Choir singing to repair 'gem'
ONE of the South West's leading chamber choirs will be hoping to raise more than the roof when they perform at a city church next month.
Exevox will be in concert at St David's Church and are hoping the money they raise will play for vital repairs.
"Sir John Betjeman considered St David's 'the finest example of Victorian church architecture in the South West'," said a spokesman for the choir.
"And English Heritage says it is among the finest of late Victorian Gothic churches in England. Unfortunately the church is suffering from subsidence at the west end and this is where we hope we will be able to help."
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At the charity concert the award-winning chamber choir will be singing a huge range of classical, traditional and modern music. The packed programme includes some haunting Palestrina to present-day compositions by Billy Joel and the current rock star of choral composition, Eric Whitacre, and including the Military Wives hit Wherever You Are.
"We have a fine track record of high-quality performances in concerts raising money for a range of charities," the spokesman added.
"We have just completed a 'church crawl' of the Netherexe churches and are planning a concert in the Guildhall on April 20 next year, in aid of the Mayor's charity, SOCOPS."
Led by musical director Peter Adcock, the choir of around 20 experienced singers have a regular and loyal following. The spokesman added: "Exevox is about sharing work, music and friendship. We are a group of experienced singers brought together by a shared love of music old and new, classical and contemporary.
"We are really pleased to be able to help and raise money for St David's with our next concert.
"How many of us have raced in and out of Exeter College or veered our way round into Hele Road without looking closely at this building?
"It has wonderful doors, ironwork, stone carving and stained glass that reflect art nouveau ideas, but which are all integral with the design and not added as surface decoration. The tower is an absolute masterpiece. So two gems are on display on November 10. The slightly damaged diamond of St David's and the effervescent Exevox, who will hopefully be giving a polished performance."
St David's is a Grade I listed building and nationally recognised as an architectural gem at the cross-roads between high Victorian church design and the art nouveau and arts and crafts movements which followed in the early 1900s.
Although the site has had a church on it since Anglo Saxon times, in the 1800s it was occupied by a church of "Pepper-pot" design which had been built only in 1817 but was universally disliked. There was a rush to build new churches in Exeter at this time and St David's was pulled down in 1896 and the current church was built on the footprint of the 1817 church but slightly longer.
It is the "slightly longer" bit which is now subsiding. It cost £20,615 13s to build but will now cost hundreds of thousands to repair.
The Exevox concert will take place at the St David's Church on November 10, from 7.30pm. Tickets are £8 and £6 for students, under-16s free. Details: 01647 252298 or e-mail email@example.com or buy at the door.