Christmas at the Priory 2017

Start Date & Time: 12/12/2017 - 7:30 pm

End Date & Time: 12/12/2017 - 10:30 pm

Price: 38

Inquire At: 99319231

Christmas at the Priory

On the evening of Tuesday 12th December 2017, Flimkien ghal Ambjent Ahjar (FAA), our heritage and environment NGO, organised an important and very special ‘Christmas at the Priory’ concert performed by the Malta School of Music (MSM) at St. Mark’s Church, Rabat, followed by a candle-lit dinner held at the adjacent Augustinian Priory.


The aim of the evening was to raise funds for the restoration of the unique priceless late medieval four-panel ‘Madonna of Mercy’ polyptych altarpiece. Three of the panels forming a triptych (shown above) show a Madonna, sitting enthroned in majesty quietly suckling the Child, attended by saints Paul and Augustine, who both carry their symbols. A fourth surviving panel shows a refined St. Catherine in courtly dress while the fifth panel remains missing. The panels date back to about 1430 and have been described as one of Malta’s greatest artistic and priceless treasures due to their rarity and fine quality. After six centuries, the panels are in desperate need of restoration in order to be enjoyed by future generations. The restoration being funded by FAA, will cost in the region of 44,000 Euro, due to the lengthy process required to restore four such valuable panels, for which the FAA has brought out top experts from Italy and the UK to work with and advise the Maltese restorer.


The venue for the Christmas concert, organised by FAA, The Malta School of Music and St. Mark’s Priory, was in the elegant and beautifully decorated St. Mark’s Church.  The Church was full to capacity to witness over 90 very talented students, studying voice, woodwind and contemporary music at the Malta School of Music(MSM), performing a varied selection of music ranging from early Baroque to contemporary arrangements with a Christmas theme.  The musical programme began with a piece played on the bagpipes, followed by two well-known songs from a soloist and jazz combo and two songs delivered by 26 young singers with percussion and piano accompaniment.  Next, three traditional Christmas songs were performed by the flute choir, before a performance of several songs sung by soprano Marvic Baldacchino with string and piano accompaniment.  The final performance of three musical pieces was given by the MSM Wind Band. FAA’s Joerg Sicot concluded by thanking the performers for a fabulous concert which was well appreciated by the audience, also thanking Ms Mary Ann Gauci for choreographing the concert and Fr. David for hosting the dinner in the cloisters of St. Mark’s Augustinian Priory.


Following the concert, FAA volunteers led the guests to the magnificent Augustinian Priory cloister, where prosecco and canapés were served on arrival.  Patrons then enjoyed a delicious four-course candle-lit Christmas dinner inclusive of wine and water, catered for by Belgian caterer Bart Saive.  Towards the end of the evening a raffle was held with winners receiving prizes generously donated by the Excelsior Hotel, Stephen Cordina Aroma and Therapy, Camilleri Group, Vincent’s Eco Farm, Wembley and Co., Preluna Hotel, Amanda at Radiance Beauty Salon and Azzopardi Jewellers.  In addition, the FAA thanks Greenscapes and Flowerland for their generous donations of poinsettias that were sold to raise further funds.


The Christmas concert and candle-lit dinner were a success and thoroughly enjoyed by FAA supporters, whose contribution towards the costly restoration of this priceless piece of art is much appreciated by the FAA Committee.  Finally a big thank you to the event organiser FAA’s Anne Marie Kissaun and her team of FAA volunteers on the evening: Maura Marlow, Joerg Sicot, Susan Mompalao de Piro, Margaret Rizzo, Gerry Griffiths, Margaret Warrington, Madeleine Abela, Ursula Alphonse, Godfrey Mangion, Derek Moss and Tim Alden, FAA’s Cultural Coordinator.


FAA’s main sponsors are Dhalia, Attard & Co Ltd, Exalco, BNF Bank, Firstbridge, Marcel’s Kitchen, Davinci Health, Ecovis, Saint James Hospital, and The Phoenicia, to whom FAA is truly grateful.


Derek Moss

FAA Volunteer

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