Next Sunday, 23rd September, the St Monica Choir, Malta and the Paul-Robeson Choir, Berlin, will present a joint concert entitled In the Mood, consisting of pieces of different genres in which music will be a melting pot of cultures. The concert will be held at St Monica School in Gzira and starts at 7.30pm. Entrance is free.
The St Monica Choir needs no introduction. Its past achievements speak of guaranteed musical excellence. As has been the case for the past 48 years, the choir will be under the direction of Sr Beniamina Portelli and will present a program of popular tunes, the majority of which the general public is familiar with. These include Sting’s ever famous Fields of Gold sung as an a cappella version, Nella Fantasia based on the theme “Gabriel’s Oboe” from the film The Mission by famed composer Ennio Morricone, and You Raise Me Up − an inspirational song made famous by Josh Groban in 2003 and which, since then, has topped worldwide music charts. On a lighter note, Henry Mancini’s The Pink Panther, the theme song of the comedy series bearing the same name, will be sung as a series of sounds and Mambo Italiano, the 1954 popular hit sung in Americanised Italian is sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face! Just as a point of interest, Mambo Italiano was composed as a hasty scribble on a paper serviette in an Italian restaurant in New York!
The Paul-Robeson Choir was founded in 1963 in East Berlin, the former communist part of Berlin. Its members are no professional musicians but people who enjoy singing and performing gospel songs and spirituals as well as pieces of popular music. The Paul-Robeson Choir is one of the oldest gospel choirs in Germany. The conductor and musical director is South Korean Geun Yong Park. The programme chosen for this concert is a reflection for this choir’s love of gospel music, both of American and African origin. The pieces to be sung include a number of traditional spirituals such as Elijah Rock, My Lord What A Mornin’ and Down by the Riverside. Sometimes I Feel like a Motherless Child is also a well-known traditional song. The song dates back to the era of slavery in the United States when it was common practice to sell children of slaves away from their parents. Lord, Listen to Your Children and Rock Me in the Cradle of Love are two of the contemporary spirituals that will be performed.
The two choirs will join forces and sing, among others, the tune that gives the concert its name. Glen Miller’s In the Mood was originally a big band jazz hit in the 1940s and evokes images of men and women in evening dress dancing the fox trot to its beat!