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 For an informal discussion about the apprentice opportunity contact Sue Kent, La Folia general manager: | 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 or call 01722 714249.

La Folia launches Crowdfunder for Evening Songs 2019

La Folia has launched its first Crowdfunder campaign to help realise Evening Songs 2019.

Evening Songs 2019 is a revival of a project we first produced in 2016, when young people from Exeter House special school and Salisbury Cathedral Choristers made history by devising their own words and music for Evensong. Tom Clammer from Salisbury Cathedral described the service (which attracted a congregation of 700) as ‘one of the most, if not the most important thing the Cathedral has ever done’.

Click here to watch BBC South Today’s report about Evening Songs 2016.

‘Please notice who we really are’ (lyrics from Evening Songs 2016)

In 2019, our second Evening Songs project will see a new generation of pupils from Exeter House special school and Salisbury Cathedral choristers responding to the traditional Liturgy in highly individual ways. This time, to take the project onto a new level, the young people will work alongside international soloist Mark Padmore.

‘A superb example of true inclusion’ (feedback from Evening Songs 2016)

We want to challenge perceptions of difference, and demonstrate how this mix of young people with such diverse backgrounds and experiences can be engaged as collaborators, creators and performers centre-stage.

‘In a society where ‘going it alone’ seems to be creeping into every pore, it’s ever more important to ensure that we can offer the most vulnerable young people an outlet through which they can express their own power, feelings and needs, and experience a sense of togetherness’
(Howard Moody, La Folia artistic director)

We need the final £2,000 to make this project happen. Anything you give will go towards:

  • Realising a project that will transform lives and change perceptions of what young people can achieve
  • Giving young people the opportunity to work with international soloist Mark Padmore
  • Promoting the project to Cathedrals and Cathedral Choirs around the country to ensure more young people can have their voices heard

In return for your support, you won’t just get a warm glow, you’ll get some fabulous perks! Website and social media credits, signed programmes, invitations to workshops – you can really get involved with the project and play your part in changing lives through music.

Click here to support out campaign

You can also help us by sharing this campaign far and wide: for this to succeed we need all our friends and supporters, old and new to help us by spreading the news and encouraging people to contribute generously to the campaign.

Irwin Mitchell becomes La Folia sponsor

As La Folia embarks upon its 2018/19 programme of performances and projects, the Salisbury-based music charity is delighted to announce Irwin Mitchell as a new sponsor.

One of Southampton’s most established firms of solicitors, Irwin Mitchell will sponsor Evening Songs in July 2019. Building on the success of Evening Songs 2016, students from Exeter House School and choristers from Salisbury Cathedral will work together to devise their own words and compose music for the Evensong service.

Howard Moody, La Folia’s Artistic Director, describes the value of Irwin Mitchell’s support:

“Thank you to Irwin Mitchell for coming on board as a new sponsor during this exciting period of development for La Folia. They have immediately understood our uncompromising level of artistic quality as well as our tireless commitment to the local community. Their generosity towards Evening Songs will help us to promote the project to cathedrals throughout the UK and give more of our most vulnerable young people the chance to have their voices heard.”

Rebecca Brown, Associate Solicitor at Irwin Mitchell Southampton, says:

“Irwin Mitchell is delighted to announce this new partnership with La Folia and specifically our support towards Evening Songs 2019. Our workplace choir are also looking forward to getting involved behind the scenes as the project develops.”

La Folia is a music production company and charity bringing together instrumentalists, singers, actors, dancers, visual artists and writers to create new music, original projects and ground-breaking performances. Artistic Director Howard Moody is a composer, conductor and keyboard player with credits including Glyndebourne, London Symphony Orchestra, La Monnaie and Strasbourg Opera.

Irwin Mitchell Southampton offer a wide range of both personal and business legal services and won Law Firm of the Year at the Hampshire Law Society Awards 2017.


If you would like to become a La Folia sponsor, please contact Kate Burrough, Fundraising and Development Manager on

Community opera telling miraculous true story to feature in Salisbury festival weekend

This summer, La Folia in association with Wiltshire Creative will present two performances of PUSH, an opera by Howard Moody featuring internationally-renowned soloists, a community chorus of over 100 children and adults and a professional orchestra.

Salisbury-based music charity and production company La Folia is delighted to stage PUSH as part of the August bank holiday festival marking the launch of Wiltshire Creative, which has been formed by the merger of Salisbury Playhouse, Salisbury Arts Centre and Salisbury International Arts Festival. The two performances of PUSH will be in St Thomas’s Church at 5pm and 8pm on Saturday 25 August 2018.

The opera tells the story of Simon Gronowski, who was pushed from a train bound for Auschwitz by his mother in 1943 in order to save his life. He survived, but didn’t speak of his experiences for many years. Salisbury-based composer Howard Moody met Simon in Brussels and, after hearing his extraordinary story, promised that it would be the subject of his next opera. PUSH was subsequently commissioned in a partnership between Glyndebourne Opera and Battle Festival to mark the 900 th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings and was premiered in Sussex in October 2016. In January 2018, PUSH was performed in Chichester Cathedral to mark Holocaust Memorial Day.

The Salisbury performances in St Thomas’s Church will be staged by Glyndebourne director Simon Iorio, with composer Howard Moody as musical director. The three soloists are James Newby (Glyndebourne, BBC Proms), Matthew Stiff (Royal Opera House, English Touring Opera)  and Tereza Gevorgyan (Opera North, Glyndebourne). The orchestra is from La Folia and the performances will feature a vast community chorus of over 100 adults and children.

Despite the sombre story, PUSH is packed with memorable scenes and rousing tunes, with a strong message of hope and belief in the ‘power of human goodness’. Simon Gronowski himself will be in Salisbury for the performances and there is an opportunity to hear his story first-hand in his talk at Salisbury Methodist Church at 11am on Saturday 25 August.

Tickets for PUSH (£20/£10 under-18s) and the talk with Simon Gronowski (£10) will be available to the general public from 5 June from Salisbury Playhouse, either in person at the box office, by calling 01722 320333 or online at

Fawcetts Chartered Accountants become La Folia ‘Season Sponsor’

As La Folia embarks upon its 2018/19 programme of performances and projects, we are delighted to announce Fawcetts as a ‘Season Sponsor’. One of Salisbury’s most established firms of chartered accountants, Fawcetts will be providing sponsorship towards a number of La Folia events across the coming season, from workshops in schools to professional concerts.

John Cox (Chair of trustees, La Folia) and Richard Allen (Partner, Fawcetts). Photograph by Adrian Harris.

Fawcetts have supported La Folia since the music charity was first formed in 1986 under the name ‘Sarum Chamber Orchestra’. Richard Allen, Partner at Fawcetts commented: ‘As accountants, Fawcetts constantly strive to add value to our client services and adding value is precisely what La Folia does within our community in so many ways. Howard’s inspiring projects often involve members of the community taking part in musical performances which they may never have thought could possibly include them. This is particularly so in the case of the projects which have involved disadvantaged young people and those who have suffered life changing injuries within our armed forces. These projects bring so much joy to those lucky enough to take part because they open doors within themselves which might otherwise stay firmly shut. La Folia merits support from local businesses because employees and customers of those businesses are able to benefit directly or indirectly from the work it does within the community. Fawcetts is very happy to give tangible support as a season sponsor.’

Howard Moody, La Folia’s Artistic Director describes the value of Fawcetts’ support: ‘Thank you to Fawcetts for being our most loyal and long-standing sponsor. They have always appreciated our uncompromising level of artistic quality as well as our tireless commitment to the local community. Their generosity has facilitated so much, and will continue to do so as we embark on a new season of performances and projects’.

La Folia is a music production company and charity bringing together instrumentalists, singers, actors, dancers, visual artists and writers to create new music, original projects and ground-breaking performances. Artistic Director Howard Moody is a composer, conductor and keyboard player with credits including Glyndebourne, London Symphony Orchestra, La Monnaie and Strasbourg Opera.

Fawcetts act for a wide variety of individuals, businesses and charitable organisations across Southern England and beyond, providing audit, accountancy, taxation, financial and associated business support services. The Fawcetts team has particular expertise in a range of specialist sectors, including charities, independent schools, agricultural and rural affairs, equestrian businesses and the construction industry.

If you would like to become a La Folia sponsor, please contact Kate Burrough, Fundraising and Development Manager on

‘Sei Solo’ wine auction

One of the flagship projects of La Folia’s 2017-2018 season is named after the words written by Bach on the title page of his sonatas and partitas for violin: Sei Solo.

La Folia has been given two bottles of Sei Solo wine, which has come from the winery of Spanish wine-maker Javier Zaccagnini. The Sei Solo wine is a tribute to Johann Sebastian Bach, Javier’s favourite composer, with the handwriting of Bach’s original manuscript reproduced on the label of each bottle.

La Folia is delighted to present two bottles of 2013 Sei Solo wine for auction. All money raised will go towards the Sei Solo project. The auction will close at 14:00 hours on Friday 8 December 2017. Click here to visit the online auction.

©Adrian Harris Photography


The project

From January to June 2018, La Folia will work with students from Woodford Valley Primary Academy Resource Base for Autism and Exeter House Special School. Through workshops and performance, pupils will express positive and negative emotion around being alone – a very present sense for these young students with a range of social, mental and physical health difficulties. Visiting professional solo musicians will reflect what one person can do in very positive terms, and knit the students’ new work into Bach’s 300 year-old repertoire.

La Folia’s artistic director Howard Moody explains: “In a society where ‘going it alone’ seems to be creeping into every pore, it feels ever more important to ensure that the most vulnerable young people find an outlet through which they can express their own power, feelings and needs, and experience a sense of togetherness.”

La Folia have a fundraising target of £20,000 to complete the project and are working to secure this from trusts and foundations as well as individual donations.

The wine

The first vintage to reach the market was 2011. The grapes are a real favourite of Javier, sourced from La Horra in Burgos, a village known for its structured, distinctive reds.

The winery produces around 15,000 bottles in each vintage. Sei Solo (2,000 bottles) is produced from what Javier considers the ideal wine in terms of finesse, elegance, precision and balance. 13,000 bottles of Preludio de Sei Solo are then produced with the wine that remains. Both wines are single-varietal Tempranillo reds.

More information is available at