24 October 2017

Stunning! One word, commonly used as a phrase to describe perfection. Somewhat rare that I use such language, for those who have come to know me, believe that I am difficult to please.

Last night at Rockestra, an annual event held under the auspices of the Office of the President of Malta in support of the Malta Community Chest Fund, I used this word a mere 3 times; for the collective Malta Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Sigmund Mifsud, and then for the powerhouse female vocals of Julie Zahra and Raquela.

Raquela, a stand-out artist, whose talent has been showcased time-and-time again on the national stage, having been in the finals of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in 2009, 2011 and 2013 as well as Teatru Unplugged 2013, was the highlight of Rockestra in 2014, performing a duet of "Say Something" with Konrad Pule, originally by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera. This year she took on, "A Thousand Years", originally by Christina Perri. Tried by several other local acts before her, all of whom were sub-standard, Raquela was in her element and zone, getting a rapturous applause mid-way through the performance.

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Julie Zahra, one-half of Malta's representative duo at the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2004, recently back to Malta following a lengthy stay in the United Kingdom was absolutely flawless in both her numbers, starting out with a jaw-dropping performance of Queen's "Who Wants to Live Forever", where she swayed left to right in a beautiful white gown, before giving an impeccable performance of "The Phantom of the Opera" in a duet with Frank Cardassia.

The two ladies were truly in a league of their own, and gave performances which bring talented foreign acts to shame and ridicule. The evening, a positive celebration of talent, featured several well known artists, all of whom gave their absolute best. Notable mentions include Raquel Galdes, Ludwig Galea, Justin GaleaChris Grech, Brooke Borg, Lawrence Gray, and Victorio Gauci of The Crowns. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the local music scene.

Source: escflashmalta.com

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Published in Opinions

On the 27th September, Rockestra in aid of the Malta Community Chest Fund will be returning for a sixth consecutive year, this time under the patronage of Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, 9th President of Malta. What is different about 2014 is that there was a public call for artists who wanted to be a part of the spectacle, a call which in turn led to 118 submissions, all of which were heard by a professional panel of judges and shortlisted to represent the best possible talent that Malta is proud to offer.

Rockestra, a spectacular event which encourages the general public to donate money to a charitable cause whilst listening to live music played by the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Sigmund Mifsud will offer a stunning line-up with artists such as; Franklin Calleja (MESC 13, 14), Raquela (MESC 09, 11, 13), Tiziana Calleja (MESC 10), Paul Borg Bonaci, Francesca Borg (MESC 12), Daniel Cauchi, Konrad Pule (MESC 00, 03, 07, 13), Gianluca (ESC 13), Matthew James Borg, Justin Galea, Ivan Filletti, Gianni (MESC 00, 12, 13), Simaria Galea, Lara Dimech, De Bee (MESC 14) and Brooke Borg.

Tickets for the Rockestra are available at €10 (standing) and €15 (seated) although the latter are almost completely sold out except a couple here and there. You may purchase yours through Ooii and thus ensure the experience of a lifetime, or rather a year. Rockestra is taking place at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre. We hope that you stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news from the local music scene.

Source: Press Release

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Published in Latest News - Local

Sigmund Mifsud, associated with events such as the Rockestra and the International Festival of Maltese Song in recent years is a full time trumpeter, music arrange and occasional conductor for events organised by the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra. escflashmalta.com is proud to have got an opportunity to chat with this talented individual and pick on some of the most intriguing issues that seem to be affecting the industry as of late, apart from wracking our brains around his critique of Malta's participation in the Eurovision Song Contest.

In 2013, one of the main cultural events was definitely the International Festival of Maltese Song which you had the opportunity to form a part of, as a member of the committee, and eventually, the conductor of the band during the course of the evening. Could you recall the challenges that you had to face with regards to the original music made by local songwriters?

The main challenge for the band and myself was to learn a substantial number of new songs in three days.  One would say why not do more rehearsals and the answer is very simple ; low budget. Unfortunately we expect professional standards without treating the artists as professionals.  So hats off to the hard work and commitment of all the musicians that were involved; they had to really work hard to perform to the standard that they delivered.

As an observer and a music critic, I have to denote that some of the songs sounded wonderful, others less so, but this was mostly due to the fact that the arrangement on the disc was significantly different to the one played during the competition. Was there any particular reason why the tempo had been slowed down that much for a significant portion of the entries presented?

If we are mentioning the arrangements, allow me to make things clear that from the very first day I was approached by the committee to be the musical director of this festival, I made it a point that I would not do the arrangements.  Because it was a competition I believe that the composer should be responsible for how his song should sound with live instruments. The reality is however, that most composers   do not have experience to write sheet music for live instruments but write music by means of sophisticated music programmes that facilitate the art of creating music!

So one has to understand that to get the best result out of the band's formation, one has to write the music with the sounds of the live instruments in mind not the other way round; ie: first write the music with virtual sounds, do as many sound effects as the computer permits and then transcribe these sounds for live instruments. If one had to comment on the winning song, I believe that one of the winning factors is that the composer has the right experience to know the sounds of the instruments and he wrote his song for that particular formation.

Regarding the tempo I honestly am used to following the lead of the singer, ie: if the singer feels like a slower feel I will follow his feel, and vice versa. If he feels he should interpret the song in a faster tempo, then  obviously we are humans and not every day we have the same mood and this I believe is reflected in a live performance; which  for me, is part of the beauty of live music. However, and with that being said,if one thinks that having the exact tempo of the virtual production is so imperative, then I suggest that next time the band should be conducted with a click track! But I personally do not agree.

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In Malta, being part of the music industry is not an easy feat and it could take years of dedication and sacrifice before reaching that top of the chain. You are an individual who is a full time member of the Philharmonic Orchestra, a job which many wish to occupy but then again, your role is also very flexible having been given the opportunity to lead concerts on more than one occasion. How did you become part of this industry and could you describe your role in Malta's cultural scene?

I don't agree that there are many musicians who dream to have music as their profession and for example, wish to be part of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, as when we have auditions for various instruments within the orchestra , the amount of Maltese participation is very low. One of the reasons in my opinion, is that we still see music as just a hobby not as a profession.  We need to change this mentality and I have no problem in saying that if we do not start to elevate the music education and see that those who teach music are qualified to do so, we will not maximise the talent of our artists and the perception will remain that music is just a hobby and anything goes! This way we will never develop this industry! 

I did become part of this world because my dream was to become a professional musician, I studied hard to bring out the best I could be and simply followed my dream without thinking I could have earned more money if I followed another profession. I have friends who do nothing but play in weddings, clubs, write songs and teach music without having a full time job and they manage well. But they are all top notch musicians because they studied to bring out their best qualities, and this for me is the secret to be part of this industry;  learn the professional way not amateur  way.  I think that in my position I am one of many musicians trying to elevate the identity of the profession and further develop this industry.

On more than one occasion, you have been well and truly critical of Malta's participation in the Eurovision Song Contest, but then again, many wonder why you have not been involved in writing a composition for the international event in hope of changing the stigma and the quality output. How do you respond to such critique?

Composition is not my line, at least for now I am more into arranging music, leading a band or an orchestra or producing a show. Maybe in the future I will have time to study composition and music production but for now I have other plans.

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This years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is a mere couple of months away with Firelight set to represent the country with the song Coming Home written by Richard Edwards Micallef, a singer/songwriter whom you have had the opportunity to work with, in the past. What is your opinion of the track, and do you see it achieving a successful result come May?

Yes I have worked with Richard Edwards and I can say, not only is he a fantastic singer,  but he has a particular voice timbre that I really like, coupled with a positive approach to life that I believe is reflected in his performances.

Although Coming Home is a good song I don't think it brings out the best qualities of Edward  and as a song it might not  have the right ingredients to stand out. That said, I am sure that as a performance,  Firelight will do very well because as a group, they have something particular and as I said before, Richard Edwards is a fantastic singer. Hopefully we will do well but in my opinion it will be more thanks to the performers than the song itself.

Would you like to say anything to the readers of escflashmalta.com?

"The true beauty of music is that it connects people. It carries a message, and we, the musicians, are the messengers" Roy Ayers.

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Published in Interviews

As from today, the International Festival of Maltese Song will start garnering some traction as all of the artists will be gearing up for a series of promotional activities which will see them participate in a variety of television programmes, kicking off with TVPM and Kalamita, hosted by Corazon and Alfred Zammit on TVM and ONE respectively. It is important to denote that apart from a series of interviews, each artist will get the opportunity to perform the track in front of the audience watching at home for the very first time.

Apart from television though, make sure to catch the competing entries even on Radio with programmes such as Kanzunetti Maltin (92.7 ONE Radio), Pinna Mużika (RTK Radio), Breakfast Show (Radju Malta) and Lejn il-Festival (Radju Kottoner). Any means of promotion is necessary for the promotion of a local music competition which is returning following several years of absence in order to make the general public aware of its comeback, basically. escflashmalta.com will also be interviewing all of the artists competing in the International Festival of Maltese Song along with playing the respective entries. As from next week, following a major server update set forth for the 10th October, we anticipate to get a full schedule on how to promote each of the respective acts, kicking off as from the 11th October.

  • Ħolma - Lyann Iles (Paul Abela / Lyann Iles)
  • Solitaire - Dario & Grecia (Dario Bezzina / Rita Pace)
  • Paċi Sovrana - Donna (Donna Marie Ellul)
  • Kuraġġ - Geordie (Philip Vella / Joe Chircop)
  • Passi Fir-Ramel - Domenique (Philip Vella / Mark Amaira)
  • Għadek Tgħix - Fiona (Renato Briffa / Mark Amaira)
  • Din Jien - Dorcas (Minik / Rita Pace)
  • Sinjali - Bernice (Renato Briffa / Rita Pace)
  • Inti mill-Ġdid - Roger Tirazona (Paul Abela / Joe Julian Farrugia)
  • Hawn mill-Ġdid - Olivia Lewis (Paul Abela / Joe Julian Farrugia)
  • Raġġ ta' Tama' - Christian (Philip Vella / Cher Vella)
  • Mikrokożmu - Janvil & Hooligan (Augusto Cardinali / Giovann Attard)
  • Poeta Bla Kliem - Mark Tonna (Mark Scicluna / Emil Calleja Bayliss)
  • Stejjer - Miriam Christine (Andrew Zahra / Joe Julian Farrugia)

The organising committee is made up of Chairperson Mrs Josette Grech Hamilton, Deputy chairperson Mr Ignatius Farrugia, Executive Secretary Mr Robert Cefai, Public Relations Officer & Media Relations Mr Deo Grech, Festival Coordinator Mr Ray Falzon, Hospitality Coordinator Ms Simone Bugeja and Technical Coordinator Mr Pierre Cachia. Mr Norman Hamilton serves as the artistic consultant, Mr Anton Attard as the technical consultant on behalf of PBS and Maestro Sigmund Mifsud as the musical consultant. The International Festival of the Maltese Song is organised under the auspices of the Parliamentary Secretary for Culture and Local Councils, Hon. Dr. J. Herrera in collaboration with the World Association of Festival organisers and Artists. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: International Festival of Maltese Song (Official Facebook Page)

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Published in Latest News - Local
Wednesday, 18 September 2013 19:22

FIKM '13: Finalists Revealed on Television Malta

Over the past couple of days, escflashmalta.com has been dominated with news from within the local music scene and predominantly the International Festival of Maltese Song, due to the fact that the elite competition is returning following an eleven (11) year absence. Despite the relatively low amount of submissions, the quality has proven satisfactory and the jury found it extremely difficult to select the fourteen (14) songs which were just revealed by John Bundy on his television programme Ma Bundy. Fourteen entries (14) which represent the local music scene and another fourteen (14) which represent the foreign music market are set to encompass the International Festival of Maltese Song in the years to come.

As the lists of both the local and the foreign finalists could be seen below, one has to remember that the date set forth for the actual competition is the 9th November with the venue being the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta. Details with regards to promotion of the songs is set to be revealed in due course although it is expected that Television Malta, ONE Television, Radju RTK and escflashmalta.com will be amongst those who will be playing the songs and possibly also get the artists' comments. Glancing through the list, one could see a mixture of upcoming and experienced talent, something that might have been missing from other local competitions as of late. The editorial board would like to congratulate the vocalists, composers and lyricists for making it through to this stage of the competition whilst also thanking those who tried their hand and did not succeed on this occasion.

  • Ħolma - Lyann Iles (Paul Abela / Lyann Iles)
  • Solitaire - Dario & Grecia (Dario Bezzina / Rita Pace)
  • Paċi Sovrana - Donna (Donna Marie Ellul)
  • Kuraġġ - Geordie (Philip Vella / Joe Chircop)
  • Passi Fir-Ramel - Domenique (Philip Vella / Mark Amaira)
  • Għadek Tgħix - Fiona (Renato Briffa / Mark Amaira)
  • Din Jien - Dorcas (Minik / Rita Pace)
  • Sinjali - Bernice (Renato Briffa / Rita Pace)
  • Inti mill-Ġdid - Roger Tirazona (Paul Abela / Joe Julian Farrugia)
  • Hawn mill-Ġdid - Olivia Lewis (Paul Abela / Joe Julian Farrugia)
  • Raġġ ta' Tama' - Christian (Philip Vella / Cher Vella)
  • Mikrokożmu - Janvil & Hooligan (Augusto Cardinali / Giovann Attard)
  • Poeta Bla Kliem - Mark Tonna (Mark Scicluna / Emil Calleja Bayliss)
  • Stejjer - Miriam Christine (Andrew Zahra / Joe Julian Farrugia)
  • Arġentina – Veronica Sardana - No IIores por mi Argentina (cover version of Don’t Cry for Me Argentina)
  • Belarussja – Aleksandra & Konstantin (former Eurovision singers’04) - Kotsiky Viarrovyia
  • Belarussja – George Koldun  – Through the Light
  • Bulgarija – Niki Manolov (finalist Bulgarian Final for Eurovision’08) – Po Dobre (Better) 
  • Greċja – Christos Kaliatsas (Xfactor ’08 Greece) – Touch You 
  • Ġermanja – Bella Vista - Fremd Aber Doch vertraut (German version of Sal-Aħħar, Fabrizio Faniello)
  • Ġermanja – Mave O’Rick – Whiter than White
  • Italja – Federica Marinari – 3 Volte Amore
  • Moldova – Ray Gligor – Lonely Nights, Lonely Dreams
  • Renju Unit – Ilona – Love ‘s Like a loaded Gun
  • Rumanija – Aurelian Temisan – Stay With Me (English verision of Stay with me, Croatia ESC 2000)
  • Rumanija – Lavinia Steriopol – Nadie Como Tu 
  • Spanja – Ely Qurbrlo – Io Ce Credo
  • Turkija – Melih Sengul – Bir Ask (One Love)

In the first phase of the competition, the jury was composed of; Frederick Zammit, Noel D'Anastasi, Tony Micallef, Melda Micallef, Charlo' Lautier and George Cremona whilst in the second phase of the competition, the jury was composed of; Antoinette Falzon, John Bundy, Joyce Grech, Etienne Schembri, Josephine Ebejer Grech, Madelline Farrugia, Siro Camilleri and David Muscat. The organising committee is made up of Chairperson Mrs Josette Grech Hamilton, Deputy chairperson Mr Ignatius Farrugia, Executive Secretary Mr Robert Cefai, Public Relations Officer & Media Relations Mr Deo Grech, Festival Coordinator Mr Ray Falzon, Hospitality Coordinator Ms Simone Bugeja and Technical Coordinator Mr Pierre Cachia. Mr Norman Hamilton serves as the artistic consultant, Mr Anton Attard as the technical consultant on behalf of PBS and Maestro Sigmund Mifsud as the musical consultant. The International Festival of the Maltese Song is organised under the auspices of the Parliamentary Secretary for Culture and Local Councils, Hon. Dr. J. Herrera in collaboration with the World Association of Festival organisers and Artists. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: FIKM '13 (Facebook Page)

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Published in Latest News - Local

escflashmalta.com had the pleasure of revealing the number of submissions for the International Festival of Maltese Song 2013 reached sixty-two (62), a positive start to an event which was last held eleven (11) years ago. Interest amongst the established artists within the local music scene was extremely high with submissions coming from the likes of Deborah C, Miriam Christine, Lawrence Gray, Janvil, Jessika, Roger Tirazona and Hooligan. Thirty (30) entries were selected by a panel of music professionals for the second phase of the competition in which some of the artists were called to a live performance at the St James Cavalier.

escflashmalta.com had the pleasure to speak to Deo Grech, the individual responsible fo Public and Media Relations about the songs that were submitted and eventually made it through. He explained that 'the session was quite smooth running and a general positive vibe could be felt. All judges looked satisfied with the overall level of the submitted entries. Lyricists wrote about a wide variety of themes and some even dared challenge taboos too'. The fourteen (14) entries that will make it through to the final of the International Festival of Maltese Song will be revealed on the programme Ma' Bundy on Television Malta on the 18th September.

The organising committee is made up of Chairperson Mrs Josette Grech Hamilton, Deputy chairperson Mr Ignatius Farrugia, Executive Secretary Mr Robert Cefai, Public Relations Officer & Media Relations Mr Deo Grech, Festival Coordinator Mr Ray Falzon, Hospitality Coordinator Ms Simone Bugeja and Technical Coordinator Mr Pierre Cachia. Mr Norman Hamilton serves as the artistic consultant, Mr Anton Attard as the technical consultant on behalf of PBS and Maestro Sigmund Mifsud as the musical consultant. The International Festival of the Maltese Song is organised under the auspices of the Parliamentary Secretary for Culture and Local Councils, Hon. Dr. J. Herrera in collaboration with the World Association of Festival organisers and Artists. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: FIKM '13 (Facebook Page)

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Published in Latest News - Local
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 18:30

Exclusive: FIKM '13 Committee Receives 62 Entries

The committee responsible for the organisation of the International Festival of Maltese Song would like to notify all the respective applicants and music enthusiasts that a total of sixty-two (62) entries were submitted for the first edition in eleven (11) years. On the 12th and 13th September, a panel of seven (7) judges from within the local music industry have been appointed to listen to the submissions and select the best thirty (30). A second panel of judges will listen to those thirty (30) entries either live or playback according to the reputation of the involved vocalist. From there on end, a total of fourteen (14) artists will be announced to take part in the competition.

Marc Calleja Bayliss, Editor-In-Chief of escflashmalta.com supervised the submission process as part of the open call for media issued by the committee in the past couple of days. Amongst the artists who have entered, there are a number of high profile individuals including none other than; Lawrence Gray, Mark Tonna, Deborah CJanvil, JessikaHooligan, Roger Tirazona, Danica Muscat, Romina Mamo, Domenique, Neville Refalo and last but not least, former Eurovision Song Contest representative; Miriam Christine. The turn-out is as expected and should the first edition upon return prove to be successful, more entries will be submitted in the coming years. The finalists for the International Festival of Maltese Song will be revealed on the programme Ma' Bundy on TVM on the 18th September 2013.

The organising committee is made up of Chairperson Mrs Josette Grech Hamilton, Deputy chairperson Mr Ignatius Farrugia, Executive Secretary Mr Robert Cefai, Public Relations Officer & Media Relations Mr Deo Grech, Festival Coordinator Mr Ray Falzon, Hospitality Coordinator Ms Simone Bugeja and Technical Coordinator Mr Pierre Cachia. Mr Norman Hamilton serves as the artistic consultant, Mr Anton Attard as the technical consultant on behalf of PBS and Maestro Sigmund Mifsud as the musical consultant. The International Festival of the Maltese Song is organised under the auspices of the Parliamentary Secretary for Culture and Local Councils, Hon. Dr. J. Herrera in collaboration with the World Association of Festival organisers and Artists. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Sources: escflashmalta, International Festival of Maltese Song

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Published in Latest News - Local
Wednesday, 11 September 2013 11:00

FIKM 2013: Submissions Are Being Received Today

The organising committee of the International Festival of the Maltese Song 2013 is officially receiving submissions at the music room within the St James Cavalier between noon and five o'clock. It is important to remind all aspiring songwriters and artists that no entries will be accepted after the deadline. Once all of the entries are submitted, a panel of professional judges will be on hand to select the best thirty (30) entries whose vocalists enter a second round, one in which they will have to perform live in front of a second panel of judges from which fourteen (14) entries will be selected. The finalists will be revealed on the 18th September.

Lawrence Gray and Georgina Abela, two leading figures in the local music scene were the last two winners of the International Festival of Maltese Song eleven and twelve years ago respectively as they gave sterling renditions of their entries Eklissi (Philip Vella / Godwin Sant) and Fomm il-Vjolin (Andrew Zahra / Deo Grech). Several artists, composers, lyricists and producers have professed their love towards the local music industry and therefore have supported the return of a competition which was deemed prestigious and on par with the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. During the final, which is set to take place at the Mediterranean Conference Centre on the 9th November, all of the fourteen (14) entries will be accompanied by a band led by Maestro Sigmund Mifsud. The show will also be broadcast on television through TVM and TVM 2 respectively.

The organising committee is made up of Chairperson Mrs Josette Grech Hamilton, Deputy chairperson Mr Ignatius Farrugia, Executive Secretary Mr Robert Cefai, Public Relations Officer & Media Relations Mr Deo Grech, Festival Coordinator Mr Ray Falzon, Hospitality Coordinator Ms Simone Bugeja and Technical Coordinator Mr Pierre Cachia. Mr Norman Hamilton serves as the artistic consultant, Mr Anton Attard as the technical consultant on behalf of PBS and Maestro Sigmund Mifsud as the musical consultant. The International Festival of the Maltese Song is organised under the auspices of the Parliamentary Secretary for Culture and Local Councils, Hon. Dr. J. Herrera in collaboration with the World Association of Festival organisers and Artists.

Marc Calleja Bayliss, Editor-In-Chief of escflashmalta.com will be on hand to follow the submission process in the hope of unveiling some of the artists who will be putting their entries forward. Stay tuned to this portal throughout the day for more of the latest updates about the International Festival of Maltese Song as soon as they become available, live from the St James Cavalier. We have just been informed that in the second phase, the established artists will not be informed to perform live as opposed to upcoming artists.

  • Roger Tirazona
  • Cherylis Camilleri
  • Dario Bezzina
  • Marie Claire Attard Bason
  • Stefan Galea
  • Neville Refalo
  • Geordie De Bono
  • Domenique
  • Lawrence Gray
  • Renato Briffa
  • Dorcas Debono
  • Josef Tabone
  • Gloriana Arpa Belli
  • Estelle Fenech Imbroll
  • Karen DeBattista
  • Ina Robinic
  • Jason Scerri
  • Jessika
  • Paul Abela
  • Andrew Zahra
  • Miriam Christine
  • Danica Muscat
  • Janvil
  • Marlon Chircop
  • Augusto CardinalI
  • Kurt Galea
  • Deborah C
  • Romina Mamo
  • Hooligan

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Published in Latest News - Local

The organizing committee of the International Festival of the Maltese Song 2013 is launching the official logo for this year’s edition. The logo portrays the concept and the corporate identity of the festival and marks the return of this much-anticipated event in the calendar of our national cultural events.The International Festival of the Maltese Song is organised under the auspices of the Parliamentary Secretary for Culture and Local Councils, Hon. Dr. J. Herrera in collaboration with the World Association of Festival organisers and Artists.

The final will be held on 9th November 2013 at the Mediterranean Conference Centre (Valletta). Fourteen songs in the Maltese language will compete in the category for local artists, while other fourteen artists will compete in the category for foreign participants with songs in any of their country’s official languages. Winners will be chosen through a mixture of a panel of 8 music expert jury and the public opinion through a televoting which will count as the ninth member of the jury. A Public Opinion Award will be handed separately to the winner of the televoting. During the final night, all songs will be performed live and accompanied by a nine-piece band under the musical direction of Maestro Sigmund Mifsud. The final night will be transmitted live on TVM and TVM2, while various repeats will be aired on other local and international stations from the country of origin of the foreign participants.

Local songwriters and artists are reminded that the committee will be receiving submissions on 11th September 2013 at the music room of St James’ Cavalier(Valletta) between noon and 5pm. No entries will be accepted after the deadline. The committee announces that the selection will take place in two phases. A panel of professional jury members will select 30 semi-finalists who will make it to the second round. We would like to make it a point that Marc Calleja Bayliss, Editor-In-Chief of escflashmalta.com will be present on submissions day to follow the events as they unfold and keep the readers updated with the last minute exclusive news.

On Saturday 14th September 2013 the 30 semi-finalists will perform their entries in front of a different panel of professional jury members. During this phase, singers will perform songs on the half playback track. All artists are kindly requested to spare the 14th September 2013 morning and afternoon from any other commitment as singers who will not be able to make it for the semi-final will be automatically eliminated from the competition. The fourteen (14) finalists will be announced on the 18th September 2013 through social media, television and news portals. escflashmalta.com will be one of the media outlets carrying the news of the fourteen (14) finalists. Make sure to visit the Official Facebook Page for the International Festival of Maltese Song for all of the latest updates and news items about the competition.

The organising committee is made up of Chairperson Mrs Josette Grech Hamilton, Deputy chairperson Mr Ignatius Farrugia, Executive Secretary Mr Robert Cefai, Public Relations Officer & Media Relations Mr Deo Grech, Festival Coordinator Mr Ray Falzon, Hospitality Coordinator Ms Simone Bugeja and Technical Coordinator Mr Pierre Cachia. Mr Norman Hamilton serves as the artistic consultant, Mr Anton Attard as the technical consultant on behalf of PBS and Maestro Sigmund Mifsud as the musical consultant. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: Press Release

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Published in Latest News - Local

In 2002, the International Festival of Maltese Song was abruptly cancelled by the Public Broadcasting Services and the Government of Malta with our participation within the Junior Eurovision Song Contest two years later cited as the principle reason. It was rather unfortunate that a cultural event which promoted the official language of this small nation had to come to an end after a span of around twenty-one years with the event dating back to 1981, a time in which Malta had not been taking part within the Eurovision Song Contest.

A team of experts within the art of entertainment brought forward several proposals in order for this competition to be resurrected with the Ministry for Tourism seeing it fit to promote elements of national identity through the medium of song. Josette Hamilton, Norman Hamilton, Robert Cefai, Deo Grech and Ray Falzon alongside a representative from the Ministry for Tourism, Charlon Gouder presided over a press conference held at Isouard Hall within the Manoel Theatre last night to unveil the return of the competition. The other members of the committee are Simone Bugeja, Ignatius Farrugia and Pierre Cachia, all of which bring vital experience within several areas of the entertainment industry from songwriting to production.

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Artistic Coordinator, Norman Hamilton revealed that the return of the International Festival of Maltese Song is a positive sign for the future of the national language. He also made it a point to emphasise that the fourteen (14)  local and fourteen (14) foreign finals will have the opportunity to perform with a band of ten (10) musicians, all under the stewardship of Maestro Sigmund Mifsud, Chairman of the National Orchestra. Rules and Regulations for the International Festival of Maltese Song could be obtained either through This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by viewing them on the Official Website of the World Association of Festivals and Artistsescflashmalta.com is proud to announce that we will be collaborating with the organising committee in order to promote the best talent in the local music scene.

Source: Nittama (Philip Vella), Fomm Il-Vjolin (Andrew Zahra / Deo Grech)

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Published in Latest News - Local
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