Photo of Schola Cantorum Jubilate

Schola Cantorum Jubilate is one of the affirmed choirs in Malta. Set up by Stefan Attard in the year 2000, the choir seeks to improve the overall image of choral music and get more people involved in the world of choral singing. The choir also pursues to create opportunities for its choristers to enhance their vocal and musical knowledge and help them develop strong personalities through a sense of belonging, teamwork and commitment.

Their conductor Marouska Attard - herself now an established singer and a graduate in choral conducting – is a hard worker and the choir owes its success to her teaching. She is an energetic and talented musician who seeks high performance for the amusement of its listeners.

Schola Cantorum Jubilate specialises in sacred polyphony though they also sing other secular genres. Pieces in their repertoire include works by the masters of polyphonic music: Palestrina, Victoria, Tallis and Byrd and the late Domenico Bartolucci. The classists, Bach and Mozart are also part of the choir’s repertoire together with choral works by Maltese contemporary composers Charles Camilleri, Paul Portelli, Ruben Zahra and Christopher Muscat.

During the last sixteen years, Schola Cantorum Jubilate has performed in prestigious venues and delighted many audiences both in Malta and abroad. Concerts have been performed at St. John’s Co-Cathedral and the Auberge de Castille, Palazzo Parisio (Malta) and at the President’s Palace (Attard, Malta). Their international debut occurred in November 2003, when they participated in the Festival Rencontres Musicales de Méditerranée in Bastia, Corsica. Encouraged by these international performances, the Schola Cantorum Jubilate organised a music-cultural tour to Rome and Assisi (2007). They animated High Mass at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, at the Basilicas of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome and that of St. Francis in Assisi. A high for the choristers during this tour was when they met the late Cardinal Domenico Bartolucci who had been the conductor of the Sistine Chapel’s Choir at the Vatican. This tour was followed by another tour in Austria, in September 2009. Here the Schola Cantorum sang in prominent venues like St. Stephen's Cathedral, St. Peter's Church (Vienna), the Old Cathedral of Linz, Hellbrunn (Salzburg) and the Abbeys of Melk and Göttweig. They also took part in cultural events in the city of Linz, the European Capital for Culture for that year and in ‘Voices of the World’ at the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna. Then in June 2012, the choir visited Chevaigné in France. Apart from the cultural visits and tours around the regions of Brittany and Normandy, Schola Cantorum Jubilate sang in the Parish Church of St. Pierre of Chevaigné, in the Cathedral of Rennes and in Mont Saint Michel. The most recent tour was held in November 2015 in the cities of Padova and Venice (Italy). The choir performed in the churches of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Santa Maria della Pietà, the Basilica of Saint Mark and the Basilica of Saint Anthony in Padova.

On other occasions, the choir has collaborated with professional musicians and ensembles. To name but a few, together with members from the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, they have executed Maurice Duruflé’s ‘Requiem’. Moreover they have worked closely with the Maltese composer Ruben Zahra on the project ‘Vrbe Nova’. In November 2013, the choir participated in the Malta International Choirs Festival. On this occasion it was awarded the Silver Medal Award for Sacred Music. The choir had also the opportunity to work with the international conductor and famous pianist Wayne Marshall in a private concert organised by HSBC bank in 2015. It had also launched three CDs: In a Manger’ (2001), ‘Jubilate’ (2005) and ‘Hora Gloriæ’ (2010).

Locally, a yearly event that the name of Schola Cantorum is synonymous with is ‘Carols by Candlelight’. The choir has been organising this event since the year 2003 and it has now become an established event in the islands’ cultural calendar for music lovers, especially those who have Christmas carolling at heart. With regards to this, the Guardian (2010) rated this event as one of the best top ten Christmas concerts in Europe. Last May (2016) the choir started off a new venture – a spring concert named ‘Blooming – afternoon tea with SCJ’.

Even though these events keep the choir busy, throughout the year, the choir still animates the liturgy during the 11 a.m. mass at the Basilica of Marija Bambina in Xagħra (Gozo – Malta).



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