Band clubs are a unique feature loved by many living in and visiting Malta, but Teatru Manoel wants to take the appreciation of Malta’s top bands to the next level. The first weekend of June will be dedicated to these top bands, with the King’s Own (1st June), La Valette (3rd June) and the Band of the Armed Forces of Malta (2nd June) performing at the venue. The music programme for each of the concert is eclectic and ranges from Rossini and Wagner to Elgar and Morriconi to Andrew Lloyd Webber and Maltese composers.
The King’s Own Band was founded in 1874 by Maestro Guiseppe Borg and a number of enthusiasts of the feast of St Dominic in Valletta. It immediately established itself as one of the leading band clubs on the island. Initially, the Band was given the title of “La Nazionale” and thereafter “La Nazionale Vincitrice”. In 1885, the Committee requested the permission of Edward, Prince of Wales, to take up his name and the band became known as the “Prince of Wales Own”. In 1901, when the Prince was crowned King Edward VII, his Majesty gave the Society his consent to take on the title “The King’s Own Band” – a name the band still enjoys till this very day.
Photo credit: Justin Gatt
The Band of the Armed Forces of Malta, which was formerly known as the Royal Malta Artillery Band (RMA Band), was established in the late 19th century (1890). Some historical facts found in the Malta Land Force Journal (1975) actually show existence of some form of a military ensemble forming part of the Royal Malta Fencible Regiment performing during the funeral cortege of the Marques of Hastings back in December 1826.
Societa’ Filarmonica Nazionale la Valette (La Valette Band) was founded by Pawlu Darmanin in 1874, and was originally set up to form a band to participate during the feast of St Paul in Valletta. Maestro Luigi Carabott held the role of the first band conductor, and the band club held its first public performance at the Manoel Theatre in May 1875. The first band march was then held in July of the same year, at the feast of our Lady of Mount Carmel. The band club won the award for International Band in 1927 in Italy. Former Prime Minister George Borg Oliver held the role of president for the club for 30 years, between 1950 and 1980.
The three concerts start at 8pm and take place at Teatru Manoel. There is a discounted price for attending all three concerts. Tickets can be bought from the official website, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 2124 6389.