Report on trip to Malta by Concord

The visit by CONCORD to Malta for participation in the Malta Tourist Board Historic Cities Festival and the Valletta Military Tattoo was the most ambitious and complex project undertaken by the corps in its 22-year history. There is no doubt that for the members and staff involved it was an unqualified success and achieved all our aims. The following is an outline report of the tour and our performances in Malta. It cannot hope to include all the many individual memories, experiences, personal and group triumphs and achievements but we hope that it will attempt to capture some of the spirit of the event.


Great start – all kit packed in advance – coach on time – on our way. Arrived at airport to discover a 9 hour delay in the flight – instant deflation.


Air Malta got us to Luqa airport by 8.00 am – cancelled planned sightseeing excursion and took a free day to relax in hotel pool or explore. Sharing hotel with Gloucestershire ACF Corps of Drums, the Al Tannoura Whirling Dervishes Group from Egypt, the Fanfara Bersaglieri from Italy and the Band of the Libyan Army. Evening arena rehearsal began at 8 pm and ended just before midnight. Concord put on amazing performance to totally impress other participants.


Morning parade and standstill in Republic Street, Valletta for large crowds of tourists. Lunch provided by local Band Club. Free afternoon.

Evening saw first of three Military tattoo performances. Other cast members included Malta Police Dog Section, the Wallace Pipe Band and bands of Malta Police Corps and Armed Forces of Malta – both excellent military bands with corps of drums. Show preceded by a parade along Republic Street and followed by the return trip. Lots of international interaction in backstage area – the courtyard of the Presidential palace (complete with big screen tv link). The finale of each evening brought all the participants back onto the arena for a colourful spectacle and massed band performance.


This morning the corps presented a special “clinic” for a local girls school – very well received with lots of audience participation and followed by another free lunch and a coach excursion. A free afternoon and then back to Valletta for night 2 of the Tattoo. 

A rather special evening as there was a major “Notte Bianca” arts festival in the city bringing in over 100,000 people. The parade after the Tattoo was through crowds of 50 to 60,000 people – how many drum corps have experienced that level of support ? There are photo and video images of Concord across the world and the events were covered by local PBS television. Tonight the adrenalin was running high and we ended the evening with an impromptu midnight concert in the bus station – again to massive crowds.


This morning another public performance arranged by the Maltese Tourist Authority – a parade and concert on the main seafront in Sliema. A longer free afternoon for souvenir shopping and more sun-bathing, followed by the third and final evening of the Valetta Military Tattoo – another sell-out audience of 2,500. Sunday evening is the show attended by many officials and VIPs from the island and there were several ambassadors, mayors and senior officials present to watch our final performance – probably the best quality show we performed all week.


Departure day – no performances. The morning was free with time to pack personal and corps kit. For lunch the whole corps met up in Peppi’s, a local seafront restaurant for a meal together followed by a few lighthearted “Tour Awards”.


Supporter Ian Wright – despite warnings not to do so – collecting rather a lot of Maltese lira - during our Republic Street parades and scrounging a free holiday from the hotel as a future raffle prize ! 

Steve Whysall – the horror of having to tell Helen that Olly had got himself a tattoo of a very different kind.

The discovery of Hopleaf and Mediterranean cuisine.

The colour guard exchanging their rifles for the Malta Police Drill Team’s .303 Lee Enfields – and spinning ‘em !

Having more bubble-wrap left over than when we started.

Members of the Fanfara Bersaglieri joining us for the final parade along Republic Street.

The many renditions of drum corps ballads on coach trips – especially the newly-composed “We’ve Got Two Balconies”

Watching John and Scott being given tabla lessons by Al Tannoura from Egypt.

The Gloucester “groupies”

The support staff labouring in the heat under the weight of front line keyboards up and down that b***y street – well done, guys !

RCS marching the last Republic Street parade and hitting the right notes !

And probably quite a few things that’s it’s best I’m not aware of !!!


• We took drum and bugle corps to a brand new audience in a part of the world that had never experienced the art form before

• We introduced a new, unique form of music and performance to a Maltese school and their Minister of Education

• We performed a 3-night run of a major international military tattoo in the company of other international performance groups – the first British independent youth band to do so

• We established excellent international relations with the Maltese people and their global visitors

• We took a 50-strong party of British drum corps members and staff to experience a new overseas environment and worked (and played) well as a group

• We took a number of young people on their first flight, their first overseas visit, their first hotel experience and gave them their first taste of parent-free independence

• We demonstrated that drum and bugle corps is not just about competition but that it can be used as a credible form of international musical entertainment


• That, no matter how careful and detailed the planning that Murphy’s law applies – if anything can possibly go wrong – it will

• That the Maltese and Mediterranean way of getting things done is very different to our own and that priorities are not always seen in the same light

• That good, entertaining music and performance is totally international and transcends all boundaries of language and culture

• That a group of very different individuals can work together to produce a very special bond

• That taking a drum and bugle corps and its equipment by air to and around a foreign country is possible – but not at all easy

• That such a project is a very good means of getting to know each others strengths, weaknesses and unforeseen potential

• That some people are better than others at taking responsibility for their own organisation

• That we would like, as a corps, to take on more international challenges in the future


• Mr Alfred Busietta of Stardom Promotions Agency
• The Maltese Ministry of Culture and Tourism
• The Hotel Metropole, Sliema
• The Kings Own & La Valette Band Clubs, Valletta
• The Headmistress and School Council, Carlo Diacono Junior Lyceum, Zejtun
• Sergeant Kevin Vella, Malta Police Band
• Malta PBS Television Service
• Air Malta
• Johnson Coaches
• All those who funded or took part in fundraising for the tour
• All the Malta “Staff” and supporters for their tremendous efforts on the tour
• The members of Concord Drum & Bugle Corps 2006

Website: Concord









© Drum Corps United Kingdom 2004