Maltese Own Band during Covid-19 Lockdown
The Maltese Own Band Philharmonic Society has had to endure the consequences of the Covid-19 Lockdown, as have all other social and community groups during these extraordinary times.
This situation has been unprecedented in the Maltese Own Band’s 43 year history and has caused and required unfortunate repercussions.
The Maltese Own Band has been at the forefront of Maltese Culture since 1978, in promoting Maltese music and its traditions and culture to not only the Maltese community, but the general public as well, not only in its home state of Victoria, but in N.S.W, South Australia and Queensland as well.
The Maltese Own Band have not been able to rehearse or perform due to the cancelation of all Feasts and Community events that would have taken place normally.
Isolation has meant that we have had to find ways of still engaging our members in some sort of social way to keep up our member’s morale, as to many members, the Band is an integral part of their lives.
The Committee quickly embraced technology and were able to continue their monthly meetings electronically via Zoom. It was also decided to set up weekly Zoom catch-ups for all our members, where they would be able to chat socially and keep in touch with their band friends. The committee members also took it upon themselves to periodically ring any members that were not able to take part in the Zoom catch ups to check on their welfare and see if there was anything they needed.
At the request of some followers that were missing hearing us play at feasts, we implemented the “Marci Monday” initiative on Facebook where we began sharing recordings taken over the years.
To continue to nurture the valuable friendships built between the families of band members, the Committee also ran various family friendly social events, such as an online music trivia night.
To keep the musical side of thing going, our Bandmaster Mro. Mario Cassar, suggested to organise an online performance of one of the Band’s songs. It was decided to use “Do-Re-Mi”, taken from our “Sound Of Music” selection, arranged by our very own Mro. Mario Cassar.
Our members were asked to record their parts separately at their home and then forward them electronically to Mario where then, with the help of his extremely talented wife Fiona, put all the recordings together and uploaded the completed song to The Maltese Own Band’s Facebook page. This proved to be lot of fun for our members that took part.
The finished video was excellent and was fantastically well received by our Facebook followers, with almost 3,000 views so far.
Following the success of our first online performance, Mario wanted to try something more ambitious and challenging for our members. He decided to put together a medley of popular Halloween themed songs to celebrate Halloween in Isolation. This was a completely new piece to the band and had never been rehearsed or played before.
Mario wrote and put together all the pieces for the various instruments (with a few surprise inclusions) and forwarded them to our members to rehearse individually. Over the course of 2 weeks, our members then practiced furiously and learnt their parts. When ready, they were asked to record each of their individual parts as well as record a short video of themselves wearing a Halloween themed costume. The most important instruction they were given by Mario was to make sure they had some fun doing it, and got their whole family involved. These were then forwarded to Mario, where again with Fiona’s help, put together the Halloween Medley and uploaded it to our Facebook page.
Please find all the relevant links below:
We hope that you enjoy listening to our music as much as we enjoy bringing it to you. We look forward to the day that we can start getting together again and see all of your smiling faces at the Festas. Till then, keep safe and stay happy.