International Music Festival Genova

International Music Festival in Genoa

1° International Digital Music Festival

September 2020

Banda Musicale Società Operaia Cattolica N.S. della Guardia di Genova Pontedecimo

The musical band N. S. della Guardia di Pontedecimo was founded in 1880 to integrate and complete the activities of the newly established and homonymous Catholic workers’ society, as the first band of the entire Valpolcevera under the direction of Bartolomeo Grondona. The headquarters of the business was established in the historic village of the then Municipality, at the birthplace of Blessed Chiara Isabella Ghersi (Pontedecimo 1742 – Gubbio 1800). The first documented news of musical activity dates back to 1885 when the band took part in the inauguration of the banner of the Federation of Catholic workers’ societies at the Sanctuary of the Madonna del Monte, while in 1886 it took part in the demonstrations organized for the inauguration of the monument to Vittorio Emanuele II in piazza Corvetto.

In the course of almost 140 years of history, there were many personalities capable of marking the artistic development of the band.
First of all it is important to remember Giovanni Potenza who became master of the band in 1887. In 25 years of activity he actively devoted himself to teaching at the music school and promoted the growth of musical training by guiding it during the Colombian events of 1892 leading it to success in the National Band Competition obtaining second place overall.
Enrico Giordani had the delicate task of facing the historical moment marked by the First World War by interrupting all activities in 1915. He resumed management at the end of the conflict, he was succeeded in 1920 by Pantaleo Attanasi and in 1928 the master Sebastiano Mantero was called on the podium who worked in band for over 23 years.
The successors Frangioto Messori, Francesco Scotto and Vinicio Bruzzone had to deal with a progressive decline in public interest in the band activity.
Starting in 1964, the organizational aspect was entrusted to Enrico Ghiara, former President of the Catholic Worker Society and today Honorary President who with experience and competence continues to be a point of reference and tireless collaborator.

In 1977, Giuseppe Oliveri, a professional in staff with the orchestra of the Carlo Felice theater, took the podium. Determined and capable, he inaugurated a season of musical rebirth by proposing a repertoire designed for the organic, earning the band important achievements including the recording of the national anthem of the Republic of Andorra in 1978 and the awarding of the prestigious Liguria Prize in 1991. Great attention was paid to the activity of the music school with the addition of many young talents and the debut of the first female musician Anna Molinari.
The commitment in the band direction was continued by his brother Gianni to give way in 1998 to Emanuele Fresia who in addition to the care of the musical aspect with the first recording of the CD “Paths of notes”, brought his own experience to improve the activity parade, processions and carousels.
Alessio Di Corrado followed, until in 2007 the direction of the band was entrusted for the first time to an organic music teacher at the compulsory school: Luciano Barbarotta flanked by Federico Basso, a young musician trained in the music school inside the band before obtaining the diploma from the Nicolò Paganini Conservatory of Genoa. In 2008 Federico Basso became the only teacher carrying out an activity that is always careful to enhance the talent and musical skills of the staff.

In 2013 the direction of the band was entrusted to Maestro Davide Calcagno, director of the Città di Cogoleto musical band, holder of the chair of transverse flute at the I.C. “N. Sauro “of Imperia, instrumentalist in staff at the Zephyrus flute orchestra founded by Marco Zoni, first flute of the orchestra of the Teatro” Alla Scala “in Milan.
A rewarding and distinctive part of the current work of the Pontedecimo band is the musical training activity that has received new impetus since 2011 thanks to a training course developed by Professor Gian Enrico Cortese, teacher of the Nicolò Paganini Conservatory of Genoa aimed at creating the “Music literacy workshop aimed at bands” aimed at primary school students to which the educational project is attached. The historical training experience updated through the qualifying activity proposed in recent years has made it possible to revitalize the activities of the internal music school, create the Junior Band, accompany many students to a course of study at the Genoa Conservatory as well as insert new elements in the staff of the Band. The renewed interest combined with the attention to the values ​​of integration, growth and sharing has allowed to mature characters of attractiveness in the Genoese music scene, allowing many students of the Liceo Musicale Sandro Pertini and the Conservatory of Genoa to choose the Band of Pontedecimo as the place of choice for experience ensemble music.

Among the experiences of cultural growth proposed to support the training activity we can mention:

  • Participation in the “Città di Genova” Band Festival and in the “Antola Festival”;
  • The Comiconcerto “For the moment thanks” with Andrea Bottesini, Zelig’s comedian;
  • The “Concert for Band and Voice” in collaboration with the Lions Club Valpolcevera;
  • The “Concert Band and Chorus” in collaboration with the polyphonic choir “Coro Opera Cycnus” directed by Maestro Sorrenti;
  • “Tacabanda” original experience of transcription of the repertoire of the well-known singer-songwriter Ligabue interpreted together with the band “Basse Frequenze”;
  • Participation in the Orientation salon at the invitation of the Liguria Region;
  • Attention to the territory on the occasion of local events such as Expo Valpolcevera, in collaboration with the Proloco Valpolcevera and the V Municipality, the activities of the CIV of Pontedecimo and participation in the “Mastodonte dei Giovi” event to commemorate the construction of the railway line of Giovi upon sending of the homonymous association and the Municipality of Ronco Scrivia.

The commitment is aimed at sharing and making current the values ​​of association, solidarity, altruism, cultural growth and social commitment that are the basis of the history of the band that is about to celebrate the 140th anniversary of its foundation. Leafing through the albums of photographs that tell our story through the faces of the musicians, the images of the processions, parades and activities in the venue, you can understand how the Band of Pontedecimo was and still is a unique reality in our neighborhood. made use of the collaboration of very different people in terms of experiences, interests and ages, but united by the passion for music and the ability to share the values ​​of solidarity, altruism, friendship, generosity on which our particularly important group was built in the panorama of a suburban neighborhood that exposes children to growing difficulties and hardships.



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