Nostalgia Apartments

Corfiot Philharmonic Bands

They say that in Corfu the chances of finding a family, a member of which is not a member in one of the corfiot philharmonic bands are from slim to none. In every family there is at least one person who either plays at least one musical instrument or sings at a local choir ! Besides the corfiot philharmonic bands it is also worth mentioning: the Symphony Orchestra of Corfu , Corfu’s Conservatories, the bands that the locals or the Ionian University of Music students have created, the teams of the Ionian University and of course the local singers that solely sing traditional cantatas.

Let us not forget that after all music keeps us company at any time of our lives. From classical music that doctors suggest to pregnant women and the “happy birthday” song that everyone has been singing ever since childhood to song that are sung about marriages and in occasions of farewells or even at funerals! This type of art is a part of our everyday life (actually right now while i’m writing, I am listening to classical songs played by corfiot philharmonic bands!) in the car on our way to work, at work, at the stores where we go shopping and on TV.

Nowadays in Corfu you will hear music everywhere, on the streets, at the squares and at the little streets in Corfu town! You can even feel the music in the accent of the locals. It should be pointed out that music gives birth to culture and raises the educational level of people and helps makes a place special and different from another and Corfu island owes a large part of its culture to the corfiot philharmonic bands.

The corfiot philharmonic bands, or just “bands” as we call them in Corfu, are a piece of my life  that I love a lot because I happen to be a member of a small one and it is like a second home to me after having spent many beautiful and creative moments in its premises all these years, are the cultural ornament of Corfu ! In a small island such as Corfu no one could think there could be this many philharmonics but their number reach to 17 ! Three corfiot philharmonic bands and the most famous ones are based in Corfu Town and are the following (according to date of establishment): The Philharmonic Company of Corfu (or else called “Palaia”, which means the old one), Mantzaros and Kapodistrias. Palaia, like its name suggests, is the first philharmonic band of Corfu and the oldest one in Greece. It was established in 1840 D.C. expressing the new reborn nation of Greece (that was only less than 20 years ago released from being under the control of Turks) and its intentions were to help creating an educated musical community. Some of the most important Greek composers are somehow connected to Palaia.

The famous song “Amleto” is Palaia’s most characteristic song and it touches every single Corfiot soul and every visitor while it is played on the day we celebrate the Patron Saint of Corfu, Saint Spiridon, or on Holly Saturday. On that Saturday morning both locals and visitors follow the corfiot philharmonic bands headed to Spianada Square to accompany the relic of St. Spiridon and feel the awe and the sadness the Week of the Passions Of Jesus Christ represents and get prepared for the first Resurrection (the local custom of throwing pitchers off the windows on Easter eve) and the very special celebrations we have in Corfu for that. Easter is a very big chapter and for that reason I should leave it to that and not talk about it in detail right now.

Watch the following video by mr Spyros Margaritis and enjoy philharmonic band of Kapodistrias drumline showcase.