Finally, the so much expected event of the Schola Cantorum Jubilate arrived. This year's edition was held in St. Augustine's Monastery in Victoria, Gozo. The church doors opened at 7.05pm for the audience, which waited in the church courtyard. All the altars were decorated by special flower and candle arrangements. The concert started at 7.30pm with a church packed with a congregation keen for the musical show. 

The first to appear on stage was the orchestra, which included: Mro. Stephen Attard on the organ/piano, Joseph Camilleri on the keyboard, Jean Noel Attard and Charlene Caruana played the violins, Naomi Attard played the flute, Jason Camilleri played the trumpet and Adonai Camilleri Cauchi and Albert Zammit played the percussion. The orchestration of the repertoire for ‘Carols by Candlelight' was composed by Mro. Stephen Attard. As soon as the choir arrived on stage, the male section opened the concert by the Gregorian chant ‘Puer Natus est nobis'. The other carols followed accompanied by the orchestra, projections and lights under the supervision of the artist Austin Camilleri. From the very beginning, the congregation showed its appreciation. On giving a look at the list of carols, there was ‘Gaudete' which had its solo part interpreted by the soprano Christabella Vella. Marouska Attard, the choir director, interpreted ‘O Holy Night' and the mezzo-soprano Claire Massa interpreted ‘The Virgin's Slumber Song' composed by Max Reger and ‘Gesu' Bambino' by Pietro Yon. The programme included two organ piece played skilfully by the organist Joseph Camilleri on the magnificent ‘Mascioni' organ of the church. These were ‘Ancien Noel – Les Bourgeois de Chatre' by Nicolas Lebegue and ‘Vieux Noel' by Cesar Franck. The most moving carol was ‘Silent Night'. The choir performed this popular traditional carol holding a candle in the hand. The congregation was asked to light a small candle, which was given at the door. Marouska Attard succeeded in directing her choir and even the congregation, which was asked to sing along. Tonight, the choir interpreted also ‘It-Trittiku tal-Milied' which includes three Maltese carols of the 19th and 20th century. Paul Portelli had made this arrangement specifically for Schola Cantorum Jubilate. The concert included a poem recital – ‘Ahseb' written by Joseph Xerri (chorister) and read by Joseph Xerri and Dianne Angie Galea. The compere was Mr. Albert Storace. 

After, the concert, the participants entered the monastery. Passing through the foyer, they had the opportunity to admire crib ceramics by Victor Agius who was presenting a memento of his exhibition ‘Nativitas'. Then, everyone entered the cloister where food and wine started to be served by the Ta' Frenc Chef and Staff. The tables were decorated by candles on candelabras with leaves and fruits arrangements. The garden in the centre of the cloister was decorated as well. The renaissance environment and the baroque music playing filled the air with the spirit of Christmas. 

Present for this annual event were more than two hundred people amongst whom the newly elected Bishop of Gozo, Mgr. Mario Grech, the Hon. Minister for Gozo, Ms. Giovanna Debono and Mr. Debono, the Hon. Justyne Caruana, the Prior Felix Buttigieg together with the other Augustinian monks and Mons. Carmelo Refalo, Archpriest of Xaghra.


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