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Meet the the choir with heart and soul

Bles Blogs - Animae Gospel Choir - Animae 2012

The Animae Gospel choir came together in 2008 when 9 singers who shared the same passion for fun, joyful music decided that they wanted to bring this passion to the Maltese scene.  I met with Christian Borg, Choir Manager and Producer/Director of Animae Gospel Choir in Concert 2015. As one of the founding members of the choir, Chris took on the role of keyboardist.  Though this year he has taken a step back from performing in order to dedicate himself to the perfect production of what promises to be an uplifting performance this October.

AC: The choir is made up of several established solo artists. What prompted you all to want to share the limelight?

CB: Animae is an intimate, select choir. Each singer plays an important role in the whole ensemble. We approach singers who we believe are like-minded individuals that share the passion for the music. Yes we want great soloists, but we also want singers who have no problem with jumping back into the choir effortlessly.

This concert will actually have a lot of solos. However, even during the solo performances, the musical arrangement ensures that the choir still has a starring role.  Each performer works in unity with the others, the 5 sections ranging from bass to soprano all blend into one seamless musical voice. 

AC: Animae means soul in Latin. What would you define as the soul of the choir?

CB:  The soul of Animae is definitely the family of people which make up the choir. We all believe in the same ideal that music and spirituality are interconnected.  Reaching the right tone isn’t just about the notes and the rhythm. It’s about the expression of the music and this is compounded when  you feel close to those around you, just like we do at Animae.

AC: When organising a concert what gives you personally the biggest sense of satisfaction?

CB: I wish I could say that the whole thing is hugely satisfying from the outset. But the truth is that there is so much to do in the run up to the concerts that I am too wrapped up in making sure everything is perfectly organised to really enjoy each and every moment. In hindsight I would say that each tedious task and every elaborate rehearsal, brings us a step closer to enjoying an even greater end result. For me personally, the performance nights themselves are the most satisfying though. This year I am really going to enjoy watching the performance from the wings. I want to feel the team sharing their passion with the audience. Having said that, my feet will be firmly on the ground until the very last curtain call.  The performances should go off without a hitch since we work hard as a core team to anticipate every eventuality.

AC: What has been the proudest moment for the Animae Gospel Choir so far?

Following our 2012 concerts we went to Italy for a Gospel convention. The feedback and acknowledgement we received from the international tutors and other choirs was tremendous. We realised how well we compare on an international level and were given such great praise for the work we are doing.  It’s really rewarding to be recognised for the hard work that we put into this.

AC:  How do you go about selecting the repertoire for a concert? Is it a joint effort? And can you give us a hint of what to expect from this concert?

Pamela, who is the choir director and arranger, together with the core team mostly, select the songs we will be performing. Of course we do take some suggestion from the rest of the choir members, but we don’t function as a democracy: because of the way we select choir members there is generally consensus and belief in the repertoire anyway. We take a decision and move forward with it so that we can perfect the song.  All our songs for this concert are uplifting numbers that bring about a positive vibe.  As far as hints go, what I can say is that there will be a roller coaster of genres to keep everyone highly entertained.

AC: Who would you say this concert will appeal to?

We try to appeal to as broad an audience as possible. We want to entertain everyone and make them feel good.  Anyone who appreciates great music and a really polished, well put together concert will love the Animae Gospel Choir Concert.  If you love to feel the power of music this is the concert for you.

 

photo by Clint Scerri Harkins

This is the 3rd national concert for the Animae Gospel Choir who performed at the Manoel Theatre in 2009 and at the MCC in 2012. The 23 strong choir features some of Malta’s best known names, including Pamela, Leontine, Nadine Axisa , Rachel Fabri, Glen Vella, Amber and Debbie Scerri, amongst other up and coming artists.

The last few remaining tickets are available for Friday 30th and Saturday 31st October. Tickets are also now on sale for an extra matinee performance on Sunday 1st November.
To purchase tickets visit AnimaeGospelChoir.com.

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