“Feel the Magic”, Chorus Urbanus’s new cultural project spanning three years, kick-started with a sonorous bang with “Feel the Magic of Brass” featuring BrassTubes Ensemble under the direction of Mro. Mark Gauci. The well-attended inaugural concert was held on Saturday 23rd March 2019 at Hotel Kempinski San Lawrenz. It was indeed a five star performance in a five-star setting!

The ensemble has solidified group dynamics, blending tight arrangements and energetic improvisations that  developed their performance into a vivacious live show that gave ample proof of a progressive natural evolution of matured musical talents. On top of this there was the warm buzz of layered vocals and shining brass harmonies.

The excellent arrangements and outstanding playing quickly won the audience over. BrassTubes put it all together – it was a riveting performance propulsed with rhythmic drive and gorgeous lyricism in the classical evergreens. The programme brimmed  with classical virtuosity and the dynamic personality of the musical director of the group.

BrassTubes’  often lush and multi-colored sound engulfs the listener like a warm hug. It is also well-suited to just about any style that the ensemble plays. The group swung like a hard-driving big band one moment, and played a soft ballad with the utmost in feeling and sensitivity the next. Their performance featuried music by Gershwin, Bricusse, Bee Gees, Marilow and Weiss, amongst others. These were specifically adapted for the brass ensemble. BrassTubes were also accompanied by their resident vocalist Sarah Bonnici for a number of songs throughout the concert, amongst which ‘Fly me to the moon’ was a very moving offering.

Mro Mark Gauci, the leader of the ensemble, performed Blue Bossa and Autumn Leaves as solo trombone accompanied by his ensemble. The evergreen John Lennon/Paul McCartney song Hey Jude brought this concert to a fitting end auguring well for the success of this new initiative by Chorus Urbanus.

At the end of the concert, Dr. John Galea, artistic director of “Feel the Magic” and musical director of Chorus Urbanus updated the audience about this new series of concerts and events and explained the scope of this ambitious project outlining the scheduled events for 2019. The next event in this series is “Feel the Magic of Piazzolla” which will feature the “Sicily Ensemble” from Trapani, under the direction of Mro. Franco Fodera’. This Sicilian ensemble will be performing a number of Piazzolla’s famous tangos and other Latin American music. The concert will be held in Independence Square as part of the Gozo Alive activities on the 4th May 2019.

At the end of the concert, those present had the opportunity to meet and talk to the artists.  Complementary refreshments were also served.


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