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Mro John Galea conductor of the King's Own Band

Mro John Galea, of Victoria, was last week appointed conductor of the King's Own Band of Valletta, succeeding Mro Carmelo Caruana, its bandmaster for the last 29 years. Mro Caruana was honoured with the title of Maestro Emeritus of the band.

Born in 1960, Mro Galea started his musical studies under the tutorship of Maria Zammit and Bice Bisazza. He was later awarded the Fellowship of the Trinity College and the Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music. He graduated with honours at Durham University (UK) studying composition with James Ellis and John Gardneer. He also studied musicology at the University of Pavia, Italy. Mro Galea studied musical techniques and contemporary music under Charles Camilleri.

In 1978 Mro Galea performed as conductor at the Manoel Theatre, and from then onwards, he was regularly chosen to conduct the theatre's orchestra. A year later, he was chosen as conductor of the Chorus Urbanus and under his directorship the choir performed in different European venues.

Mro Galea was the first Maltese composer who formed part of the jury at the Valentino Bucchi Music Competition, held in Rome in 1992. There he also presented a paper entitled The Clarinet in Contemporary Mediterranean Music.

From August 1999 to August 2000 he was principal conductor of the National Orchestra and now is one of its rotating conductors.

John Galea is also the author of Charles Camilleri: Ten Piano Sonatas and Taqsim for Two Pianos - A Study on Mediterranean Genetics, published in London last year by Robertin Publications.

Mro Galea lectures at the Music Studies Department, Mediterranean Institute at the University of Malta. Earlier this year, he was invited to lecture at the Università degli Studi of Catania, Sicily.

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