The 21st Edition of “Il-Kuncert tal-Milied” by Chorus Urbanus will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the best Christmas Concerts ever held locally. The satisfaction on everyone’s face at the end of the concert, be it, choristers, Orchestral players, maestro or audience said it all.
This year’s Christmas Concert was held on Saturday 16th December 2018 at St. George’s Basilica in Victoria, Gozo featuring Chorus Urbanus, Urbanus Junior Choir and the Urbanus Festive Orchestra under the direction of Mro Dr John Galea.
Architect Edward Scerri, the Choir’s President delivered an opening speech highlighting the choir’s main events for the year. He congratulated Dr Galea for his recent appointment as Musical Director of the La Stella Band and Director of Opera at Teatru Astra and paid tribute to the memory of the late Frances Grima whose premature demise some weeks ago is still being highly felt by all choir members.
The musical programme included some very famous favourites for Christmas including a selection of Christmas songs from eponymous Christmas Movies including Home Alone and Shrek as well as a number of carols written by John Rutter, such as Candlelight Carol, New Year and Christmas Lullaby.
The Junior Choir joined the adult section in a number of carols. However, they had the opportunity to present Caro Gesù Bambino on their own with the participation of children soloists Kurt and Hannah. Kristen Grima performed the traditional Maltese carol Jien Tifel Fqajjar accompanied on the violin by Stefan Scerri, who had sung the same carol when of Kristen’s age in a past edition of the Christmas Concert.
This year, the evergreen carol Silent Night will become 200 years old and it was fitting for this year’s concert to reserve a place for this carol, regarded by many as the Christmas Carol par excellence. Other ever popular carols, Adeste Fideles and the Ukrainian Bell Carol were also performed on general request.
This climax of this year’s concert was reached with John Galea’s musical arrangement Sing along. This piece brought back fresh memories of the choir’s recent success with the presentation of the musical “Scrooge” that was co-produced with Oratory Don Bosco last November. The thunderous applause followed by a standing ovation at the end of the concert bore evidence of the success achieved and the much-appreciated performance.
In the middle of the concert, two poems written for the occasion by Chev Joe M Attard and Raymond Caruana were recited. As is customary for this concert, a collection was held in aid of the Malta Community Chest Fund which this year amounted to 1060 euros. This sum of money will be presented to MCCF during this year’s edition of l-Istrina Campaign being held on 26th December 2018. Ms Amanda Ciappara Mizzi compered the concert.
Several special guests attended the concert including the Hon Dr Justyne Caruana, Minister for Gozo, Archpriest Joseph Curmi and members of the Chapter of St. George’s Basilica and representatives of the La Stella Philharmonic Society.
Photo credits: Joe Attard & Terry Camilleri