Schola Cantorum Jubilate has now established itself as 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.

Marouska Attard

Choir Director

Marouska Attard is a music graduate with a B.A. (Hons) in Music and holds a Postgraduate Certification in Music Education from the University of Malta. She has been the choir director of Schola Cantorum Jubilate for these past thirteen years. Although she believes that this experience has been a fruitful one, she still finds that there is much more to be learnt from those who are experts in this field. This is one of the reasons why she is currently following a Masters in Music in Choral Direction at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where she is under the direction of Neil Ferris and Sarah Tenant Flowers.

Apart from being the actual choir leader, Stefan Attard is also the choir's founder. Since his childhood days, he has always shown great interest in choral music and this was clearly seen during his playtime. On reaching school age, he started attending the school of music in Gozo, where he studied music theory. His major interest is in sacred music, especially from the medieval and renaissance era. In fact one of his favorite composers remains Palestrina followed by Bartolucci who is proclaimed as ‘the second Palestrina.

Later on, after establishing the Schola Cantroum Jubilate, he started taking lessons in vocal technique at the Johann Strauss School of Music in Valletta under the tuition of Ms. Clare Massa, herself an established mezzo-soprano.

Stefan is a dynamic person with whom you can work easily. He was born a leader and faces this role with commitment, assertiveness and above all responsibility. He reads a lot about choral techniques and management. He is open for new experiences and ventures easily in new horizons which surely add credit in his leadership skills.

Perhaps the progress of the choir, seen in these twelve years is thanks to his continuous work. His creative and artistic mind is shown in the presentation of the choir's concerts, events and printed material issued each time the choir performs. He keeps up to date with new technologies and design.

Stefan's perception of his choir is to grow up together professionally, to give a musical education to members and listeners, to present the real church music in our liturgy and above all, to live this experience as a family… the family of Schola Cantorum Jubilate.

Currently Stefan Attard works as an educator at the Sacred Heart Minor Seminary in Gozo.

Paul Portelli

Residential Composer

paul-portelli-01Paul Portelli hails from Żurrieq, Malta. He commenced his piano lessons at a very young age with his late uncle Rev. Michael D'amato until he managed to get a good result, both in theory and practice, up to grade 8 of the Royal School of Music. At the age of 9, he was already playing the church organ during funeral services. After a short break during the adolescent period, he decided to begin studying again at the age of twenty, now with more conviction. At that time, he studied harmony and counter point with Fr. Albert Borg O.S.A. Later on, he studied orchestration with Mro. Ronnie Debattista until he got 3 diplomas, A.L.C.M. in piano practice, A. Mus. L.C.M., and L. Mus. L.C.M in theory. During this particular time, his love for music had become more widespread and he became more aware of the versatility of music. Consequently, he started studying Jazz improvisation with Mro. Paul Abela at the Johann Strauss School of Music.

In 2002, he was asked to direct the Żurrieq parish choir – ‘Cantate Domino A.D. 1956', after the death of his uncle, who was its founder and director. Besides inheriting all his compositions, he also inherited his love for sacred music. This induced Mr. Portelli to take a 3 year course at the University of Malta which led him to a diploma in this field, with particular emphasis to Gregorian chant and polyphony. When he finished University, he started studying contemporary orchestration and composition with Profs. Charles Camilleri. This made him more open minded and now he can understand better the complexity of works written by contemporary composers such as Oliver Messaien, Luciano Berio, György Ligeti, Pierre Boulez, Giacinto Scelsi, Charles Camilleri, Joseph Vella and so on.

In November 2003, Mr. Portelli was invited by the leader of the ‘Schola Cantorum Jubilate', to accompany the choir during the festival, ‘Rencontres Musicales de Mediterranee', which was held in Corsica. This was the beginning of a long lasting friendship and collaboration after which, this choir gave exposure to Portelli's works in most of its performances. In September 2007, he accompanied the choir in a music-cultural tour in Rome and Assisi. Here Schola Cantorum Jubilate animated the liturgy of mass at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome and at St. Francis' Basilica in Assisi and there again, some of his works where performed by the choir.

Altough he is versatile, his works are mainly liturgical both, in the traditional and contemporary idiom. What is interesting in Portelli is, that he is always in search of fresh sounds in his music. He is very much influenced by minimalist composers such as Arvo Pärt, Henryk Gorecki, Wojciech Kilar, John Tavener etc. and also by composers from Rome, such as Mons. Domenico Bartolucci, Mons. Marco Frisina, Mons. Giuseppe Liberto and others.

Last but not least, Mro. Paul Portelli is married to Catherine and has two daughters, Martina and Michela.

Joseph Camilleri is a lawyer by profession and a musician by inclination. He started his musical training at a very young age, studying pianoforte and theory at the Gozo School of Music where his teachers included Mro Stephen Attard and Mro John Galea. Under the tuition of Sr Cecilia Vella he subsequently obtained the ATCL and Dip. ABRSM diplomas. For a number of years Joseph also studied the organ with leading organist Dr. Hugo Agius Muscat.

Photo of Joseph Camilleri

Joseph's musical experiences have been several and varied, ranging from choral singing (as a member of the Laudate Pueri choir, with whom he has performed in Rome, London and New York) to participating as continuo organist on a number of recordings of Maltese Baroque music conducted by Prof. Joseph Vella; from music journalism (as critic for the Times of Malta) to broadcasting (as presenter of classical music programmes on national and community radios). Joseph has also served on the Board of Directors of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra as well as on the orchestra’s programming committee.

Joseph is married to Dr Françoise nee Abela Delicata and they have two young daughters, Gabriella and Laura.

Stephen Attard hails from a family with both sides having strong musical leanings. Stephen was born in Gozo, where he resides and leads quite an eventful life, given the relatively diminutive size and restricted social milieu of the island. He started his musical studies at the age of five, obtaining his ATCL, LRSM, and FTCL diplomas in pianoforte performing in 1981, 1982, and 1984 respectively. He has always been keen on composition, writing both classical and pop music. After graduating B.Ed (Hons) from the University of Malta in 1990, Stephen started a teaching career in Music, teaching full-time at the Gozo School of Music. Stephen is also the founder and present director of Fundazzjoni Arti Fontana, a foundation that tries to integrate the cultural domain with the spiritual realm. Stephen is a regular accompanist on the pianoforte to established singers and instrumentalists. Aspects of his musical agenda have been featured in Sicily, Italy, Germany, the U.K. Holland, Portugal, Poland, and Corsica.

Photo of Stephen Attard


Most of today's choir members know the establishment of this choir. They grew up together and remained in the choir because it became part of their life. They grew up professionally since they are given continuous musical education of which they are fond and do their best to instil the same sense of collegiality with the new members.

They come from different sectors in the society. Some are educators, accountants, engineers, lawyers and some are still university/post/secondary students. Their ages range from 12-36. However there exists a special bond between each member and this contributes in their professional growth.

They are tied with the same interest…music; which requests their 3 week-end meetings for rehearsals, mass or else for Master classes. They are all interested in venturing new horizons in music, even broadening their experiences abroad.

However their encounters are not limited to music. They find time for new adventures together which are surely beneficial for their on-going familiarity.

On special occasions like weddings or special performances the Jubilate Chamber Orchestra joins the Jubilate choir. It includes prominent young musicians who play with the Malta National Philharmonic Orchestra. Some are even taking music courses abroad.

The formation of this Chamber Orchestra was required for the choir's first Cd – ‘In a Manger' which comprises a selection of Christmas Carols. The Chamber Orchestra performs during the annual event of ‘Carols by Candlelight' when most of the arrangements are done by Paul Portelli, the choir resident composer.

In its' repertoire we find pieces by the great classics like Mozart, Bach, Handel. During the services, they are always under the direction of Marouska Attard who is also responsible of their rehearsals.