Under the direction of Sr. Marana Saad, Philokalia Choir, (known till 2018 as Saint Rafqa Institute Choir), has established its reputation as one of the leading choirs in Lebanon. Since its foundation in 2010 by S. Marana, several concerts, festivals and occasions conducted each year have allowed the choir to showcase their work technically, vocally and musically.Philokalia choir has covered a varied repertoire ranging from sacred to secular music, from oriental to Arabic and classical music, the most notable works: Syriac Maronite repertoire “traditional and modern”, Mozart’s “Requiem”, Palestrina’s “Missa Brevis”, Vivaldi’s “gloria”, Iyad Kanaan Hymns and songs, Toufic Succar “Maronite and Lebanese polyphonic songs”, Old Mouwashahat, Rahbani Brothers repertoire, Zaki Nassif repertoire, Sayyed Darwish, Phelemon Wehbe, Marcel Khalife, Charbel Rouhana, etc. and new songs composed especially for Philokalia’s choir.The Choir provides education in the field of music for both choral and solo. Philokalia Choir has participated in concerts alongside prominent orchestras, received many invitations to festivals, and has also collaborated with other leading choirs. Some of the most known are: Christmas concert at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, concerts at the Maronite Catholic Patriarchate in Bkerke, concerts at Beirut Chants Festival, and in different churches and theatres in every corner of Lebanon. The Choir has received invitations to international festivals and big celebrations and events, such as: Crossroad Festival in Cyprus (2013/2018), Saint Anthony Maronite Catholic Church festivities in Virginia – U.S.A. (2016/2018), Celebrations of Saint Maron’s feast in Germany (2018) and Italy (2016), World Youth Day with The Pope Francis in Poland (2016) and Lebanese International Choir Festival (2018/2015).Philokalia Choir has also presented an operetta with live orchestra in Rafqa’s musical theatre written and directed by Georges Khabbaz (2014), and participated in big events with different orchestras in concerts with prominent artists such as Magida El Roumi, Charbel Rouhana in “Let Your Light Shine”/ “Salami Ma’ik” at the Casino Du Liban (2016), Marcel Khalife at Amchit Festival (2017) and Khaled Mouzanar at Baalback Festival Lebanon (2018). The Choir has also collaborated with the Lebanese National Higher Conservatory of Music - the Lebanese National Orchestra for Oriental Music conducted by Maestro Lubnan Baalbaki, with “Mazeej by Lucas Sakr” (2019) and Oussama Rahbani and Hiba Tawaji (2020). Philokalia Choir built strong friendships with Lena Farah Ghaoui and Rafca Fares Rahbani, who participated as soloists in Philokalia’s various concerts and musical events. Moreover, the Choir has recorded seven albums of Lebanese, oriental and sacred music, and performed many soundtracks for TV and movies, in which it had special appearances.
S. Marana Saad
S. Marana Saad is the Founder and the President of Philokalia Institute and Organization. Holding a PhD in Monastic Theology from Saint Anselm’s University – Rome and a PhD in Music from Holy Spirit University of Kaslik – Lebanon. S. Marana is a Theology and Musicology instructor at several Universities and Institutes. She is a member of the Lebanese National Commission for Unesco Lebanon from 2022. She studied choral conducting under Maestro Walter Marzilli at the Institute of Sacred Music in Rome. In 2010, she founded Saint Rafqa’s Institute Choir (Youth and children) known from 2018 as Philokalia Choir, where she is currently teaching and conducting. She also founded the Philokalia Vocal Ensemble "Hymnos" and "Ashtar" Arabic Oriental Ensemble in 2022 as professional Ensembles. She got an Executive Certificate in Strategic Management and Leadership from Georges Washington University, School of Business, USA (2018) and Sensitization to Music Therapy, Nantes Music Therapy Institute, France (2013).
Sr. Marana participated in different conferences and workshops (Vatican-Rome, Estonia, Richmond, Limassol, Croatia-Zara, Sueden) and she received many invitations to international festivals and concerts (France, Cyprus, Italy, Poland, Germany and USA). She published several articles about theology and spirituality, sacred music, choir management and leadership. She is also the author of several theological and musical texts, and has composed and directed several religious texts.
No1 – Christmas Litany (Syriac) / 3:00
No2 – Bach: Jauchzet / 7:50
No3 – Bach: Bereitet dich Zion / 6:00
No4 – Bach: Wie soll ich dich / 1:15
No5 – Bach: Ach mein herzliebes / 1:45
No6 – Tawnimar Toubo (Syriac) / 1:30
No7 – Bach: Sinfonia / 4:00
No8 – Bach: Brich an / 1:00
No9 – Bach: Ehre sei Gott / 2:40
No10 – Yawno Tlito (Syriac) / 1:00
No11 – Bach: Wir singen dir / 1:30
No12 – Bach: Herrscher des himmels / 2:10
No13 – Bach: Schliese mein herz / 5:00
No14 – Arsala Llah (Syriac) / 3:00
No15 – Bach: Seid froh die weil / 0:50
No16 – Bach: Falt mit danken / 3:50
No17 – Bach: Flost mein heiland / 6:00
No18 – Bach: Herr wen die stolzen / 5:00
No19 – Hallel Hallel (Syriac) / 3:00
No20 – Bach: Finale / 5:00
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