Doreen Galea

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Doreen Galea (born 19 February 1947) is a Maltese singer from Valletta.

Doreen Galea, nèe Zammit, comes from a musical family. Her grandfather used to play the mandolin, her uncle, Paul Grech was a composer and painter, her grandmother was a folk singer while her mother's cousin is well-known Clarinettist Freddie Mizzi.

For some time her family resided in l-Blata l-Bajda, and Doreen used to attend Maria Assunta Secondary School in Ħamrun. But after only 5 years, the family returned to Valletta.

The eldest of eight siblings, Doreen started her singing career at the age of twelve with Prof. Giorlando Valente's band.

After marrying pianist/composer Sammy Galea, Doreen became a resident of Floriana.

Doreen Galea in 1983

Over a period of four decades she established herself in the Maltese music scene across various genres, with her deep, expressive voice that is known to soar up to a higher register when the song calls for it.

Her three sons Dominic Galea, Benedict Galea, and Manolito Galea have all taken up careers in music as pianist/composer, percussionist, and sound engineer respectively.

Galea is also a noted songwriter. At the tender age of seventeen she wrote her first lyrics to one of Sammy's compositions; MALTA. The song was chosen as a finalist in the Malta Song Contest, (1967). Though the song was sung by many local singers including Mary Spiteri, its first vocal was Doreen's own sister Ċensina Zammit, who incidentally is the grandmother of two other singers Thea Saliba and Daniel Testa. Doreen wrote lyrics for other songs including Joe Cutajar's Ftakar and Kantaw Magħna.

In 2009, she released a CD album Ommi by Heritage Records featuring a set of songs composed by her son Dominic to some well known poems in Maltese. The album was recorded at Lito's Place with Steve Borg as executive producer. A set of fifteen song including the oldest Maltese song ever written Xidew the Qada; Pietru Caxaru's Kantilena.

Her rendition of the works of Malta's noted poets continued with her contribution in the album Għanja, celebrating Dun Karm Psaila's anniversary in 2011 and in Nirien, released in April 2012 on the 25th anniversary of Karmenu Vassallo's demise.

Doreen has performed in a large number of musicals both in Maltese; (Ulied in-Nanna Venut fl-Amerika, Manwel, Manwel, It-Tfajla tal-Palazz, L-Għarusa tal-Mosta, Rita ta' Cassia and Jien Ġużeppi) and English; (The Sound of Music, Les Miserables in Concert, Evita and Sister Act).

Doreen Galea during the 2008 recording of Ommi

She has won several awards in song contests and performed at various International Festivals in Malta, Ireland, U.K., Italy, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Australia and Algeria. Some of the most outstanding awards in her career as singer and songwriter include:

1st at the 1970 Italo/Maltese Festival with “Dimmi Che Mi Vuoi Bene”
1st at the 1982 International Festival of Maltese Song – “Jekk Trid”
1st at the 1983 International Festival of Maltese Song – “Ħabib Tinsiex”
1st at 1985 International Festival of Maltese Song – “Leħen fis-Skiet”
1st at Malta Song Festival 1994 with song “Forsi” – duet with son Manolito
2nd at Australian Open 1988 with “Seventh Heaven”
3rd at 1983 Bratislava International Song Festival with “Sa Kemm”

Doreen has coached and assisted many singers in their youth and also organized a Choir. A few of her students include Julie Zahra, Sarah Harrison, Priscilla Psaila, Corinne Caruana, Valentina Farrugia, Kimberley Manicaro, Leontine Camilleri, Alison Ellul and Annalise Ellul.

See also

Category:Doreen Galea Photos