The Marsa Scouts Band Shines at the Pipes and Drums of Basel
The Marsa Scouts Pipes and Drums is one of the two official bands of the Marsa Scout Group that are part of the Scout Association of Malta. This summer, the band participated in the Basel Tattoo (in Switzerland), a military music event that attracts only the very best bands from across the globe and thus covers all music genres, from march to rock, folk to classical music.
The produced shows have offered over the past eleven years mind-blowing choreographies to over 1 million spectators from all around the world. The festival is recognised internationally as the second largest Tattoo in the world after the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
The band performed in the Massed Pipes and Drums act, alongside other bands from around the world, including Australia, South Africa, Switzerland, Scotland and America. The musical repertoire is sent months in advance, allowing the separate bands to learn the music. Then in a week of rehearsals, the bands come together to deliver the performance.
“Participating in such an event is a satisfaction and a reward for all the participating members. It is even more rewarding to have our band represent Malta, the smallest country in Europe and Scouting, the largest youth movement in the world. “said Jurgen Cassar, the band assistant Scout leader.
Bagpipes were introduced in the Scout Group back in 1961. The bagpipe was added to the existing band which was formed in 1954 and included bugles, drums and later on also flutes. Until 2009 there was one band within the group involving trumpets, drums and bagpipes. During 2009 this structure was reorganised, and two bands were formed – the Marsa Scouts Pipes and Drums and the Marsa Scouts Corps of Drums.
Making it to such a prestigious international festival has been the fruit of long years of dedication and commitment of all members. The band is made up of youth members and section leaders within the Scout group. The objective is to merge Art with Scouting and to reinforce the creativity aspect that the movement strives to offer to its members. Basing the band within the Scout group is a way to make it accessible to all Scouts who wish to be involved in musical performances or are simply eager to learn about music and instruments.
“The journey has been a constant learning experience to everyone in the group, from our youngest troop member (aged 13) to our most senior leader. This experience taught us that good things never come easy, and therefore one must always persevere in life, even when things seem to go wrong. “Said Jurgen.
Our members' work ended up being commended by the organizers for their good level of preparation - I think no one told them Scouts are always prepared :)” He playfully added.