Sing! Kanta! Canta! – US Choir to visit Gozo in July

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"Sing! Kanta! Canta!" The SCS Touring Choir in Gozo in July“Sing! Kanta! Canta!” is the theme of the 2009 international Performance Tour that brings 43 young singers from Akron, Ohio (USA) to the islands of Sicily, Malta and Gozo from June 26 to July 6, 2009.

The SCS Touring Choir is directed by Mrs. Arlene Jacobs who has been teaching most of the singers for five or more years as part of the choral training at the Summit Choral Society.

The touring choir is the top ensemble of this privately funded non-profit music school and for many of the girls and boys, the journey abroad is also their departure from the program as they graduate high school and leave home for college.

After touring China, Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic in recent years, the choir said it is very much looking forward to experiencing the rich history and warm hospitality that Sicily, Malta and Gozo have to offer – last not least, immerse themselves into the excellent choral music traditions. The latter was also what “sold” the choir on the quite exotic destination for American choral groups.

“Originally the group wanted to go to Greece, but it didn’t take long to change their mind and bring them to Malta – I just had to tell them about my experiences, the wonderful people and show them how stunningly beautiful the islands and venues are.” Sandra Weinacht, founder of Incantato Tours, a US-based boutique performance tour company, fell in love with Malta when she was part of the first school exchange between Germany and the Malta in 1990 and for her it is a dream come true to bring her first choir group to the islands. Aside from hopefully enchanting the audience with their performances, the singers, their director and counselors look forward to meeting the locals and have a chance to start new friendships.

This simple word and concert theme “Sing!” sums up the joy of bringing people together through music. The choir brings a repertoire of classical and modern works from European and American composers and also an original composition written especially for the journey to the islands by American composer Dorn Younger who will be joining the choir on tour.

When collaboration with Schola Cantorum Jubilate of Gozo emerged, the American singers added a composition by Maltese composer Paul Portelli to their repertoire.

After three concerts in Sicily, the SCS Touring Choir arrives in Malta on July 1st and is going to be the featured guest choir for Mass and a benefit concert to aid the Richmond Foundation at St. Helen’s Church in Birkirkara (6:30 pm). On July 2 in the afternoon, the American students are visiting the Johann Strauss Music School in Valetta for a meeting with members of the school choir and staff. As a special guest, Public Affairs Officer Mr. Elijah Waterman who was just recently appointed to the US Embassy in Malta will join the get together.

Gozo is the destination for the singers on Friday, July 3rd. After sightseeing in the morning, the choir heads to the National Shrine of Ta’ Pinu to meet with members of the Gozitan Schola Cantorum Jubilate (SCJ). “We had tremendous support from this amazing organization and are honored to present a concert together to benefit the restoration of the shrine.” Sandra Weinacht said. A special highlight will be a clinic with SJC Musical Director Marouska Attard where the singers will fine-tune singing the Maltese composition they have been preparing. Ms. Attard who will be singing two soli during the concert that starts at 7:30 pm, is also going to conduct the American youth when they sing Portelli’s “Jesu dulcis memoria”.

The choir’s last performance will be at St. John’s Co-Cathedral on July 4th at 6 pm when the singers are the featured guest choir for Mass. “It is a great honor for the group to sing at the Cathedral on their national holiday,” Weinacht explains and hopes that some American expats will join the group for that special service. “We are so grateful for all the support we received from the Maltese and Gozitans, words cannot express how much we appreciate the warm welcome.”

The concert tour is positive that this is just the first of many more performance groups coming to Malta, “When the SCS Touring Choir returns home, Malta will have 66 more ambassadors and from our experience, the word will spread fast and more choirs will start thinking about traveling to the islands.”

More information can be found at www.scjchoir.com or by contacting mobile number 79450950.

The Incantato concerts website is at http://incantato-concerts.blogspot.com/.

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