Għaqda Mużikali San Gabriel
The St. Gabriel Band Club - Ħal-Balzan A.D. 1920
The Circolo San Gabriele, today known as The St. Gabriel Band Club was founded on the 19th April, 1920. Since its foundation, this society is still organising activities and spreading culture among its members and the village of Ħal Balzan.
Parish Priest Rev. Fr. Amabile Sisner (1854-1923) gave the permission to open a new club on Monday 19th April 1920 and dedicate this new society to Angel Gabriel. The first premises were in St. Mary Street. Documentation shows that Mr Albert Pearson was the first President of Circolo San Gabriele. During the Second World War, Mr John Borg served as President. When the Band was formed in 1952, Mr. Alfred Brincat was the President and served between 1953 and 1974. From 1974 to 1990, Mr Gabriel Caruana MQR served as President. The actual President is the hard working man Mr Lino Borg.
In 1944 the name was changed to St. Gabriel Club, and then in 1952, the name became St. Gabriel Band Club. Thirty one years had passed since the foundation when a young lad came with the idea of having a band of musicians in the club. This energetic youth from Ħal Balzan of 22 years old was Gabriel Caruana, the well-known ceramist. Mro Carmelo Briffa of Birkirkara was appointed as the first Bandmaster. Then, Mro Clemente Sciberras became the 2nd Bandmaster in 1972. Mro Joseph Vella took charge of the band in 1991 as the 3rd Bandmaster.
This Society has operated from 5 different properties during these last 95 years. In 1957, the Hon. Secretary Gabriel Caruana worked hard together with the Committee in order to buy bigger and better premises exactly next to the Parish Church. The contract was signed on the 2nd September 1957 in front of Notary Public Mr. J. Micallef Trigona as this gentleman offered his services free of charge.
During the 1950s, the St Gabriel Band Club used to take part in the National Carnival Activities held in Valletta. There were various winning competitions throughout that period. In 1952, the name of FISH & TIES...The Latest Invention Catching Fish with Ties instead of Rods and Lines remains popular as the St Gabriel Band Club won all the honours in float, dance and costumes. Later in 1970s and 1980s, the band club also took part in the national Carnival Activities. Our first aim is the upkeeping of the St Gabriel Band. We have around 12 students, from the age of 7 to 16 years old that are learning musical intruments. The Bandsmaster Mro Joseph Vella teaches the wooden instruments while his Assistent Mro Tony Carbonaro teaches the Brass. Lessons are held every Thursdays and Fridays for practice while Sunday morning for Theory. These lessons are all free of charge.
The St Gabriel Band Club has a busy schedule during the year. Activities such as cultural, musical and social events are held. The main events are celebration of the feast of Our Lady of the Annunciation on the second Sunday of July. During that week the Annual Musical Programme by the St Gabriel Band will take place. This is considered as a high profile musical programme as there will more than 600 people attending. A fireworks display synchronized with music will take place during this Annual Musical Concert.
The St Gabriel Band Club owns the decorations of the upper part of the village and the facade of the Parish Church dedicated to the Our Lady of the Annunciation. Flags, banners, lights, statues of prophets and a unique statue of the patron saint of the Band Club Angel Gabriel form a great festa environment and entusiasm.
Another much awaited event is the Holy Week Exhibition. A unique exhibition prepared by our volunteers members. A life-size last supper, the Roman costumes, the passion crib, Good Friday statues and the life-size statue of the Risen Lord are the main highlights of the exhibition.
With the increase of cultural, musical and social activities, the premises of the St Gabriel Band Club were too much crowded. In fact, it was decided that a new hall will be constructed to suit such activities. Now this hall is constructed and activities take place regularly.
Definitely a hard working Band Club, and everything is done by volunteers. The activities carried out in the St. Gabriel Band Club are great. Although we are all volunteers, we try to do our best to keep on working to spread traditions, cultural, musical and social events. Our history makes us proud as our ancestors worked hard, so there must be a good example for us to keep working harder.
|01||Mro. Carmelo Briffa||1952||1972|
|02||Mro. Clemente Sciberras||1972||1990|
|03||Mro. Joseph Vella||1990|
Band Activities Overseas
Historical Events in which the Band participated
Song Festivals, Events or Drama Activies
Annual Musical Activities
Recorded releases (LPs, Cassettes and CDs)
|No||Name of Cassettes - Festives||Year||Marches||Funeral Marches||Waltzes||Others|
|01||Festive Marches - Marċi Brijużi (1984) - Għaqda Mużikali San Gabriel||1984||*|
|02||Festive Marches - Marċi Brijużi (1986) - Għaqda Mużikali San Gabriel||1986||*|
|03||Festive Marches - Marċi Brijużi (1988) - Għaqda Mużikali San Gabriel||1988||*|
|04||Festive Marches - Marċi Brijużi (1990) - Għaqda Mużikali San Gabriel||1990||*|
|05||Festive Marches - Marċi Brijużi 75 Anniversay - (1995) - Għaqda Mużikali San Gabriel||1995||*|
|06||Festive Marches - Marċi Brijuzi - St Gabriel Band - Għaqda Mużikali San Gabriel (1998)||1998||*|
|07||Festive Marches - Marċi Brijużi (2004) - Għaqda Mużikali San Gabriel||2004||*|
|No||Name of Cd's - Festive||Year||Marches||Funeral Marches||Waltzes||Others|
|01||Festive Marches - Marċi Brijużi (2000) - Għaqda Mużikali San Gabriel||2000||*|
|02||Festive Marches - Marċi Brijużi - 50th. Anniversary 1952 - 2002 (2001) - Għaqda Mużikali San Gabriel||2001||*|
|03||Festive Marches - Marċi Brijużi - Il-Glorja tal-Imgħoddi, Garanzija għall-Ġejjien - 90 Sena Marċi (2010) - Għaqda Mużikali San Gabriel||2010||*|
|No||Name of Cd's||Year||Marches||Funeral Marches||Waltzes||Others|
|01||Funeral Marches - Marċi Funebri (2006) - Ta' Ħajtu Għalina - (2006) Għaqda Mużikali San Gabriel||2006||*|