The Participation of ‘Banda Anici' in the Processions of Good Friday and Easter in Qormi.
Without any doubt, the festivities of Holy Week and Easter in our parish are two major celebrations to which we give a lot of importance. This is not only because in these events we manifest our faith, but also they exhibit the charm of our processions which show how great our love is to the teaching of the Catholic Church where our tradition and faith are bound together. This also continues to show that both in the procession of Good Friday as well as that of Easter we have artistic statues which enchant those present with their artistic movements, the result of the work of our fathers, and to which we have continued to show to this day.
The ‘Anici' Band as the Parish Band, since the beginning of its establishment, has strived to participate in these festivities and to keep this tradition alive. In fact, its first debut in the Good Friday procession was on Friday 24 March, 1989. The procession started from the Parish Church of St. George Martyr, Qormi which coincidentally was precisely in the first year the Band Club was formed. The Band, which captivates you by looking at it and hearing its music, took its place before the artistic statue of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. This statue is made of papier mache but we do not know exactly who made it . Some people say that it was made by Carlo Darmanin and there are some who think that it was made by Vincenzo Cremona whose procession was last seen some years after 1978. In front of the band, in the procession, there is the statue of the Last Supper, Salvatore Bruno's work from Bari in Italy and which was first shown in the procession of 1961. This statue is the largest one and is unique in Malta. The Good Friday's procession starts at 5:30p.m.
It was the 3 rd of May, 1993 after working constantly, thanks also to Can. Archpriest Carmelo Aquilina that a decree was issued from the Archbishop's Curia, signed by Mgr. Vicar General whom at that time was Annetto Depasquale. ‘Anici' Band Club was given the right to participate in the procession of Easter from the same parish. It was Easter Sunday, 3 April 1994, when the band performed for the first time in the procession at 9:00 am. The ‘Anici' Band's position in the procession is behind the banner of the parish 's Confraternity of the Holy Sacrament. The Statue of the Risen Christ is impressive, made from papier mache however we do not know who is its sculptor. All we know is that it was made over 200 years ago. In 1891, two soldiers were added by Vincent Cremona. Thus the statue now consists of Christ leaving the tomb as a winner and two soldiers guarding the tomb. In 2011, the final restoration took place and the color of the clothing of the soldiers was also changed. The design engraved in the dress of Christ was also shown.
In these festivities, the band's participation apart from taking part in the processions, is also involved in the Holy Week exhibitions. Since 1994, the Band club every day during these days organizes several shows and this has been done not only to further strengthen these habits but also to continue and encourage the spirit of these festivities to the people of Qormi and to those hundreds of people from various towns who visit these exhibitions. In fact I can also mention that our society has been at the forefront of the organizations of the parish, which show these exhibitions.
Anici Band Club has also in its archives several funeral marches which are played in the procession of Good Friday. Suffice to say that there are five volumes of booklets with over 35 funeral marches in every libretto. These are played alternately every year and there are many others still not utilized. Among the marches played are some which can only be played by ‘Anici' Band. Among these, one can find two hymns dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows, one of which belongs to the former Headmaster of the Band, Andrew Calleja, which was launched in 1999 and another one by the Headmaster Chev. Joseph Abel Mizzi which was first played in 2004. Both of these verses were written by the Hon. President of the Association, Dr. Carmel Bianchi.
In the Easter procession, the band plays a set of 10 waltzes which are all wonderful compositions of the first Headmaster of the band, Mro. Frank Galea (1987-1998) after which he was appointed Honorary Headmaster. Mro. Frank Galea died on Wednesday 1 February, 2012. These waltzes were sponsored by the President of the Association (1987-2010), President Emeritus and Vice President, Notary Antoine Agius. Many of these funeral marches and waltzes are found on cassettes and CD's. In fact there are twelve of them. One can buy them from Anici Band Club.