Saturday, 02 November 2013

Performing in Malta International Choirs’ Festival


by Stanley J. Portelli

Choir Festival 2013Schola Cantorum Jubilate’s first experience in the Malta International Choirs’ Festival (MICF) began yesterday evening with an evaluative performance in front of the judges. The repertoire consists in four pieces of sacred music; Palestrina’s Lauda Sion, Bartolucci’s O Sacrum Convivium, Rutter’s The Lord Bless You and keep You, and Jesu Dulcis Memoria, a musical piece purposely composed for the choir by Paul Portelli.

Today, Saturday 2 November, the choir began the day with a warm up exercise and a brief rehearsal of the most demanding pieces to be performed later on. On arriving at Saint Publius’ Church in Floriana, the choir had 15 minutes to rehearse before the official debut of the competition. There were five other choirs from five different countries apart from SCJ, which was the only Maltese choir, which competed in this same category. The countries were Finland, Latvia, Norway, Sweden and Estonia. Their repertoire included composers from their respective countries, Palestrina, Monteverdi, Antonio Lotti’s Crucifixus for 8 voices, and Moses Hogan’s lighter The Battle of Jericho.

The moment had finally arrived when the choir had to perform in front of the judges after weeks of meticulous preparations. More than a mere competition, the member’s attitude was one of an opportunity to learn and to achieve an ever greater level of musical performance and appreciation. All the members of the choir enjoyed the performance and undoubtedly SCJ did Malta proud yet again.

After lunch at Valletta, the choristers returned to Porziuncola House where they are residing for the weekend. Before dinner at St. Julians, they had a two-hour session with Marouska Attard which included a very interesting discussion about the chorister role in a choir, the choir ongoing activity and a short rehearsal for the mass of tomorrow, Sunday 3rd November.

 

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