Way back in 1992 the Lily Band Club approved a motion proposed by a group of its members to commission an artistic bandstand for its band performances. An executive commission was set up for such a task. Its members were; Benny Briffa (Chairman), Charles Farrugia (Vice-Chairman), and Charles Azzopardi, Amabile Barbara, Alfred Xuereb, Lawrence Magro, Michael Magro, Charles Muscat, Gulio Sacco and Charles Sacco as members. A public all for designs was launched and the four submitted designs were for public viewing at the Lily Band Club during the feast of the Immaculate Conception of 1992. The design submitted by Mr Salvu Bugeja was singled out. Bugeja is one of Malta’s most renowned designers and sculptors.
One of the most important decisions, which the Executive Commission took, was that all sculpture be carved in wood and that all forms of imitations and use of fibre glass be eliminated. This meant that one had to embark on a large-scale system of fundraising to fund the large amount of woodcarving and sculpture works involved.
The bandstand consists of eleven sectors forming a circular platform. Bronze busts of famous musical composers occupy the central arch of each sector. Amongst these one finds Mozart, Rossini, Verdi, Schubert and Strauss. The main sculptor of embellishing the front area of the bandstand represents an allegory of music. The balcony surrounding the upper part of the bandstand is a masterpiece of bronze workmanship and twelve bronze putti hold an elaborate lighting system.
Mr Julio Sacco and his brother Charles deserve a special mention. They supervised and worked most of the woodwork involved. Charles Farrugia also gave great support by providing the facilities of a large storehouse where the bandstand was assembled during workmanship.
The inauguration of the bandstand was held on Wednesday 14 June 1995 as the main event during the commemoration of the 50th anniversary from the founding of the first band in Mqabba. Acting President Dr Jimmy Farrugia was the guest of honour while Mons Antonio Cusumano blessed the bandstand. The Lily Band under the directorship of Mro Andrew Calleja performed a versatile musical programme with works from Verdi, Lehar, Flotow, Grundman and A.L. Webber. However the main part of the programme was the four musical selections composed and directed by the four different bandmasters which the Lily Band had during its first 50 years.
Mro Joseph Darmanin directed ‘Lily Band’s 50th Anniversary, Mro Joseph Tonna ‘Il Mondo’, Mro Julio Tanti ‘Golden Jubilee’ and Mro Andrew Calleja ‘Dak li Hlomt Wettaqt’.
During the same ceremony, another prestigious donation was made. Family Baldacchino to the Lily Band Club donated an elaborate banner. Mr Anthony Baldacchino is an active supporter of the Lily Band Club and one of its Honorary Presidents. Encouraged by his son Ben and the other members of his family, Mr Baldacchino commissioned this banner to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Lily Band. Mr Salvu Bugeja made the design while Mrs Emanuela Galea Mangion ably undertook the embroidery work. The latter is another active supporter of the Lily Band Club. The banner represents ‘Our Lady of the Lilies’ painted by Chev. Paul Camilleri Cauchi an artist whose paintings embellish most of Malta’s main churches.
The bandstand which annually hosts the Lily Band was inaugurated on 14 June 1995. This was the most moving event of the 1995 activities. The musical concert was under the patronage of the Acting President of Malta Dr Jimmy Farrugia. The bandstand locally nicknamed as "Il-Meravilja" is the result of highly and artistic workmanship with regards to design and sculpture in wood.
The same bandstand was used by the Gross-Siegharts band of Austria, a guest band during the feast of Our Lady of the Lilies in June 1997. In fact this was the main attraction of the 1997 feast on the occasion of the 225th anniversary since the founding of the Confraternity of the Immaculate Conception in Mqabba way back in 1772.