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Malta Philharmonic Band Clubs

At the Village Festa.
Band clubs in Malta have a special place in the community.

A source of intense pride and with a solid place in Maltese social culture, the band club’s premises are an ideal meeting point for locals to exchange gossip, play a game of pool or engage in village festa activities. From elaborate band club activities to preparing street decorations for the local feast dedicated to the Patron Saint of the village and fireworks production, the band club is responsible for countless activities. As the village festa approaches, club followers have the tendency to paint themselves in the colour representing their village band club.

Club followers sing and chant at the village festa while band members dress in dignified suits. Some localities have more than one band club which often results in a colourful rivalry.  The band clubs also act as a youth centre as well as a source for young people to learn music for free.

The Maltese band clubs have their roots in the sixteenth century, when drums and flutes often accompanied feasts and processions. Philharmonic societies only came together towards the end of the 19th century when the British Empire’s marching bands played a strong influence. 

Today, band clubs decorate the façade of the club in a most colourful and unique way, whilst playing new music. A band usually features 60-70 volunteers and professional players playing a range of woodwind, brass and percussion.


Did you know?

  • The famous eight-pointed Maltese Cross symbolizes the 8 obligations of the Knights of St John: Truth, faith, repent of sins, humility, justice, merciful, sincere and enduring persecution.
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