Marouska Attard is a music graduate with a B.A. (Hons) in Music and holds a Postgraduate Certification in Music Education from the University of Malta. She has also obtained a Masters degree in Choral Direction at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, Wales.
A singer herself, Marouska has always had this great fascination for the voice as an instrument and she finds it intriguing how the simple gestures of a conductor can affect the sound that is being produced. In fact from a very young age she was actively involved as a chorister with several choirs in Malta with whom she participated in several concerts and opera productions. Later on as a university student she was involved with the university choir participating also as a soloist in several concerts locally and abroad. This association has instilled in her the passion and the drive for choral singing. Thereafter she moved on to direction of the Schola Cantorum Jubilate, a youth choir which she helped establish. She has been the director of this eminent choir since the year 2000, when it began as a group of friends and went from strength to strength under her dedicated direction. Performing in venues at home and abroad, the choir has visited Corsica for ‘Recontres des Musicales’ in November 2003; a musical-cultural tour in Rome and Assisi in September 2007 and another in Vienna, Linz and Salzburg in August 2009, in Chevaigne and Rennes in France in June 2012 and lately in Italy in the cities of Padua and Venice. Under Marouska’s direction, in November 2013, the choir was awarded the Silver Award in Sacred Music for mixed choirs after participating in the Malta International Choirs’ Festival. Additionally, for these past twelve years Marouska had conducted SCJ during the highly acclaimed Christmas concert – Carols by Candlelight. This Christmas concert has progressively gained popularity both locally and abroad. In fact, in 2010 it was quoted in The Guardian as one of the best top ten Christmas concerts in Europe.
Throughout the years Marouska had the opportunity to work with different choir directors among them; Mons. Renzo Cilia, who was assistant director of the Sistine Chapel’s Choir in Rome. Zimfira Poloz a children’s choir director and educator, and Simon Halsey, who is the chief conductor of the Berlin Radio Choir and the chorus director of the CBSO Chorus and LSO Chorus. She also took tuition in choral direction with Dr.Colin Durant and also took part in a choral director course ‘The Art of Choral Directing’ directed by Josephine McNally at Sherbourne Summer Music School in the UK.
Feeding her passion for vocal musical knowledge, Marouska has attended an array of workshops with some of the legendary figures in the field. At the Lake District International Summer School of Music in Ambleside, UK she worked with Teresa Cahill and the late Robert Tear who was once so closely connected to the composer Benjamin Britten. Also in the UK she had classes with another musical giant, the opera diva Yvonne Kenny, at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Add to the list Prof. Jerzy Artysz of Krakow Music Academy, an international baritone with a hugely successful career and who had studied violin before voice as Marouska herself did; Prof. Thomas E Bauer, a German baritone of growing importance; Daniel Lichti one of Canada’s acclaimed concert and oratorio singers and Deborah Harrison-Rossner from the United States. Marouska is currently tutored in voice technique by Juliette Bisazza Zanni.
Marouska works as a qualified music teacher at the Johann Strauss School of Music and at the Gozo Visual and Performing Arts School. Her main objective is to inspire and instil awareness about the importance of music education, in particular the importance of being part of a choir. Even though there is a good number of choirs in Malta, people’s participation to sing in such choirs is still very low. This is why Marouska believes that in order to bring a change in mentality one needs to introduce singing to children from an early age. Singing in a choir not only involves learning music but can also contribute greatly to the holistic development of a person