Mro. William Debattista was born on the 2nd February 1974 from Carmelo and Rita nee’ Bugeja. He started his musical career with the Għaqda Mużikali L’Isle Adam of his hometown Rabat under the the tuition of Mr. Tony Galea at the age of 8 years, the instrument being the clarinet. He eventually joined the band in 1986 on Good Friday. Furthermore, he started music theory lessons with Profs. Mro. Charles Zammit in 1989 till 1993 where he got several theory grades and the A. Mus. VCM diploma. Then he continued his studies with the late Mro. Ronnie Debattista from 1993 till 2002 where he passed with flying colours music theory exams in Grade 8, the Associate and Licentiate diplomas of the London College of Music.
After continuing his studies of the instrument with Mr Tony Galea where he passed grade 5 and 6 (LCM exams) he continued his clarinet studies with the late Profs. Mro. Freddie Mizzi for thirteen years from 1994 to 2007 where he got grade 7, 8 as well as the Associate (ALCM) and Licentiate (LLCM) diplomas in clarinet playing.
During this time he started composing festive marches and funeral marches for his hometown band while playing with several bands around the island. In the meantime, he was being engaged by several bands as a music theory instructor with the Għaqda Mużikali Santa Marija of Dingli , woodwind instructor with the 12th May Band and Social Club of Ħaż-Żebbuġ both in 1997, music theory instructor with his hometown band L’Isle Adam in 1998 and woowind instructor with the Soċjeta Filarmonika Sliema Band Sacro Cuor Sliema in 1999. In 1998 he was given the post of Asst. bandmaster of Sta. Marija Band of Dingli and the same post with the 12th May Band in 2008.
For some time between 2002 and 2012 he formed part of the Denner Clarinet Quartet giving lunchtime concerts, concerts organised by local councils and other organisations such as the Lions’ Club and charity aid concerts such as those for the Richmond Foundation and Life Cycle amongst others. By now William was being called by several bands to play as a soloist in several musical programmes locally and even abroad. He also gave some recitals accompanied by the piano.
Amongst his repertoire William played the Fantasia from Rigoletto with the L’Isle Adam band in 2001, Mozart’s clarinet concerto with the 12th May Band in 2006, Weber’s concertino when he was chosen for the first ever Easter Monday concert under the direction of Profs. Mro. Joseph Vella in 2000 and Rimsky Korsakov’s clarinet concerto with the L’Isle Adam Band in 2011 among others.
Till now William had composed several festive marches mainly for the L’Isle Adam Band and 12th May band, 3 funeral marches, Romantic Prelude, Għanja mill-Qalb premiered by the Sta. Marija Band of Dingli and Tislima lil Mro. Joseph Galea written as a tribute to Mro. Joseph Galea and premiered on 29th June 2019 where the baton was passed from Mro J. Galea to Mro. William Debattista as the new L’Isle Adam Band Director.
An interesting fact is that William also served as an Elite Assistant Referee between 2009 and 2019 with the Malta Football Association where from 2010 till 2016 being on the FIFA panel representing Malta abroad.
He is married to Gloriann with two sons Andre born in 2003 who also plays the clarinet with the L’Isle Adam band and Jerome born in 2007. He is also an Integrated Science teacher at St. Nicholas College Middle School in Rabat.