Mro Andrew Calleja
Mro Andrew Calleja was born on September 16 1963, son of Francis and Mary nee Schembri. He was baptised at St Andrew's Church in Luqa. Mro Calleja began studying music at the age of 14 under the supervision of Mro Paul Schembri. He made his debut in 1978 with St Andrew's Band of Luqa, playing the trombone.
In 1982 Mro Calleja engaged with the Armed Forces Band, and has maintained this activity till present time.
In 1987 he married Mary Grace nee' Cilia who gave birth to a daughter, Rosemarie, actually playing the flute.
Andrew, started his musical carreer with the St Andrew's Band of Luqa and was apponted Assistant Director to the Anici Band of Qormi in 1988. In 1991began teaching in the St Catherine's Band of Zurrieq and was appointed Assistant Director of the Lourdes Band of Paola.
In the same year, Mro Calleja has recorded his first cassette of Festive Marches and in 1992 took over directorship of the Our Lady of Lilies Band of Mqabba.
He furthered his studies in harmony and Kontrapunt under Mro Ronnie Debattista FLCM. He acquired the A Mus VCM and L Mus VCM Diplomas in 1994 and 1996 respectively. In 1997 he deepened his studies under Mro Manuel Pirotta FLCM FVCM, consequently acquiring his first Diploma in Band Mastership.
In 1999 he got the FVCM Fellowship.
The year 2001, saw his appointing as Assistant Director to the Mount Carmel Band of Gzira.
Mro Calleja was a member of the National Orchestra and the Big Bands, with which he executed several musical pieces. Actually, Mro Calleja is furthering his studies in Composition under Mro Ray Sciberras FLCM and is working on the ALCM Diploma.
Mro Calleja has composed a variety of pieces, among which:
The Cantata with Choir and Voices, Concert for Trombone, Air and Variations in Sib, Millennium Tribute, the Intermezzo 'id-9 ta' Dicembru 1945', Socjeta' Muzikali tal-Gilju, Reaching Solemnity, Fanfarre and Theme, and a piece called 'Il-Festa tar-Rahal' brilliantly performed by the Our lady of Lilies Band on Wedneday 15th June 2005 during a Multivison Concert on the Marvellous Bandstand commemorating the 60th Anniversary from the founding of Mqabba's first Musical formation.
He also has a vast repertoire of both Festive and Funeral Marches, as well as other Raligious Anthems.
Among the Festive Marches he composed, 'Il-Kbar ta' l-Imqabba', 'Padruna Universali', 'Zghazagh tal-Gilju', 'L-Ewwel Sezzjoni Zghazagh', 'Il-Plancier Meravilja', 'Kumitat Effettiv', 'L-Iljuni tal-Millennju', and 'Zghazagh Stillieri' are of special mention.
Among his Funeral Marches, one finds 'Lill-Bandisti u Soci mejtin', 'Lill-Vittmi tan-Nar' and a hymn to Our Lady of Sorrows.