A repeat performance of the 22nd edition of ‘Il-Kuncert tal-Milied’ took place in Lija Parish Church on Friday 27th December 2019 at 7.30pm. The Urbanus Festive Orchestra together with the Chorus Urbanus and the Urbanus Junior Section created an homogenous sound that ranged from tender and hushed velvet sounds to powerful and vibrant ones, characterising the joyous spirit of this great time of the year. It is indeed a time for celebration as we rejoice in the forty-fourth anniversary since the choir’s foundation in a concert that was also programmed to mark the 425th year of Lija Parish and the 325th anniversary of the Lija Church dedicated to Christ the Saviour. 

As we could immediately tell, the audience loved pretty much every minute of the Annual Il-Kuncert tal-Milied at Lija Parish Church. We have been doing it for the last twenty-one years now and judging by the packed house at this performance, we will be doing it for a good while longer too. The orchestra was terrific with musicians of the highest calibre giving a very solid support to the soloists and choral singers in a varied programme that included the ‘Pifa’ movement from Handel’s Messiah, the ‘Gloria’ from Karl Kempter’s Pastoralmesse together with new carols and other evergreens, particularly by the Christmas composer John Rutter and traditional carols that have become customary to include in this annual yuletide fare.

But what made this concert so enjoyable was that the programme contained ninety minutes of relentless melodic waves that brought out the best from all the groups under the musical direction of Dr John Galea, who was also responsible for the musical arrangements and colourful orchestrations. And the audience regaled us with two standing ovations! This was a powerfully beautiful rendering against the imposing background of the recently restored paintings and gold adorning the high altar. The choir’s soaring voices soared to heavenly terrains with their festive verses celebrating the birth of the ‘Salvator Mundi’ especially in the concluding number ‘Adeste Fideles’.

The Lija Parish Priest, Rev. Canon Joe Cilia and Mr Anthony Dalli, Mayor of Lija gave a short address before the final offering.  They both thanked Chorus Urbanus for this heart-rending concert in Lija that was concluding a full year of festivities. It was sponsored by the Lija Parish Church, the Lija Local Council and by Regjun tac-Centru.

(Photo Credits: Anthony Buttigieg)


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