The Big Friends Guggen Musik Band was founded in 2008 on the personal initiative of Mr Saviour Spiteri. The word ‘Guggen’ is of German descent and means joyful music. The style of this band is unique for our country because the musicians of the band entertain audiences by playing, singing and dancing. The band is mainly divided into two sections; the brass section and the percussion section. The brass section includes trumpets, trombones, euphoniums, althorns and sousaphones. The percussion section consists of tambourines, temple blocks, castanets and sleigh bells, washboards, bell liras, base drums and cymbals, and finally the drum kits. Moreover some instruments such as ‘washboards’, ‘sousaphones’ and temple blocks, are innovative and unique and are not found in traditional Maltese village bands.
The band has a very vast repertoire that varies from 1940s popular songs till today’s latest pop music. In addition to this, the band also has an extensive repertoire of Christmas carols and Christmas medleys with a ’guggen’ twist which are performed by the band members’ during Christmas festivities in order to entertain the audience. The band also launched its CD on Christmas songs and it has a view of launching another CD, this time focusing solely on Maltese songs.
The band takes part in various cultural activities held throughout the year including Notte Bianca and Casal Fornaro, as well as during Carnival and Christmas times where various musical instruments are decorated to create a nice atmosphere. During these periods the band takes part in various parades and show concerts and even performs in established hotels in Malta. The band also had the opportunity and pleasure to expose its talent overseas. This is because since its establishment in 2008, the band performed three times in Dubai, once in 2009 in Crete and twice in Tunisia, in 2014 and 2015.
As preparations for the upcoming gigs, every Thursday concerts are held at the bands’ premises in Floriana. During rehearsals, the band focuses both on purely musical elements and also elements related to choreography so as to attain professionalism in both aspects. For more information about the band, one can enter on the official facebook page, ‘Big Friends Guggen Musik Malta in 2008 AD’.