Inclusive Cathedral Evensong service praised

by Michael Ford last modified 15 Jan, 2020 02:00 PM

Praise has been given for an innovative Evensong service at our Cathedral.

Inclusive Cathedral Evensong service praised

Original photo by Ash Mills

Evening Songs 2019 was 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 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 was sung by the composers themselves in Salisbury Cathedral, back in July 2019.

The Evening Songs 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 worked with Exeter House pupils to create designs for an order of service to guide the congregation through what might 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. The project has expanded to include students at Wiltshire College & University Centre, some of whom are former Exeter House students.

Evening Songs was 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'.

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