Schola Cantorum Jubilate
Schola Cantorum Jubilate has now established itself as one of the affirmed choirs in Malta. This youth choir was founded in the year 2000 by its actual leader Stefan Attard and since then it has been directed by Marouska Attard - herself now an established singer and a university graduate in music.
The choir’s mission is to improve the overall image of choral music in Malta and get more people involved in this beautiful world of choral singing. The choir also seeks 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.
The choristers are all young people who come from various sectors of society - some work in the fields of accountancy, education, engineering and law while others are still university students. However, they are all linked through their passion for music.
Schola Cantorum Jubilate specialises in sacred polyphony though it includes other secular genres. Their repertoire includes works by the masters of polyphonic music: Palestrina, Victoria, Tallis and Byrd and the late Domenico Bartolucci. The classists Handel, Bach and Mozart are also part of its repertoire together with choral works by Maltese contemporary composers Charles Camilleri, Christopher Muscat, Ruben Zahra and its resident composer Paul Portelli.
During these fifteen years, Schola Cantorum Jubilate has performed on different occasions in prestigious venues and delighted many audiences both in Malta and abroad. Concerts have been performed at St. John’s Co-Cathedral and the Auberge de Castille, Palazzo Parisio in Valletta (Malta) and at the President’s Palace (Attard, Malta).
As the choristers gained in experience, they felt that it was worth a try to spread their wings abroad. Their international debut occurred in November 2003, when they participated in the Festival Rencontres Musicales de Méditerranée in Bastia, Corsica. Here the choir performed with musicians from the academies of St. Cecilia in Rome and Luigi Cherubini in Florence amongst others.
Encouraged by these international performances, Schola Cantorum Jubilate organised a music-cultural tour to Rome and Assisi (2007). Apart from visiting the most popular and historical sites, the choir sang ‘Tu es Petrus’ (Perosi) to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI during an audience in St. Peter's Square. They also animated High Mass at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, at the Basilicas of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome and that of St. Francis in Assisi. A high for the choristers during this tour was when they meet the late Cardinal Domenico Bartolucci who had been the conductor of the Sistine Chapel’s Choir at the Vatican for more than forty years. Cardinal Bartolucci donated his whole collection of compositions to the Choir.
This tour was followed by another, this time to Austria, in September 2009. Here the Schola Cantorum sang in prominent venues like St. Stephen's Cathedral, St. Peter's Church (Vienna), the Old Cathedral of Linz, Hellbrunn (Salzburg) and the Abbeys of Melk and Göttweig. They also took part in cultural events in the city of Linz, the European Capital for Culture for that year. They participated in ‘Voices of the World’ at the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna.
Then in June 2012, the choir was invited to perform in Chevaigné (France). Apart from the cultural visits and tours around the regions of Brittany and Normandy, during its four day stay, Schola Cantorum Jubilate sang in the Parish Church of St. Pierre of Chevaigné, in the Cathedral of Rennes and in St. Pierre Parish Church in Mont Saint Michel.
On other occasions, the choir has collaborated with professional musicians and ensembles. To name but a few, with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, they have executed Maurice Durufle’s ‘Requiem’ and more recently a private concert organised by HSBC Bank. The latter was under the direction of world renowned conductor and pianist Wayne Marshall. Moreover they have worked closely with the Maltese composer Ruben Zahra on the project ‘Vrbe Nova’. This was an online choir community project promoting Valletta 2018. In November 2013, the choir participated in the Malta International Choirs’ Festival and was awarded the Silver Medal Award for competing in the category Sacred Music for mixed choirs.
Locally, a yearly event that the name of the Schola Cantorum is synonymous with is ‘Carols by Candlelight’. The choir has been organising this event since the year 2003 and it has now become an established event in the islands cultural calendar for music lovers, especially for those who have Christmas caroling dear to their heart. With regards to this, ‘The Guardian’ (2010) rated this event as one of the top ten Christmas concerts in Europe. Moreover, throughout the year, the choir animates the liturgy during the 11 a.m. mass at the Basilica of Marija Bambina in Xagħra (Gozo – Malta).
Schola Cantorum Jubilate has recorded three CDs: ‘In a Manger’ (2001), ‘Jubilate’ (2005) and ‘Hora Gloriæ’ (2010)
Living in such a technological world, Schola Cantorum Jubilate is presenting its facebook page, making itself more accessible worldwide. However, nothing strikes more than listening to the choir performing live!
You, who are reading this…stay in touch with Schola Cantorum Jubilate which promises to advertise all its performances either in its beloved country… Malta and Gozo.. . or else in your country!... Who knows perhaps it will be visiting your country!
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