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The Italian Navy Band

The traditional Italian Navy Band dates back to the small bands who used to play on board the Flagships before the unification of Italy.

In 1860, the merging of the Navies of Piedmont-Sardinia and the Two Sicilies Kingdoms gave origin to the Royal Italian Navy and the first Music Band. It was a small ensemble who performed on board the Flagship, formed by musicians from the Borbonic Navy, including the Chief Conductor. The official birth of the Navy Music Ensemble, one of the oldest Italian Military Orchestras, dates back to 1870, when the band was assigned to the La Spezia Command-in-Chief. From 1965 to 1991 it was under the command of the Taranto Naval Department and was later moved to Rome, where it is currently based.

The Navy Military Band is composed of a Conductor, a Vice Conductor, 102 Musicians and an Archivist, all of them coming from the best known Schools of Music, and all active duty service members.
Their repertoire encompasses all music genres, from original band literature to classical music, from opera to symphonies, from pop to jazz.

The Italian Navy Band regularly performs in Italy and abroad. In 2004 it was awarded the “Peace Knighthood” by the 'International Center of Assisi for Peace among Peoples' for its ability to convey, through its music, the image of our Navy’s international increasing social and humanitarian commitment.

Among the countless successes, it is worth mentioning:

  • 2011 - in Sweden, for activities related to the Ystad Military Tattoo;
  • 2010 - in Spain, for concerts in Madrid;
  • 2001 and 2009 – in Mons, Belgium, at the NATO Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE);
  • 2003 and 2006 – in New York, during the Columbus Day celebrations;
  • 2002 – in Auckland (New Zealand), during the America’s Cup Louis Vuitton Cup;
  • 2002 – the Egyptian tour which included El Alamein and Alexandria;

They have performed in Kiel and Hamburg, Germany, and St. Poelten, Austria, as well as . in many important national venues, like the Auditorium and the Teatro dal Verme in Milan, Santa Cecilia National Academy – Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Teatro Regio and the Paganini Auditorium in Parma, Teatro Carlo Felice in Genoa, Teatro Verdi in Trieste and Teatro La Fenice in Venice.

The Italian Navy Band can also boast several appearances on radio and TV shows, a record/video production, including the DVDs of the concerts given in 2005 and 2010 at the Modena International Military Tattoo, the DVD of the Ystad International Military Tattoo 2011 (Sweden), the CD “The Italian Merchant Navy Anthem” edited by the Italian Shipping Academy, and the CDs “Mozart” and “Banda all’Opera” published by Edizioni Eufonia. With the same publisher they are working on other music projects. It is also worth mentioning the orchestra commitment in the creation of a CD/DVD called “The Man with the Mac” to help the Haiti children after the 2010 devastating earthquake.

At present the Italian Navy Music Band’s Commanding Officer is CaptainGiacomo Polimeni, and the Conductor is Captain Maestro Antonio Barbagallo.