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December 8th 2009 edition of the Maltese Herald

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Commemorative concert at Ta’ Pinu National ShrineThis weeks 8th of December edition of The Maltese Herald Gozo section is now available for download by clicking here.

Previous editions are also available by clicking on this link.

The stories covered in this weeks issue are:

Page 9

1. The Victoria Local Council organised a Christmas Village in St George’s Square.

The square was transformed into a Christmas village where typical wooden huts offered different items related to Christmas including a variety of Christmas decorations, cribs, crafts, cakes, traditional food, mulled wine, costume jewellery, and flower arrangements.

Choirs singing Christmas carols, a band and a clarinet quartet animated the evenings.

2. Fr Charles Vella an artist and restorer lectured about the art of the Neapolitan Presepio and demonstrated the methods used in creating Nativity figures (pasturi). This Seminar was held by Ghaqda Il-Milied fix-Xaghra at Xaghra Youth Centre with the collaboration of Xaghra Local Council. This annual event is one of the many initiatives which this society makes to popularize the Nativity scene in Xaghra. This year there will be twelve artistic, mechanical and static cribs on show together with the live Nativity Scene on show all in Xaghra.

3. John Galea’s and Rossini’s Masses for Gloria 2009 Concert

Making Music Malta (Saint Lazarus Foundation), Making Music – UK, Chorus Urbanus Productions, in collaboration with the Gozo Cultural Committee withing the Gozo Ministry as well as the Rectorate of Our Lady of Ta’ Pinu National Shrine, presented a commemorative concert to mark the 3rd anniversary of the inauguration of the National Monument of Pope John Paul II as part of theGloria International Music Festival. The North West Festival Choir was in Malta for the 2nd edition of this international music festival. For this occasion, the UK choir joined forces with the Chorus Urbanus for the Ta’ Pinu concert was held under the patronage of H.L. Mgr Mario Grech, Bishop of Gozo.

During the first part of the concert, the two choirs and the Island Brass Ensemble performed Missa In Fractione Panis by Dr. John Galea, musical director of the Chorus Urbanus. The choirs and ensemble were under the direction of the composer, Dr. Galea himself.

This work had been commissioned and premiered on the festive occasion of the 25th anniversary of priesthood of the Bishop of Gozo, H.L.Mgr Mario Grech, earlier in 2009. The Mass title derives from the motto of the Bishop of Gozo as found in the coat-of-arms. It is a work based on Gregorian chant and alternates sections of rich polyphony using head-motive techniques with monodic portions of the chant to be sung by the congregation during the Roman Catholic liturgy. The work is scored for solo soprano( sung by Yvonne Galea), four-part choir, brass, timpani and organ. The whole work consists of Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Benedictus, Agnus Dei.

The second part of the concert was dedicated entirely to Giacomo Rossini’s Petit Messe Solennelle which was performed by the North West Festival Choir under the direction of Dr. John Bethell M.B.E. This work, comprising of soli and choruses, was written with the accompaniment of a harmonium and two pianos. Rossini afterwards scored it with slight alterations for full orchestra, and in this shape it was performed for the first time in public at the Theatre-Italian, on the evening of Sunday 28th February 1869 on the 78th anniversary of the composer’s birth as nearly as that could be, seeing that he was born in a leap year on 29th February. Apart from the usual pieces one finds in masses, the UK choir’s performance included also Credo and Panis Angelicus. The soloists for this performance were Karen Johnson (soprano), Adrienne Murray (mezzo-soprano), Matthew Moss (tenor) and Philip Smith (baritone). Kevin Thraves accompanied the choir on the organ.

Page 16

1. Maltapost Chairman Joseph Said FCIB announced, during the opening of the 10th GPS Philatelic Exhibition, that the new definitive stamp set to be issued within days will be including three Gozo-related designs. He also confirmed that Maltapost’s relationship with the Gozo Philaterlic Society will be strengthened.

The Exhibition, at the Gozo Ministry Halls in St Francis Square Victoria, included a range of items from the collections of numerous children and adults, the latter having a choice of three classes: “Gozo and the post” , Postal History and Social Philately. Prizes and certificates will be distributed during the AGM in January.

Maltapost commemorated this first participation with a Card and handstamp, while the GPS prepared personalised stamps and covers on its tenth anniversary. These and other items can be acquired by enquiring to

2. Ingassa 2 – Ir-Realta’ Mtappna (Ingassa 2 – The Revealed Truth) L-Ghaqda Drammatica Xewkija, a local theatrical group, staged Ingassa 2 – Ir-Realta’ Mtappna, an original story written by the same Ghaqda under the guidance of Producer Marita Caruana.

In Ingassa 2, which is the sequal of Ingassa 1, Don Luciano, interpreted by Mario Borg, a local Mafia Boss moves back to Sicily after escaping the police in search of his family. In the meantime a love story saga involving Francesco (Luke Galea), Giovanni (Chris Pace) and Anna (Amanda Vella) is solved at the very end thanks to a DNA test which proved that the real father of Giovanni was not Don Luciano.

3. A group of students and teachers from Sir Mikelang Refalo Centre for Further Studies recently visited Berlin for the celebrations on the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. During their brief sojourn, they had the chance to visit some of the most famous landmarks of the German capital such as Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Wall Documentation Centre, the Berliner Dom and the Pergamon museum. Moreover, they were given a guided tour around the German Parliament, the Bundestag, where they were taught about the German parliamentary system. The group also had the chance to visit Potsdam where they could admire the magnificent Sanssouci Palace, summer residence of Frederick the Great.

Photo by Charles Spiteri – Commemorative concert at Ta’ Pinu National Shrine

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