Gaetano Grech (bandmaster)
Mro. Gaetano Grech, nicknamed palazzi, son of Angelo and Teresa Fiammingo, was born in Senglea on 19th September 1855. He received the first musical teachings as student of his uncle, Mro.Ġiorġio Fiammingo, where he learned the clarinet and violin.
Mro. Grech furthered his studies under the wings of more musical teachers such as Mallia Cassar and Paolino Vassallo. Hi career as Musical Director began with Senglea’s Band Club, at the time named La Vincitrice Band Club and later on Queen’s Own Band Club. Throughout his career, apart from being Musical Director of this band, he was also band conductor of other band clubs such as La Valette Band Club, and King’s Own Band Club of Valletta, Union Banda Club of Ħal-Luqa, Soċjeta Filamonika San Ġorġ of Bormla and also Għaqda Mużikali L’Isle Adam of Rabat.
Mro. Grech was also appointed honorary director of the Prince of Wales Own Band Club of Vittoriosa, and also conducted this band on a number of special occasions. He was also conductor of a new band, which for a number of years, existed in Valletta under the name of Otto Settembre. Mro. Grech also conducted a number of military bands pertaining to the British Forces situated in Malta. He was also popular for his numerous compositions, and among these, one may note the symphonies Figlia del Re pipino, Penserio Melanconico and La Bella Melita. Mro. Grech was unfortunate enough to have died during the composition of the first act of the Opera Le Prime Crociate.
One can say that during his tenure at our club, he was very well respected, and this was proven by the fact that during a musical programme, or even during a meeting at the club, he used to receive a number of presents and commemorations, donated by followers of the band. In 1905 he left this band in order to join once again the Queen’s Own Band Club of Senglea. Mro. Grech died aged 83 in 1938.