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The Story of Brognaturo’s Band

Translated by:  Carmela Tucci

 

It was the year………………….

 

The Story About the

Prized Band Concert of the City of Brognaturo

Presentation

 At the beginning of the seventies, something extraordinary occurred in Brognaturo, a fantastic adventure began in this little town.  The Band was born, a musical Band, and what a Band it was!!

I
will tell everyone the story of The Prized Band Concert of the City Brognaturo.

I will write about those years, the years in which the Band was born and establish, and became one of the most important Musical Bands in Calabria.

I will try to recount and reconstruct that historic event, and emphasize that despite everything, even in our own little realities, things happened that allowed for important and extraordinary pages of history to be written.  These things give back value to community, maybe a little
anonymous, but made up of hard working people.

This recount is a simple testimony of what happened during those years.  I will give details and describe the Band, their Maestro, the young men and women that made up the Band, and discuss their journey, moments of excitement and joy and moments of pain and anguish.

I write this story and everything related to the Band because of love.  Love towards “My Band” and everything that it represented.

With the birth of the Band, there followed a period of immense aggregation and motivation and great cultural development. The Band allowed us to learn enormously and taught everyone involved many life lessons.  We learned about music, to co-exist in a group and work together as a team, we learned about many new and different villages, towns, and cities.  We lived an unforgettable experience. 

I am writing this to allow others to know about this wonderful, extraordinary and exceptional adventure.  I will try to recount everything with an accurate and exact account of what happened during that period of time.  To go back in time many years ago is like trying to put a puzzle together with my memory.   This involves reconstructing facts, researching, finding testimonials, finding old photos, mementos and relics, reconstructing step by step accounts of facts.    It’s a great deal of work and commitment, but also something exciting, and is necessary simply to ensure that this narrative is as complete and accurate as possible.

My name is Tonino Fraietta, and I am 44 years old, I will write, this account and I will be the “narrative voice”.  In homage and tribute to “The Band of Brognaturo” I will identify myself with the name of the instrument that I played many years ago:  Piccolo or Clarinet Piccolo. 

This reconstruction and the appropriate research have been possible together with the collaboration of Cosmo Carello, Benito Salerno, and Monica Fraietta.

A special thanks in particular to Cosmo Carello.  Thanks to Cosmo you are able to read about Brognaturo’s Band and this account on the website Brognaturoonline.com.  In addition all the members of the band collaborate and assisted with this narrative, graciously providing photos, mementos, historic reconstruction and live testimonials.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                               Photo of Tonino Fraietta during
                 that time at the age of 10


 

        
                                                                                                   

          

The Band writes and presents its story.

Before starting with the story of the Band, it’s my duty to remember and remind everyone  who was the principal creator of all of this and to remember some of the protagonists of that extraordinary summer who today are no longer with us:

The Maestro Giuseppe Natale               The great and unforgettable Maestro deceased at the age of 70 in 1989

Ruggero Scopacasa   Trumpet in E Flat             Deceased at the age of 15 in 1973

Cosmo Garcea            Base in E Flat                 Deceased very young in 1989

Ernesto Zangari          Sax Tenore                     Deceased very young in 1982

Silvio Filardo               Cornet in E Flat             Deceased as a very young adolescent

Damiano Valente        The first tresurer and collaborator of the band Dececead in 2002

Rosso Antonio           The tailor that sewed many of the band uniforms Deceased in 1982                                                                                                                                
This account is dedicated to their memory with love and affection.

 

It was the year………………….

             

The Story about the

Prized Band Concert of the City Brognaturo

 

Piccolomib (A.K.A. Tonino Fraietta) Narrates

Translated by:  Carmela Tucci

 

 

.... Brognaturo, Spadola and Simbario are small villages situated on the Plateau of the Serre Calabre (a geographic area in Calabria that encompases many villages, towns and cities), very small towns. 

 

The state highway 110 (which is a single road)  crosses all  three towns, and this is the only and most important method of communication.  The cross road known as the “Bivio Angitola” is the path that leads tourtuouisly and crookedly from the slope of the Tyrrhenian  Sea toward the mountains, rising, and crossing small villages, it arrives at Serra San Bruno (a larger town in the area) and it continues to rise until Mount Pecoraro, then it descends and arrives at Monasterace (another town) on the Ionian Coast. 

These towns have always been out of reach and prevented of great opportunities for development.  These are the towns that have suffered, endured, embraced and accepted the great flux of immigration out of the area after World War Two, in addition to periods of immigration waves that occurred during the sixties and seventies. They have been greatly scarred by this phenomenon that has not yet ended.  Even today, there are many people who move away in search of work.

They are small towns with a history of difficult and hard lives, economies that have never been prosperous, forgotten territories, always out of the loop of great events and of history.

Nevertheless, sometimes even in small villages, without important history and events, small miracles can materialize and occur.

It can happen precisely there, where times seems to stand still, where there is nothing to do, where it seems that destiny has already condemned everyone and everything, where everyone has been left out of important things and historical events, condemned a slow and relentless decline of an entire territory etc….something can happen that allows all things to make sense.  It’s not true that small villages never have anything to say, that they don’t have a voice and that they don’t count, and that in small villages new opportunities can never be born. 

The story that I am about to tell demonstrates exactly this, that important and extraordinary things can happen even in a small village.  

It’s not just the great individuals that make history, but there are also the small, unimportant and trivial events and stories that are happen in small villages, by unimportant and common individuals, in this case by young men and women…. and their maestro.

Numerous years have passed between the years 1970 and 1971, in the smallest of the three towns mentioned above a fantastic and extraordinary adventure, brought fame and notoriety to the small village of Brognaturo.

At a certain point in it’s history Brognaturo is known for more than the popular dialect saying “Spatula, Brignaturi e Zimbariu, catta nu pajjarejju e li npittau” (meaning that a shed or shack fell upon Spadola, Brognaturo, and Simbario and squashed them, because these towns are so small) a saying known by everyone that underlines in a funny way that the distance between the three towns is very close. 

The name Brognaturo became famous, in fact very famous in the whole region.

What happened in the small town of Brognaturo at the beginning of the seventies that was so extraordinary?

Let’s say that what is about to begin and unfold will mark an important part of Brognaturo’s history.   For many years there was talk about Brognaturo and its “Band”.

The “Brognaturo Band and its young men and women disband many years ago, yet still they cause and arouse marvel and admiration, they are a memory, a bit weakened but still today, many remember the extraordinary adventure of which they were protagonist,  in the years that go from 1970-71 to beyond 1983.

Modestly and proud I am happy to have been one of those kids.  I enrolled in a music course when I was nine years old and I had just turned ten when I played for the first time.  Initially I played the Piccolo in Ab and about a year later, the Piccolo in Eb.

I was also a band member of the “Prized Band Concert City of Brognaturo”. 

Let’s start this voyage down memory lane into the past, let’s take this fantastic journey together with them, those young men and women, and children in the band and their great Maestro.

We will retrace their steps, their rising stops that will enable them to be protagonist of that extraordinary and exciting adventure.   We will see them one by one and we will relive once again in this story the great magic and emotion that they were capable to create. 

They will tell the story for us….. but most importantly for those that are very young today and do not know about them, nor know that in a small apparently anonymous town…..a legend was born, they don’t know that fifty young men and women between the ages of eight and eighteen, on a stage, directed by their Maestro, played Bellini’s Norma, Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, Verdi’s Nabucco etc.  

At the same time as reading this story you will hear the distant echo of a band.  Also, while reading this story you will hear once again the notes of “Spagnolita” or Cuore Abbruzzese …..If we close our eyes for just one second, we will see a group of young men and women who make up the band, dressed in white uniforms, that appears all of a sudden and unexpected, playing one of the many symphonic marches that they performed with great capability, well, certainly it is them, the young men and women of the Brognaturo Band.  

   

  Who had the opportunity to see and hear them, can never forget the extraordinary performance that they offered.

To see a band made up of kids, and young men and women, grouped together in a Piazza, proud of their uniforms, while they performed a march, is truly an extraordinary concert.  I assure you that it was truly extraordinary and amazing. 

I remember my first outing with the Band, at the time already well known and famous, I was a kid and it was 1974.  I was fascinated only with the thought of being one of them, but to find myself amongst them and ………..to play with them.  I looked around myself, and I saw a sea of young men and women, some only a little older than me, all in their uniforms, with their instruments ready to be played, I looked at them one at a time, they were beautiful in their uniforms.  This is what I mean about an extraordinary performance, and I was one of them, today I still remember how I felt on that day….I was ten years old, I was knee high to a grasshopper……..and I had begun to play with the Band of Brognaturo.

 

 

….to be continued

 

                  
                  

                                                                                                                  

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                               

 

             

                                                                                                                         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E-mail: info@brognaturoonline.com

 

 

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