The Mariana Pineda square is abuzz. Something new can be seen at the tables of the traditional Fútbol café. The tables, between cortaditos and coffees with milk, are full of wind instruments. In the chairs, next to them, legionnaires enjoy this spring afternoon before starting the parade of music bands.
It is so. Granada has been filled with military music this Thursday starting at six in the afternoon. The celebration of Armed Forces Day 2023 that began on Wednesday with various events has focused this Thursday on a parade of military bands that has toured the city. “I love it”, summarizes a lady who witnesses the scene, waiting for it to start and follow the band to the meeting point at the Palacio de Congresos.
The singularity of this act is due to the fact that the seven music bands that have participated have come out in parade from different parts of the city of Granada. This has led to animation and melodies filling every corner of the city with military music so that music bands have set the pace for the Armed Forces Day celebrations this Thursday.
This poly-concert began at six in the afternoon, which later ended on the esplanade of the Palacio de Congresos, where the seven music bands have gathered, six from the Armed Forces plus the Municipal Music Band of Granada as a special guest.
Maria the Portuguese, by Carlos Cano
The Music Unit of the Acar Tablada Air Station has departed from the Fuente de las Batallas. The Music Unit is a fundamental piece of Tablada. It dates back to the 1930s and, led by Captain Rafael Peralta, it has 46 members.
It was born in the 30s as a war band and, although it has gone through different stages, it is now in one of its best moments. Here the Military Police and the Local Police were distributed in equal parts to make sure that everything went perfectly.
As six o’clock arrived, the sounds of the trumpets in rehearsal mode seemed to recall the recent celebration of the promotion of Granada CF. But soon, they got into formation, as in the other points of Granada, to begin this act. After a first martial melody, it was started by Carlos Cano -we are in Granada for a reason-. ‘María la portuguesa’ has sounded beautiful and people have appreciated it with loud applause.
The Plaza de Mariana Pineda has gathered the Legion. The King Alfonso XIII Light Infantry Brigade of the Legion has a music unit called in this case War Band, Music and Choirs led by Fernando Lizana Lozano.
When the III Tercio reappeared in 1956 and was assigned to the Sahara together with the IV Tercio, the band reappeared and, after the evacuation of the territory, was transferred to Fuerteventura. In 1981 the Music of the Legion was transferred to Ronda and, finally, in 1995 the War Band was created in the Legion Brigade, which in 1996 adopted the name of King Alfonso XIII.
From the Paseo del Salon
The Granada Municipal Music Band has left the Paseo del Salón bandstand. On the other side of the river, from the Placeta de Escolapios, it has been the turn of the Civil Guard. The Civil Guard Corps since its creation in 1844, has had musical formations of Infantry and Cavalry but it will not be until 1859 when data about its existence appears for the first time.
In 1949, and as a consequence of the merger of the Police Corps and the Civil Guard, their respective Music Bands were also unified, giving rise to two Units: the first Mobile Tercio, located in Madrid, and the Young Guards College in Madrid. Valdemoro. At present the two Music Units have been merged again, constituting the Music Unit of the General Directorate of the Civil Guard.
The Royal Guard has formed in the Placeta de Jesús Despojado. Heir to the old Alabarderos Band, the Music Unit of the Royal Guard was born on February 19, 1874 as an organized musical group, its first director being the maestro Leopoldo Martín Elexpuru.
General Military Academy
For its part, the General Military Academy has begun its tour in the Plaza de la Concordia. The Music Unit of the General Military Academy was born in 1882 together with the training center for Officers based in Toledo. At the end of the First Period, it was decided that it would form part of the recently created Infantry Academy.
The seventh music band has gathered in the Plaza del Ángel. It is about the Tercio de Levante. Its origin dates back to the 18th century, specifically to 1789 when the group of fifes and drums of the Cartagena Navy Battalion was created, a group in charge of the custody of the naval dependencies.
Since that date, it has passed through different denominations and locations in the city of Cartagena. It is currently made up of thirty-four members and has been directed since 1995 by Joaquín Grao Murcia.
Rendezvous on the esplanade
In a country of tardiness, if something is appreciated in the Armed Forces, it is its punctuality. At six o’clock in the afternoon each and every one of the seven music bands have begun to play. At seven in the evening, already congregated on the esplanade of the Palacio de Congresos, the bands have paraded one by one, showing their good musical work.
An hour later, around eight in the evening, the show is over. The people of Granada have felt that they have lived a special moment with a characteristic part of their Armed Forces.
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