Carmelo Galea (bandmaster)

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Mro. Carmelo Galea

Mro. Carmelo Galea, L.Mus.L.C.M. was born on 16 July 1949, to Emanuel (also a musician) and Emanuela née Brincat.

He started learning the E Clarinet ('flat sign') under the guidance of his father around 1961 and started playing in 1962. In 1962 he also started learning Theory of Music with Bro. Ambrose of De La Salle College (where he attended 1956-65), and continued with Mro. Profs. Charles E. Zammit and then Mro. Carmelo Pace, where in 1977 he gained his second diploma - L.Mus.L.C.M.

He started to have a go at composition in 1965, his first composition to be performed in public being a festive march in 1966, which he composed for the 10th Anniversary of ‘St Peter in Chains Band Club 1957’ Għaqda Mużikali San Pietru fil-Ktajjen, his local Band Club of Birzebbugia.

He was a member of the King’s Own Malta Regiment Band between 1967-1970, and was Bandmaster of the abovementioned Għaqda Mużikali San Pietru fil-Ktajjen 1957 between 1971 to 1981, when he then emigrated to Australia with his wife Evelyn née Schembri and their children Robert (b.1973) and Ruth (b.1979). By 1981 he had composed several festive marches, performed publicly, and two orchestral pieces, also performed publicly by the then Manoel Theatre Orchestra (now Malta Philharmonic Orchestra) conducted by Mro. Joseph Sammut.

Mro. Carmelo Galea jidderiġi l-Maltese Own Band f’Awstralja

In Australia he was Bandmaster of two Maltese bands: Maltese Own Band between December 1981 and November 1983, and St Albans Melita Band between May 1987 and June 1990. He was in Malta in July 1990 to attend his father’s funeral. After spending about a year practicing Clarinet in 2007, he joined a local community band (Hobsons Bay City Band) in late 2008.

Between 1992 and 2004 he taught Theory of Music [in Victoria, Australia] on a part-time basis and was a full-member of the Victorian Music Teachers’ Association.

In 1994 he was on holiday in Malta, with his wife and daughter, and he played the Clarinet with Għaqda Mużikali San Pietru fil-Ktajjen 1957 during the feast of St Peter. He was also invited to conduct this Band again, which he did, and he also opened a Hall at this Band Club, dedicated to his father, who was one of the founding members of the Band back in 1957.

In 2003 he was in Malta with his wife, following the news that his mother is gravely sick – she died after about a week they got to Malta, and of course he attended her funeral too.

Composition for Carmelo had stopped in 1979, when he was in Malta, and he had composed nothing till 2009 – 30 years later ! It is only when he joined the Hobsons Bay City Band that he got the desire to restart composing again. He did so in 2009, when he composed ‘Roman March’ for Concert Band, which he revised in 2011. His musical compositions started to be published in 2013, by the Australian publishers www.australiancomposers.com.au also known as Wirripang. These are his published compositions so far (alphabetical order):

  • Andante in G Minor (Orchestra)
  • Fantasia for Orchestra (Orchestra)
  • Forward march (Concert Band)
  • Melody in C (Concert Band)
  • Pedestal march (Concert Band)
  • Prelude to a Concert
  • (Concert Band); Roman March (Concert Band)
  • Shattered Trust (Orchestra)
  • Spanish Flavour (Concert Band)
  • The White and Red Flag march (Concert Band).

Several of the above compositions have been performed in Australia, as well as two in Malta (Melody in C and Roman March) by the AFM Band and the Malta Police Force Band. Some were aired on the local Maltese Radio Station 98.9FM [in Victoria, Australia] hosted by Emmanuel Brincat.

Carmelo is a member of APRA (Australian Performing Rights Association), having transferred from The Performing Right Society of London. Carmelo is now retired from work (not music related), but still continually active in music, playing the Clarinet and composing. His favourite composers are Tchaikovsky for his Classical Music, Verdi for his Operas, and Miklós Rózsa for his film music. Carmelo can be contacted via his Facebook page, and by email c.e.galea@bigpond.com