Haitham Azzi, Conductor.
The choir was initially founded in 2010 to perform Taizé prayers every Friday during the fasting period. It was formed of a small group of secondary school students; 25 acting as singers and 5 as musicians.
In the beginning, its founders were not expecting the choir to be such a successful project!
The initiators of the project are Father Denis Meyer S.J, who is currently the Vice-President of the school and M. Haytham Azzi, a music instructor who graduated from Kaslik University and holds a Master of musicology and member of the Choir International Association “à Coeur Joie”.
After the success of the weekly Taizé prayer, the choir decided in 2010 to perform during the annual college fair. and so began the journey!
In 2011, a year after the first concert, the College Notre Dame de Jamhour founded its music school with the acknowledgement of the Lebanese Government. The school rector Father Bruno Sion Sj, the spiritual leader Father Denis Meyer Sj, the responsible of sports and artistic activities Miss Alice Keyrouz gave their full support to M.Haytham Azzi, who initiated the project and is today the music school’s director.
The goal was essentially to provide music courses to students in order to eventually enlarge the choir and the Orchestra.
By 2011, the choir members’ number increased to 70 singers and 10 musicians.
As in the current year, the number reached more than a 90 singers and around 30 musicians, as some of the music school students and teachers decide to join the orchestra. The orchestra consists of a complete string section (Classical guitar, violin I & II, viola, cello and double bass), woodwinds (flute, oboe, clarinet, and alto sax), brass (trumpet) and percussions (piano and classical percussions). For oriental repertoire the ensemble is joined by a nay, oud and oriental percussions.
All solo singers are classical singing students in the music school. The leading singer is their teacher Ms. Corinne Haddad Azzi, who contributed a lot in refining the raw sound of the choir.
The Choir of Notre dame de Jamhour participated in many events, including:
-The closing of the Jesuit week 2010-2011-2012-2013-2014-2015.
-The Divine Liturgy led by General President of the Jesuits in the world Father Adolfo Nicolas during his visit to Lebanon in March 2011
-The Divine Liturgy presided over by Patriarch Al Rai at the school on the occasion of his pastoral visit to the diocese of Beirut in February 2012, and also in the Mass given to celebrate its fiftieth anniversary this summer
– Annual Recital during the school fair in May of each year.
– Christmas recital at St. Joseph University in 2012.
– Christmas holiday celebrations in the church school in December of each year.
– The New Year Recital in St. Judas Tadao Church in Rome- Italy during the European meeting of Taizé 2012 in Rome.
– Recital held in the Cathedral of Saint Raphael for the Chaldeans during the commemoration day of the diocese.
-Christmas Recital on December 21st, 2013 in Notre Dame de Jamhour church with the participation of Les Petits Chanteurs de Saint Marc from the movie «Les Choristes»
-Christmas Recital in Saint Georges Church in Byblos on December 22nd, 2013.
– New Year’s Eve Prayer during the European meeting of Taizé 2014 in Prague in St. Ignacio of Loyola Church in the city of Prague-Czech Republic, where the choir impressed the audience with maronite chants.
– Concert of “la fête Islamo Chretienne” on 24th of mars 2014, 2015 & 2016
– Classical concerts for “la fête de la musique” in june 2014, 2015 & 2016
– Choir International Festival “Al Sole Della Sardegna” Aout 2015
– Christmas Recital on December, 2015 in Notre Dame de Jamhour church with the participation of the choir “La Voix D’Antan”
– Workshop and concert With the intentionally known trumpet player and composer Ibrahim Maalouf 2015-2016.
– Four Chamber music Concerts at the Cultural Center NDJ held by the members of the orchestra & the soloist Opera singers the 5th of December 2015, 8th of February and the 9th of April 2016.
– Choir International Festival “Verona Garda Esate” July 2016
As for the Repertoire, the Choir interpreted songs of senior composers:
– The Maronites:
Father Joseph Khoury, the father Dr. Louis-Haj, Father Joseph el Achkar, Father Dr. Joseph Tannous, Father Dr. Milad Tarabay and Bechara Farzan.
– Music from the Western Church:
Mgr. Marco Frisina, Jacques Bertier
– Lebanese music:
The Rahbani , Philimon Wehbé, Zaki Nassif, Wadih el Safi and Ziad el Rahbani
– In the classical music, the choir and the Orchestra interpreted pieces of: A. Vivaldi, C. Orff, G. Verdi, F. Schubert, G. Sangs, J. Caccini, J.P. Rameau, J.S. Bach, J. Strauss, J. Haydn, Giuseppe Di Marzi, L. Delibes and W.A. Mozart…
Gathering young people around music allows them to refine their souls and familiarize them with the meaning of commitment. It makes them improve on the humanitarian, musical and technical levels, which totally concordant with the Jesuit education…
|1ère Partie chants libanais|
|الكلمة صار جسدًا||الأب يوسف طّنّوس||Haytham Azzi|
|بضيعة زغيري||ألأب خليل رحمة||Corinne Haddad Azzi||Haytham Azzi|
|بلَيلي برداني بعتم كوانين||لحن الأب ميلاد طربيه
شعر الأب بيار غصين
|Corinne Haddad Azzi||Gilbert Rahbani|
|ليلة الميلاد||الأب منصور لبكي||Corinne Haddad Azzi||Haytham Azzi|
|يا مَن أُعطيتي البُشرى||لحن الأب ميلاد طربيه
شعر الأب روفائيل مطر
|Harm Elie Herdan
Orch Haytham Azzi
|ياجميع الشعوب||بشارة فرزان||Orch Haytham Azzi|
|2ème Partie Chant Classique|
|Le Christ est né, chantons en chœur
Choral n°9 de l’oratorio de Noël
|Jean Sébastien Bach (1685-1750)|
|Ave Maria||Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)|
Gloria, Quoniam To Solus Sanctus, Cum Sancto Spiritu
|Léo Delibes (1906-1981)|
Exultate, Jubilate, K.165
Pour violon choeur et orchestre
|Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)||Violon Clarisse Khoury||Haytham Azzi|
|3ème Partie Chant de Noël|
|Ave Maria Noel d’Autriche||Anonyme||Corinne Haddad Azzi||Haytham Azzi|
|Away in a manger||English traditional carol||Orch. Haytham Azzi|
|God rest you Merry, Gentelmen||English traditional carol||Arr. David Willcocks
Orch. Haytham Azzi
|O Come, all ye faithful||Unknown XVIII||Arr. David Willcocks
Orch. Haytham Azzi
|Unto us is born a Son||From Piæ cantiones 1582||Arr. David Willcocks
Orch. Haytham Azzi
|The first Nowell||English traditional carol XVII||Arr. David Willcocks
Orch. Haytham Azzi
From Home Alone 2
Prales Leslie Bricusse
|Arr Tom Fettke & Thomas Gassi