Maltese choir delights international audiences with repertoire of sacred songs
Following its concerts in UK, Austria and France, the Maltese choir, the St. Paul Choral Society is preparing to leave for Spain for its fourth musical journey. TVM was present for the rehearsals of this choir which was set up 20 years ago by the choir’s musical director, Dr Hugo Agius Muscat.
As soon as we stepped into the Sanctuary of the Divine Mercy in Naxxar, we heard a chorus of 47 melodious voices who filled the sanctuary with sacred singing from a musical repertoire which includes works by Bach, Handel, Marcello and Mozart accompanied by an organ.
Under the direction of Dr Agius Muscat, the St. Paul Choral Society will be singing next at various Cathedrals in Spain in cities such as Leon, Burgos and Santiago.
Dr Agius Muscat said that the choir, made up of sopranos, altos, tenors and the bass section, has continued to grow in enthusiam and experience, and adapts its repertoire to the venues it is invited to.
“Sacred music is our main repertoire. We sing a capella, without music, as well as accompanied by an organ or orchestra, or just an orchestra. We cover 500 years of music, from the 16th century to the most modern pieces of our times.”
The peak of the commitments in Spain will be on 8 September, on the feast of the Birth of Our Lady in Misa del Peregrini.
One of the youngest members of the choir, Ann Marie Agius, 27, described her experience in this choir over the last seven years as one which has given her a lot of wonderful experiences. She said that if one appreciates sacred music, it can take you to another world.
She said, “Pop music and the other music which everyone listens to on the radio is the only thing many people hear – you no longer hear classical music so people are not exposed to it as much any more, but once you start appreciating it you do not go back from it.”
For the St. Paul Choral Society, the visit to Spain next month is the fourth international visit they have made as a choir after in the last six years they had the opportunity sing at the Westminister Cathedral in London, in Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck and Paris. In Malta, the choir sings regularly at the Church of England Cathedral and the St John’s Co-Cathedral.