Schola Cantorum Jubilate's annual production of ‘Carols by Candlelight' was held at St. Augustine's Cloister in Victoria, Gozo. The concert stated at 7.30pm in St. Augustine's Church. The church was packed with an eager audience who from one year to another wait for this event which is always given a different touch. Present were the Hon. Dr. Speaker and Mrs. Tabone, the Hon. Minister for Gozo and Mr. Debono, the Most Reverend Provincial of the Augustinian Community, the Prior of St. Augustine Fr. Felix Buttigieg and Fr. George Bezzina OSA, Mgr. Carmelo Refalo, Archpriest of Xaghra, the Mgr. Arc. Emeritus Eucharist Sultana, Judge and Mrs. Joseph Galea Debono and various Maltese, Gozitans and foreign residents who chose this event from others which were being held in different places in Gozo. The compere was Mrs. Mariella Pisani Bencini who skilfully presented the carols adding information about the carols, the choir and the Augustinian convent.

The first part of the programme included carols which were sung ‘a cappella' but in four voices: ‘The Coming of Christmas' by Prof. Charles Camilleri, ‘Psallite' by Praetorius, ‘It-Trittiku tal-Milied' by Paul Portelli, ‘Puer Natus' by Domenico Bartolucci'. Then they performed ‘God Rest You Merry Gentlemen' (arr. David Willcocks) which was accompanied by Stephen Attard on the organ and Adonai Camilleri Cauchi on the tom-tom. ‘We Three Kings' (John H. Hopkins, arr. A. Pitts) followed and included three solo pieces which were interpreted by Christabella Vella (soprano), Janice Gatt (alto) and Fabian Galea (tenor). After these, Dr. Joseph Camilleri played a ‘Pastorale' by Adolfo Bossi on the Mascioni organ of the church. Then Marouska Attard was accompanied by Stephen Attard and interpreted ‘The Little Road of Bethlehem'. After all the singing and music playing, Dianne Angie Galea read a ‘Letter to Santa Clause' which was written by Silvana Sultana. After all this, Joseph Camilleri played again the organ, this time doing an ‘Improvisation on a Yorkshire Wassail Song'. Then it was time for the Jubilate Chamber Orchestra to come out to accompany the choir. First they accompanied Marouska Attard who sang ‘Minuit Chretiens' (O Holy Night). During this piece, the choir, holding a candle was like a backdrop to the scene. Then the programme continued with: ‘O Come all Ye Faithful' (arr. David Willcocks), ‘Quem Patores Laudavere' (arr. John Rutter), ‘Nativity Carol' (John Rutter), ‘Bethlehem' (C. M. Schonberg), ‘Silent Night' (Gruber) and finally ‘Joy to the World' (arr. Frisina). The audience applaud heartily since it liked the whole concert. After the distribution of flowers, the choir gave an encore which was ‘Gloria in Cielo' (arr. Frisina). 

When the concert was over, the audience were led into the convent's cloister. Through the foyer, they had the opportunity to admire the modern paintings of Joseph Camilleri and Mario Abela. On proceeding on to the cloister, they were greeted by the staff of the Ta' Frenc Restaurant and lead to their tables. The atmosphere was a magical one. Tables were decorated with special flower and candles arrangements done by Simon Muscat. The lights from the ceiling helped to impose the architecture of the place and the lighted garden with blue lights and with decorated trees contributed with the whole magical effect of the whole soiree.

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Email Print More...