I have often heard people say that the best ‘things’ in life are not ‘things’ as they cannot be touched, at times not even seen, but rather felt.  Personally, I like to think of all fulfilling things in life as ingredients that when blended together make up the perfect recipe that life can become.  

This is what being part of Schola Cantorum Jubilate makes me think of time and time again: a perfect recipe.  You might be wondering what I am getting at.  Well, take a beautiful medieval chapel, add 30 choristers and mix that with a small audience.  Now, add a dab of laughter, a pint of enthusiasm and a whole fistful of talent and finally beat everything with music.  Our choir tried this amazing combination last Sunday and I must say the end result was superb!

Schola Cantorum Jubilate was invited by On Site (Events Agency in Malta) to perform a recital to five groups of tourists, (Belgian VIP’s from a prominent company) as part of a cultural excursion in our idyllic island.  The recitals started from 9 in the morning until around 2 in the afternoon, with each of the five groups attending our performance at the time allotted to them.   

For this occasion we were given the privilege to sing in one of the most beautiful chapels in Gozo: Saint Cecilia’s medieval Chapel in Xewkija.  No better venue could have been chosen as Saint Cecilia is the patroness of music.  

This chapel is the only one on the island dating back to medieval times.  It is said it was built around 1540, however, nothing is known about its origins.  Suffice to say that the oldest recorded reference to this chapel dates back to the pastoral visit of 1615.

Heartfelt thanks should go to the NGO Wirt Għawdex for their sterling work related to this historical site. They worked for its restauration and now open it regularly for various functions.

Needless to say, special care was given to the choice of music for this special occasion.  The repertoire consisted of ‘Tina l-Ħlewwa’ and ‘Nadurawk ja Ħobż tas-Sema’ (Caruana), ‘Panis Angelicus’ (Franck),  ‘Ave Verum Corpus’ (Mozart), ‘Even Such is Time’ (Chilcott), ‘Ave Maria’ (Arcadelt) and ‘If Ye Love Me’ (Tallis).  Marouska Attard added another pinch of perfection by performing ‘O Mio Signor’ (Handel) accompanied by John Anthony Fsadni on the keyboard.

This was yet another experience that adds up to the sublime recipe of life.  Indeed the best things in life can only be felt, as there is no better feeling than to see your audience radiant after your performance knowing that you are the reason.

Text by Victoria C. Buhagiar 

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