Chorus Urbanus have just returned from a highly successful choral tour in the Palermo region during which the choir performed in two key events that marked new milestones in the choir’s rich history. This choral tour is especially significant for the fact that it took place during 2018, the year that marks Valletta (Malta) as the European Capital of Culture and Palermo as the Italian Capital of Culture. This XIII Choral Tour spanned over six days – 22 to 27 August, 2018.
During its choral tour in Sicily, the choir performed a concert of ‘a cappella’ sacred music in the magnificent Palermo Cathedral on 24 August at 20.00 hrs. Under the direction of its long-standing conductor Dr John Galea. The choir performed a number of representative pieces from the staple sacred repertoire with compositions by Lotti, Palestrina, Arcadelt, Dobici, Tye, Saint-Saëns, Giuseppe Caruana and exclusive compositions penned for our choir by Dr John Galea.
This concert marked also another great venture by the Choir’s administration – the adoption of a great eco-friendly initiative where the choristers have started using tablets instead of printed scores. This initiative did find the tangible support of the Eco-Gozo Directorate within the Ministry for Gozo.
Another notable milestone featuring in the choir’s rich annals was the performance of John Galea’s Missa In Fractione Panis during the 10.30 hrs Sunday Mass at the marvellous Duomo di Monreale. The mass was led by the Archpriest Don Nicola Gaglio who deservedly praised the choir as a close-knit group and congratulated the choir for its excellent performance, remarking “…è un gruppo compatto di chiaroscuri, con le voci ben impostate“. The liturgy was also very ably supported by organist Maestro Danilo Pupella who accompanied the Gregorian Chant alternation with our ‘a cappella’ polyphony on the magnificent Duomo’s six-tier organ. Singing in this unique UNESCO World Heritage site, is undoubtedly every choir’s dream! First and foremost due to the fact that the Duomo di Monreale in notable for its rich cultural and superior artistic relevance. Coupled with this artistic excellence the Duomo is blessed with excellent natural acoustics that helped the Choir animate the Sacred Liturgy at the Cathedral of Monreale with such gusto and attention to details.
During this XIII Choral Tour, the 20-strong choral contingent had the opportunity to visit a number of enchanting places with breathtaking scenery such as Trapani, Erice, Cefalù, Castellamare and Montepellegrino together with interesting attractions, such as the Palazzo Reale, Cappella Palatina, the Teatro Massimo, the famous English Garden and the Shrine of Santa Rosalia perched on top of Montepellegrino.
The Chorus Urbanus Group stayed at the four-star Astoria Palace Hotel in Palermo. The overall success of this choral tour and the members’ full satisfaction undoubtedly fill the choir’s organising committee with renewed energy and motivation to work for the next choral tour that is already planned in great detail for next year!
As the Italians say ‘… alla prossima’!