Carols by Candlelight 2015

11th and 12th December 2015

During this weekend, the event of ‘Carols by Candlelight’ was held at St. Augustine’s Priory in Victoria. This is the twelfth edition of the so-much-awaited Christmas event.

The artistic Director Fr. Joseph Bajada based the design on the ‘winter’ theme. White dominated the scene but warmth was emitted by candles, chandeliers and special light effects.

The selection of pieces included popular Christmas Carols and others less popular which the audiences enjoyed. These included: ‘Ukrainian Bells’, ‘Gifts for the Child of Winter’ with the solo part interpreted by Edward Camilleri, ‘Ninni la tibkix iżjed’ interpreted by Nathan Cini (treble) and the choir, ‘The Holy and the Ivy’ with soloists: Silvianne Cini, Catherine Portelli, Edward Camilleri and Albert Buttigieg, ‘Psallite’, ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ with the first stanza sung by Nathan Cini (treble), ‘Il est né le Divin Enfant’ interpreted in SSA, ‘O Holy Night’ by Soprano Marouska Attard and the choir, ‘Riu Riu Chiu’ and ‘The First Nowell’ with bass Albert Buttigieg, ‘Sir Christemas’ and finally ‘Joy to the World’.  

There was also room for soloists who interpreted various pieces. A quartet formed by Marouska Attard, Catherine Portelli, Edward Camilleri and Albert Buttigieg interpreted a rather daring arrangement of ‘Silent Night’ by Antony Pitts.  Moreover, in trio, Marouska Attard, Edward Camilleri and Albert Buttigieg interpreted ‘White Christmas’ arranged by Paul Portelli. Other solo pieces included ‘Antiche Canzoni di Natale’ by O. Ravanello for organ which were interpreted by Joseph Camilleri on the church organ. Another piece was for piano and cello – ‘Fantasia on Greensleeves’ by R. Vaughan Williams. The cello was played by Simon Abdilla Joslin while Joseph Camilleri accompanied on the piano.

The soirée included also two short interventions about Climate Change and Pope Francis’ encyclica ‘Laudato Si’. The monologues were written by Fr. Richard N. Farrugia and interpreted by George Camilleri who represented a traveller in search of the truth and a solution for many wrong-doings around him.

The audience joined the choir and sang along ‘O Come all ye faithful’ after an invitation from the choir’s Director who talked about music which unites all nations, no matter what differencies exist.

It was clear that the audience appreciated every minute of the concert and showed its appeciation in a standing ovation at the end of the concert, before entering the cloister for the dinner.

As in past editions, dinner was served in the cloister and was freshly prepared by the Ta’ Frenċ Chefs. In the foyer, before reaching the cloister, attendees admired a sculpture of a Salvator Mundi created by artist Manuel Farrugia. Paintings with religious themes, by the same artist were exhibited.

Surely it was another feather in the hat for SCJ who managed in such a short time after their tour in Venice to produce another unforgettable edition of ‘Carols by Candlelight’.



Music Cultural Tour to Venice and Padova

31st October to 4th November 2015

poster venice lowBetween the 30 October and the 4 November 2015, the Schola Cantorum Jubilate organised a singing tour in the Veneto region, in the cities of Padua and Venice. The Schola Cantorum performed in the churches of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, the Basilica of Saint Mark, the Basilica of Saint Anthony in Padua and the church of Nostra Signora della Pietà.

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!

Te Deum Mass

7th September 2015

IMG 0045Now it got into SCJ’s annual calendar that on the eve of National Victory Day, the choir animates the ‘Te Deum’ Mass at the Basilica of Xagħra which will be celebrating its village feast.

marriage-of-the-virgin-lorenzo-monacoThe new couple Abigail Bajada and Noel Rapa decided to exchange vows during the festa period. In fact the ceremony was held at the Basilica of Xagħra fully decorated for the nativity of Our Lady.

The bride entered in church while Soprano Marouska Attard interpreted Schubert’s ‘Ave Maria’. The repertoire include also classical pieces from Mozart – ‘Ave Verum Corpus’ and Franck’s ‘Panis Angelicus’ and even Gabrieli’s ‘Allelulia’.

Mass was officiated by Mgr. Archpriest Carmelo Refalo and started at 5pm. The choir was under the direction of Marouska Attard and accompanied by Joseph Camilleri on the organ, Pierre Louis Attard (violin) and Noemi Attard (flute).

Congratulation to the newly wed.