Saturday, 17 November 2018

Carols by Candlelight 2018

by Stefan Attard

Collage CBC 2018 copySchola Cantorum Jubilate, one of the prominent choirs in our country, is synonymous with the annual event of ‘Carols by Candlelight’. However, this is quite misleading since the choir is committed all year round performing in different venues and presenting different productions. Last September, the choir was on tour in the Czech Republic where it performed in renowned venues amongst which the churches of St. Gall and Our Lady of Victories and at the dominant Cathedral of St Vitus, St Wenceslas and St Adalbert.

This Christmas, the choir will be holding the fifteenth edition of Carols by Candlelight at St. Augustine’s Priory in Victoria Gozo on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th December. Like in previous editions it will consist of a Christmas concert followed by a five-course meal prepared by Ta’ Frenċ Restaurant Chefs.

This year’s programme will include popular and less popular Christmas Classics amongst which ‘Silent Night’ that is being commemorated for its 200th anniversary. Among the other pieces, the choir, under the direction of Marouska Attard will interpret classical pieces like ‘Hark! The Herald Angel Sing’, ‘The First Noel’, ‘God Rest You Merry! Gentlemen’ but also less popular pieces like ‘Burgundian Carol’, an eighteenth century French composition by Bernard de la Monnoye and contemporary piece by Ola Gjeilo - ‘Ecce Novum’. Apart from all these, SCJ includes also Maltese compositions in its programme and this year will present an interesting musical arrangement of the traditional għanja tal-Milied ‘Ninu Ninu tal-Milied’. Paul Portelli, the composer-in-residence worked on this musical arrangement and on another piece ‘Sinfonija Pastorali’ originally composed by Emanuel Galea.

CBC2018PosterBut obviously surprises will not be missed this year! The programme will blend well with light effects, atmosphere created and even an actor who will help deliver, through her monologues, a particular message to the attendees for this particular time of the year. Paul A. Stellini is this year’s artistic director. Stellini is a known local artist who is renowned for his graphical and artistic works.

The foyer and even the cloister will once again host an exhibition to compliment with the chosen theme and event. Victor Agius will launch a new collection of ceramic sculptures and mixed artworks. This special collection aims to dialogue with St Augustine’s sermons on the mystery of Christmas and the Epiphany.

In order to commemorate this 15th edition of Carols by Candlelight, the choir is also launching a new Christmas Album entitled ‘Christmasgħanja’. This is undoubtedly a special keepsake to all those who follow SCJ but mostly to those who have Christmas at heart. The cd includes 21 tracks of popular Christmas classics and some Maltese carols.

Tickets for Carols by Candlelight are on sale from D’Amato Records Shop in Valletta and Bargate Bookshop in Victoria. For further information and details visit SCJ website ( or else call us on 79450950. Follow even the choir’s space on facebook.

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