The St Paul Choral Society
The St Paul Choral Society is one of Malta’s leading polyphonic choirs; its repertoire ranges from the 16th century to the present day. Established in 1998, it has around sixty members who meet every Wednesday for practice either in the Undercroft of St Paul’s Anglican Pro-Cathedral in Valletta or at the Divine Mercy Sanctuary in Naxxar. Since its inception it has been under the musical direction of Dr Hugo Agius Muscat.
In its early years the choir quickly gained a good reputation after successful concerts at St Paul’s Anglican Pro-Cathedral, Mdina Cathedral and the President’s Palace. It regularly performs at St John’s Co-Cathedral, were it presented a concert of French sacred music (including Louis Vierne’s Messe Solennelle) in 2000, a Christmas concert with the Cantores Sancti Juliani in 2001, the oratorio The Crucifixion by John Stainer in 2003, the oratorio San Gregorio Magno by Carmelo Scerri in 2004, a concert in aid of the Malta Hospice Movement in 2005, the Mozart in Salzburg concert in 2006, the O Praise the Lord concert in 2008, the Dona eis Requiem concert in 2010, a Christmas Concert in 2011, the Best of Karl Jenkins concert in 2012, the Gounod concert in 2014 and the Mozart concert in 2016.
To date it has performed in over two hundred singing events in Malta and abroad. In Advent every year since its inception, the SPCS has led the singing in the traditional Anglican Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols held at St Paul’s Cathedral and at Holy Trinity Church in Sliema.
In 2008, as part of its tenth anniversary celebrations, it issued a highly successful CD of Christmas carols with the name O Gesù, Helwa Tarbija.
In 2009 it took part in the Malta International Choir Festival and Competition, organised by the Interkultur Foundation. The choir was the only Maltese one which competed with the visiting choirs from abroad. It won a Silver Diploma (Level V), at that time the highest ever placing earned by a Maltese choir ever since Interkultur established its global choir ranking system.
In 2011, the choir travelled to London, where it performed at several prestigious venues, including St Paul's Cathedral, St Michael's Parish Church Cornhill and Westminster Cathedral.
In 2013, the choir toured in Austria, singing in five elite venues: St Stephen's Cathedral and the Votive Church in Vienna, Melk Abbey, the University Church in Salzburg and St James Cathedral in Innsbruck.
In 2015, the choir toured Paris, singing in churches namely: La Madeleine, Saint-Sulpice and the Cathedral of Notre Dame; the first Maltese choir ever to do so.
In 2017, the choir toured Spain, following the Camino de Santiago, singing in the prestigious Burgos Cathedral, Leon Cathedral, San Martin Pinario and Santiago Cathedral.
THE SPCS COMMITTEE
Chairman Maurice Tabone
Secretary Amanda Kaye
Treasurer Ann Galea Testaferrata
Members Joseph Farrugia
Chiara FeliceMusic Director Hugo Agius Muscat
Assistant Music Director Cecilia Agius Muscat
Dr Hugo Agius Muscat is a consultant public health physician with a lifelong passion for music. He started studies in organ performing in 1977, and was awarded the Licentiate diploma of the Royal Schools of Music (LRSM) in organ performing in 1992 and the Certificate of the Royal College of Organists (CertRCO) in 2008. Since 1983 he has been titular organist at St Paul’s Anglican Pro-Cathedral, Valletta. He has performed in major cathedrals and churches in cities across Europe, including Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Tallinn, London, Edinburgh, Rome and Paris. He has accompanied numerous soloists and choirs in Malta and abroad, including the world-renowned tenor Joseph Calleja. In 1999 with Luciano Buono he edited the book Old Organs in Malta and Gozo. In 1998 he founded the St Paul Choral Society, and has been its Music Director since.
Dr Elisabeth Conrad is an organist, pianist and cellist with a strong reputation as a keyboard accompanist. In 2001, she was awarded the Licentiate Diploma of the Royal Schools of Music (LRSM) in organ performing, and also holds the ATCL and ALCM diplomas in pianoforte performing and the ABRSM diploma in Cello performing. She has been the St Paul Choral Society's organist since 1999. For the past seventeen years she has regularly played on the organs at St John's Co-Cathedral and St Paul's Anglican Pro-Cathedral as soloist and accompanist to the SPCS in several concerts and services, and has accompanied the choir during tours in London, Austria and Paris. As a cellist, she has performed with several orchestras locally, as well as with the Mediterranean Youth Orchestra. Professionally, Dr Conrad lectures in environmental management at the Institute of Earth Systems of the University of Malta.