Maġġur Anthony Aquilina
Major. Anthony Aquilina was born on 25 July 1906, in Ħaż-Żebbuġ. His own name was Paul but was known as Anthony. he was a Maltese band master and composer.
In 1914, eight-year-old, a boy who was encouraging to join the Soċjeta Filarmonika Banda San Filep, Ħaż-Żebbuġ. In 1916 he came into play with the Soċjeta Filarmonika Banda San Filep and four years later he earned his place in the army where he entered as Band Boy and lasted this for five years.
He joined the Army at a young age then proceeded to the UK. Studing music of the prestigious Royal Military School of Music at Kneller Hall in Twickenham. He graduted as senior cadet in 1931, finishing first in course.
On his return to Malta, Aquilina rejoined the RMA as bandmaster and was soon appointed regimental bandmaster. In Steptember 1940. He was commissioned as an Officer. Serving until 1958 when he retired with the rank of major.
Shortly afterwords he joined Rediffusion (Malta) Ltd. and was that network’s director of music until 1972.
‘Il-Maġġur’’, as he was very popularly known, composed some 50 band marches which are among the most popular in current use not only by bands in Malta but wherever bands havebeen forned by Maltese migrants overseas. He was also commissioned to write ten hymns for band for local parish titular feasts.
Apart from his many years connection with the army. Aquilina was most closely associated with Soċjeta Filarmonika King's Own, Duke of Connaught Own Band Club of Birkirkara and the Soċjeta Mużikali Sant' Antnin Band Club, of which he was founder and honorary President.
Aquilina is considered as one of the most important composers of festive band marches for our bands. Marches such as ‘Aħna Tfal ta Gejtu,’ ‘Amos’, ‘Asswero’, ‘Balfrendosan’, ‘Benedict Silver Jubliee’, ‘Bozen’, ‘Ċieca u Ċelest’, ‘Come On Baldass’, ;Come On The Stripes’, ‘ Dur tond Fred’, ‘Elena Elena’, ‘El Picador’, ‘ Et Donnay’, ‘Fiorentina’, ‘Fiesta’, ‘Forward’, ‘Fonz u Peppina’, ‘Forza Ċensina’, ‘Forza Ċensu Tagħna’, ‘Ġianni Sfarfar’, ‘Guitarreros’, ‘Ix-Xiħ’, ‘Josephine Ġdik . dak u l-Oħra), ‘Lilywhites’, ‘Melita’, ‘Mona’, ‘Ta’ Ġerrew’, Viva ix-Xemx’, ‘Wenzinos’ and ‘Zorro among any others.
Some of his most popular matches have been issued in three different seletion of cassettes.
Demand led to the issue of two Cd’s with more selection.
Maġ. Anthony Aquilina married Catherine Ross in 1932 and they had one son.
He died on 21 st September, 1985.