Christine Vella

Assistant Music Director & Saxophone Tutor at the George Vella Music school within Għaqda Mużikali Marija Bambina, Banda Vittorja, Naxxar

Christine Vella, 39, hails from Naxxar. She has been playing the saxophone since the age of nine, when she started her musical studies at the Għaqda Mużikali Marija Bambina, Banda Vittorja, Naxxar under the guidance of saxophonist Edwin Pace. Subsequently she continued her studies with Noel Beck, Lawrence Borg and Yvette Maria Galea under whose tutelage she achieved the Fellowship of the London College of Music (FLCM) and the Advanced Certificate of the ABRSM. Lately she has been studying under the tutelage of Paris-based saxophonist Antonino Mollica, with whom she has also attended an advanced course in saxophone performance and consequently achieving the Licentiate of the Trinity College of Music (LTCL) with distinction in 2015.

In 2001, Christine won the mature category of the Young Musicians Competition, subsequently being awarded a scholarship at the London College of Music at Thames Valley University in London. There she studied mainly with saxophonist Steve Cottrell. She has also attended various masterclasses and workshops with saxophonists Fabrizio Mancuso, Sylvain Malezieux, Gilles Tressos, Mario Ciaccio, Pascal Bonnett, Lars Mlekusch, Sergei Kolasov and Hayrapet Arakelyan as well as an ensemble masterclass with the world-renowned saxophone quartet Quatour Habenera.

Christine has participated in various concerts and productions in Malta playing with various orchestras, bands and ensembles. She has also performed with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra on numerous occasions, also as a guest soloist, thus having the opportunity to play under the prestigious batons of various local and foreign conductors including Wayne Marshall, Sergey Smbatyan, Jean-Marc Burfin, Brian Schembri, Michael Laus and Kelly Kuo. She is also a member of the renowned Big Band Brothers. She has also performed in other countries, namely England, Italy, France, Germany and Tunisia.

In the latter country she premiered Maltese composer Gordon Zammit’s The Contested Land, a contemporary piece for soprano saxophone and piano during an international festival in August 2002. In 2015, she was chosen by a panel of prolific saxophonists to join the saxophone choir I Sassofonisti del Mediterreaneo and subsequently represented Malta by performing with this ensemble at the World Saxophone Congress – SaxOpen 2015 which was held in Strasbourg, France.

Christine is committed to help and provide opportunities of high quality music education to the upcoming artists with the intention of enriching their musical expertise and appreciation with new ideas and approaches. In fact, in November 2013, Christine organized the Malta Saxophone Festival, a festival totally dedicated to the education and exposure of this instrument. Subsequently she has also organized various other workshops, festivals and masterclasses with local and international musicians, which events were held in Malta and abroad.

Christine is also interested in musical direction. She has attended conducting lessons with the much respected Mro. Joseph Sammut and lately also attended a workshop with renowned Mro. Gianpaola Lazzeri. Presently, she is assistant music director and tutor at the Għaqda Mużikali Marija Bambina, Banda Vittorja, Naxxar, a role which she has been holding since the year 2000 and within which she has organized annual concerts and shows involving young musicians and artists. She was also key to the

setting up of the George Vella School of Music, within which the band club provides holistic musical education to interested members. She also held the role of Assistant Music Director for pantomimes directed by Masquerade held in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013 at the Manoel Theatre.

Christine has been frequently supported by the Malta Arts Fund and Cimetta Fund in both mobility projects and event projects. Apart from her artistic commitments and qualifications, Christine also holds a Master’s degree in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence and is an MCAST senior lecturer at the Institute of Creative Arts with the Performing Arts department.

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