A "very special" service at Salisbury Cathedral returned as part of a choral tradition between choristers and children from Exeter House.

Following six months of creative workshops and planning, Evening Songs returned to Salisbury Cathedral on Tuesday, July 2 for the third Evensong service, in front of a congregation of several hundred.

The project sees special needs students from Exeter House School in Salisbury and choristers from Salisbury Cathedral come together to devise new words and melodies for the traditional Evensong service.

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Artistic director of La Folia and creator of Evening Songs Howard Moody said: “Evening Songs has become a new choral tradition that allows Special School children to be integrated into a cathedral choir on an equal footing.

"Everything that the Cathedral’s Precentor sings, the psalm, the readings and prayers are unchanged, but other pieces of music are entirely created by the young singers taking part”.

Evening Songs was first created in 2016 and held again in 2019. This year, the music and words have been created by students from Exeter House School, Exeter House Vocational Centre, co-farmers from Wilton-based Able Hands Together and choristers from Salisbury Cathedral.

They have been led by musicians Howard Moody, Lynsey Docherty, Mark Padmore and David Halls, who was also organist for the service.

La Folia is a Wiltshire-based music charity that brings together musicians, writers and performers to create new music, in ground-breaking collaborations and performances, under the leadership of Howard Moody. It began devising projects for making music with young people with special needs more than 20 years ago.

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Director of music at Salisbury Cathedral David Halls said: “Evening Songs spreads the good news about the healing and restorative power which making music together provides, and it is so appropriate that this special project culminates in an act of worship in the breathtaking space of Salisbury Cathedral.

"Once again it has been a privilege to see the results of what the Cathedral choristers and pupils from Exeter House have created together.”