Għaqda Mużikali San Ġorg Martri
A short history of the St George’s Band Club – Qormi.
October 1893, in the midst of religious and political discord between the Church and the Colonial Government, a number of members established within the St George’s Club (established in 1872) a new band bearing the name of Filarmonica San Giorgio.
1894: On Januray 8th, the band, under the direction of Mro. Ġiorġio Zarb and Mro. Ġiuseppe Portelli, presents its first concert. A few weeks later, it participates in the first external festivities in honour of St Sebastian. In the following months the band participated for the first time in the Good Friday procession and the titular feast in honour of St George. The newly formed band had to shoulder the burden related to the organisation the feast.
1895: The band, now under the direction of Mro. Carmelo Abela Farrugia, participates for the first time in the Easter Sunday procession. In April, together with the town’s community welcomes the renovated titular statue. In September, the band travels to Reggio di Calabria to present its first musical program overseas. In the same period the band was heavily involved in the foundation of the Partito Popolare and the elections held that year.
1896: On the occasion of the Otto Settembre feast, the band performs a concert infront of the Law Courts. At the end of the program, the first electrical illumination in Valletta is inaugurated.
1897: In May, led by Mro. Vinċenzo Carabott, once again it crosses over to Sicily to participate in the feast in honour of St Lucy celebrated in Syracuse. Upon its return to Malta, the band participated in the festivities marking the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. It participated in the band defile and performed a musical program infront of the Law Courts.
1901: The Band participated in the festivities marking the royal visit of the Duke of York and the coronation of King Edward VII. In the same year the band took an active part in the meetings held at Ta’ Braxia and Ħal-Qormi, in relation to the taxes imposed on the Maltese by the Colonial government.
1907: The organisation experiences a schism, where a number of bandsmen led by the then bandmaster Mro Vincenzo Carabott, form a new band under the name of Unione San Giorgio. A few months later this schismatic band joins the former founder of the Pinto Band club and takes the name of Filarmonica Pinto. Mro. Nicola Montebello, one of the founding bandsmen of the St George’s band is nominated as bandmaster.
1911: The band is once again invited to participate in the festivities marking the coronation of King George V.
1919: A National Assembly is convoked to draft a new constitution for the Maltese islands, with the St George’s Band being the only Qormi band to send representatives.
1921: Mro Nicola Montebello composes a set of waltzes, the first of its kind, to be performed during the Easter procession. During the same year, the remnants of the Filarmonica Pinto (nicknamed taż-Żokk) joined the St George’s Band Club. Mro. [[[Antonio Abela]] is named as the new band director. The band actively participates in the formation of the Camera del Lavoro (now the Partit Laburista).
1932: Mons. Enrico Dandria, in recognition of the Club’s contribution to the national cause, calls the band La Patriottica.
1934: The band once again participates in the festivities marking the Silver Jubilee of King George V.
1936: Qormi is split into two parishes, with the Pinto Band ending up within the new parish, leaving the St George’s Band as the only band of the Parish. The turmoil caused by the split results in the dissolution of the Orkestra San Francesco Saverio and the Orkestra Indipendenza. The members of these two organisations, within the St George’s Band Club form a new organisation, the Aniċi Dramatic Company.
1937: The band participates in the festivities marking the coronation of King George VI.
War Years: Notwithstanding the prohibition on the celebration of feast, in its effort to raise the morale, during the war years, the band performed a number of band concerts. During this period its premises were requisitioned to house the refugees, whilst an Air Raid Shelter was dug underneath the premises. Amongst the families seeking refuge in this shelter were the families of Bishop Depasquale and Archbishop Cremona. The fall of Bizerta and Victory in Europe were celebrated with band marches along the streets of the town. In 1944 the Club once again was represented in the National Assembly which drafted the post war constitution.
1953: The band actively participated in the 33rd Cinquantinary from the Martyrdom of St George. In the same year it participated in the festivities marking the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
1963: Shortly after being nominated as bandmaster, Mro. Abel J. Mizzi set himself working on the composition of the trilogy of hymns, which till the present day bring to the conclusion the Good Friday procession.
1967: Three young girls join the band to become the first Maltese female musicians to perform with a Maltese band.
1977: Through the intervention of the Club’s president, the dispute between the parish and the fireworks enthusiasts comes to a peaceful conclusion.
1982: The Band participates in the festivities marking the consecration of the new parish church dedicated to St Sebastian.
1983: The band wins the second edition of the Malta Band Festival and earns the title of Banda tar-Repubblika. In the same year, the administration of the club concludes the purchase of the club’s premises.
2006: The band, now directed by Mro. Mario Testa, embarks on its fourth overseas visit. On the invitation of the automobile company BMC, it participates in the international car fair held in Birminghan that year.
2010: The band is once again invited by the Comune of Reggio di Calabria to participate in the annual feast in honour of Our Lady of Consolation. Amongst the various musical activities, the band performed a concert in the Church dedicated to St George, in the town’s main thoroughfare.
2014: Hor. Dr. [[Marie Louise Coleiro Preca], an active member of the organisation, is nominated as the 9th President of the Republic. To mark its 120th anniversary from the band’s formation, the organisation publishes a well-researched book outlining its history.
2018: As part of the activities marking the 125th anniversary of the band’s formation, extensive works on the club’s premises are carried out.
|01||Mro. Giorgio Zarb / Mro. Giuseppe Portelli||1893||1894|
|02||Mro. Carmelo Abela Farrugia||1894||1898|
|03||Mro. Vincenzo Carabott||1898||1906|
|04||Mro. Nikola Montebello||1907||1921|
|05||Mro. Antonio Abela||1921||1924|
|06||Mro. Giovanni Vella||1924||1950|
|07||Mro. Anton Muscat Azzopardi||1950||1958|
|08||Mro. Vincenzo Ciappara||1958||1959|
|09||Mro. Anton Muscat Azzopardi||1959||1963|
|10||Mro. Abel J. Mizzi||1963||2002|
|11||Mro. Mario Testa||2002||2007|
|12||Mro. Archibald Mizzi||2007|
|09||Rev. George Bonello||1972||1976|
|12||Dr. John Hayman||1990||1993|
|14||Dr. Robert Vella Baldacchino||1995||1996|
|15||Rev George Bonello||1996||1998|
- Administrative Committee
- Kummissjoni Żgħażagħ Werqisti
- Sezzjoni Nisa Werqisti
- Sezzjoni Sport
- Kummissjoni Banda
- Kummissjoni 125 Anniversarju
Band Activities Overseas
Każin Banda San Ġorg Martri - Aboard during Years.
True the years the band got several occasion to went outside the country and performed in serveral places
The first trip going back to 1895 and Reggio di Calabria (Italy):-
- Reggio de Calabria (Sicily) - 1895
- Syracuse (Sicily) - 1897
- Toronto (Canada) - 1993
- Birmingham (United Kingdom) - 2006
- Reggio de Calabria (Sicily) - 2010
Historical Events in which the Band participated
This is a list of several important local avveliments and even on national scale, that the band had the occasion to participate and taken part.
|1894||Ħal-Qormi||The first feast in honor of St Sebastian|
|1895||Ħal-Qormi||Arrival of the renovated titular statue of St George|
|1895||Valletta||foundation of the Partito Popolare|
|1896||Floriana||Religio et Patria meetings|
|1896||Valletta||inauguration of the electrical street lighting|
|1897||Valletta||Queen Victoria Diamond Jubilee|
|1900||Ħal- Qormi||celebrations marking the lifting of the siege of Ladysmith (Boer War South Africa)|
|1901||Ħal-Qormi||Protest against taxation and language question|
|1901||Tal-Virtu||– Inauguration of monument to Christ Redeemer|
|1901||Marsa||– Royal visit by the Duke of York|
|1902||Valletta||Coronation festivities of Edward VII|
|1903||Valletta||Pope Leo XIII’s jubilee festivities|
|1911||Valletta||Coronation festivities of George V|
|1915||Floriana||First anniversary from commencement of World War I|
|1931||Valletta||Concert in honor of Mro Ricardo Zandonai|
|1935||Valletta||George V’s jubilee celebrations|
|1937||Valletta||Coronation festivities of George VI|
|1938||Ħal-Qormi||Successful resolution of the street decorations issue|
|1942||Ħal-Qormi||George Cross celebrations|
|1943||Ħal-Qormi||Allied victory at Bizerta|
|1945||Ħal-Qormi||Victory in Europe|
|1946||Ħal-Qormi||end of World War II|
|1953||Valletta||Coronation festivities of Elizabeth II|
|1954||Ħal-Qormi||Royal visit by Queen Elizabeth II|
|1964||Ħal-Qormi||Independence Day celebrations|
|1967||Ħal-Qormi||Royal visit by Queen Elizabeth II|
|1971||Senglea||Coronation of Our lady’s statue|
|1979||Ħal-Qormi||Freedom day celebrations|
|1983||Valletta||National Competition for band clubs|
|1983||Ħal-Qormi||Consecration of St Sebastian’s new parish church|
|1986||Ħal-Qormi||Inauguration of new fireworks facory|
|1989||Floriana||Independence Day 25th Anniversary celebrations|
|1990||Ħal-Qormi||Papal visit by St. Pope John Paul II|
|1992||Ħal-Qormi||Inauguration of new Health Centre|
|2001||Mrieħel||Papal visit by St. Pope John Paul II|
|2007||Ħal-Qormi||Inauguration of new Town House|
|2010||Ħal-Qormi||Papal visit by Pope Benedict XVI|
|2011||Ħal-Qormi||Visit by Portuguese knights|
|2016||Ħal-Qormi||Pilgrimage with the statue of St George|
Song Festivals, Events or Drama Activies
- Palm Sunday
- St George's Feast (Viglia)
Annual Musical Activities
- Palm Sunday (since 1919)
- Good Friday procession (since 1894)
- Easter Saturday (since 1984)
- Easter Sunday procession (since 1895)
- Liturgical feast (since 1958)
- St George Feast – Monday (since 1959)
- St George Feast – Thursday (since 1969)
- St George Feast – Friday (since 1894)
- St George Feast – Saturday evening (since 1894)
- St George feast-day morning (since 1894)
- St George feast-day evening (since 1982)