices will also gain experience of La Folia’s general management, fundraising, marketing and artistic planning functions, and will be signposted towards other Continuing Professional Development opportunities through various partnership organisations including Wiltshire Music Connect.

We are particularly interested in hearing from musicians with experience across multiple genres, including performing, improvising, composing or leading ensembles. Successful applicants will be self-motivated instrumentalists or singers with enthusiasm for encouraging others to express themselves through music. Applicants do not need to have experience of working with young people with special needs or knowledge of church music.

La Folia is a Salisbury-based charity and production company that brings together instrumentalists, singers, actors, dancers, visual artists and writers to create new music, original projects and ground-breaking performances. Our projects have gained a reputation for innovation and best practice in both mainstream and special education. The long-term aim of the apprentice scheme is to expand La Folia’s team of music leaders in order to develop our programme of projects. We are an equal opportunities employer.

Terms of engagement:

  • 36 hours across 3 months (25 April – 9 July 2019, with a view to extension into future projects)
  • Rate of pay will be £10 per hour
  • Reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed

For more information about La Folia visit www.lafoliamusic.org. For an informal discussion about the apprentice opportunity contact Sue Kent, La Folia general manager: sue.kent@lafoliamusic.org | 01722 714249

Funded by Arts Council England and Wiltshire Music Connect

*Applications are now closed*

Deadline for applications: Friday 8th March, 5pm
Audition workshop: Monday 8th April in Salisbury

Images by Ash Mills

College students collaborate with La Folia musicians to launch an album of original songs in celebration of life

Over recent months, musicians from La Folia have been collaborating with students on the Foundation Studies Course at Wiltshire College & University Centre, Salisbury to create Celebrate Life: an album of original songs exploring what it means to be alive.

All are welcome at the album launch event, which will be held at Salisbury Arts Centre on Wednesday 28 November 2018, starting at 6.30pm. There will be an opportunity to meet the musicians, hear some of the songs performed live and purchase copies of the CD just in time for Christmas!


Image by Victoria Denney, age 16

The album has been created as part of a project called ‘Continuing Songs’, facilitated by Salisbury-based music charity and production company La Folia. Many of the participating students began working with La Folia while they were pupils at Exeter House School. Howard Moody, La Folia’s artistic director, has led the project, alongside project artists Adrian Zolotuhin, Jeff Moore, Colin Brown, Buster Birch and Ruby Moody.

Howard Moody, artistic director at La Folia explains: ‘These ‘Continuing Songs’ are a testament to the culture of creativity that so many of these young artists have lived over many years. Although guided and enhanced by the professional expertise of the La Folia team, the words and melodies of every song were initially created by the students themselves. This project has been a true collaboration and provides an important opportunity for the voices of these extraordinary young people to be heard. Their messages are so moving and their reflections on life are so important for everyone to understand.’

Denise Lloyd, assistant principal at Wiltshire College & University Centre, Salisbury says: ‘The work that La Folia does is invaluable to the students. I hope we can continue our partnership for many years to come.’

The Continuing Songs project has been generously supported by: Arts Council England; Foyle Foundation; the singing trust (La Folia); South Wilts Mencap; Wiltshire College & University Centre; Wiltshire Council: Amesbury Area Board; Wiltshire Council: Salisbury Area Board; anonymous donors.

Admission to the launch event is free. To book a seat please email sue.kent@lafoliamusic.org or call 01722 714249.