2016 at a glance

  • Schola Cantorum Jubilate
  • Marouska
  • Children's Choir
  • JSSoM

Finally I got myself some time to find a pen and a paper and put down the things that are long gone and others that are still being planned and organized.

It’s good to be away for some days to literally recharge your mind with fresh ideas to new projects and also evaluate passed ones. For me it is the only way that I can do so - away from it all.

2016 happened to be a very active year full of hard decisions and changes that had to be made, top it up with my wedding last October. Never had I thought that planning a wedding could be so time consuming. I always thought that brides to be make a fuss out of nothing – was totally wrong. I am admitting it - it was hard especially when you try to be innovative and simple while others around you want it to be much of the same of what is done in Gozitan weddings. The worst part of it was when I came to choose the repertoire for the wedding liturgy. I just could not decide but at the end, I was overwhelmed with the way SCJ performed on the day. I just could not stop the tears as I heard Parry’s ‘I was Glad’. Wil never forget the day.

Obviously 2016 was not only about planning a wedding. As we usually do, SCJ started the year with a choir weekend in Malta (am looking forward to this year’s) and a lovely concert of sacred repertoire at St. Mary’s Parish church in Birkirkara. I had never been to this church before and to my amusement it really has interesting architecture features in it. This certainly provided a beautiful back drop for Bartolluci’s Crux Fidelis.

Then there was ‘Blooming’ – a spring themed concert with an afternoon tea afterwards. This was fun! Much of the new repertoire performed was well digested by the audience and I still remember with how much grace and enthusiasm SCJ boys sang “There has to be a song to make the burden bearable…” This will be back in spring.

There were two other events where we had the weather. We sang in “Swar u Hajja” in a very warm and humid environment. Sometimes it’s just difficult to concentrate and perform in such conditions. Singing in “Swejjaq” was much of the same – this time too windy. Some lessons were learnt here.

In summer SCJ started a great initiative “Choir Experience” which thanks to it helped to recruit four new choristers in the soprano and alto section (Chantelle Mercieca, Ritienne Magro, Stacey Camenzuli and Sylvana Cardona).

Then in mid-October, I moved to the sister island and started working at our national music school -The Johann Strauss School of Music. More work but more excitement, bigger classes and a new children’s choir. At the same time I was involved with the Arts Vitae Ensemble and SCJ boys. We performed ‘Tmiem’ a contemporary choral piece written for a male choir, electronics and percussion. I must say this was rather challenging – I spent long hours looking at the score to see how best to teach and rehearse this.

The year ended in style with yet another successful edition of Carols by Candlelight. It’s hard to be innovative and keep the excitement after thirteen years of doing this event but strangely enough it is still loved so much by SCJ choristers and audience alike.

2017 recharging . . .