Commemorative concert for the 75th anniversary of the “Rotllo i Canya”



     In the Magdalena 2020, we were going to celebrate the 75th anniversary of our festival as we know them today.


     This year, there was also a significant event. It is the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the emergence of one of the most emblematic elements of our festival, the paso doble that identifies them, the endearing “Rotllo i Canya.”


     The historical event had to be celebrated on February 3. That day in 1946, a crowded bullring chose the work proposed by José García as the king of the paso doble of the Magdalena Festival. Very soon, the paso doble turned into the non-official anthem of the city and put music to the most treasured moments for generations of people of Castellón.


     Other finalist musical pieces were “Aires levantinos” by Bernabé Sanchis, “Gaiatas y tracas” by Joaquín Sanchis, and “Castalia” by the Teruel brothers.


     The concert that commemorated the event could not be celebrated on that date because the sanitary crisis disrupted all the celebrations. Finally, the selected date and place were last May 16 at the Auditorium.


     As expected, the Municipal Band of Castellón, led by Marcel Ortega y Martí, carried out the concert to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the “Rotllo i Canya” from the maestro José García. The event’s hostess was the official chronicler of the city, Mr. Antonio José Gascó. Among the attendees were Maestro García’s sons, Alejandro and Pepe, authorities and representatives of the festival, queens and ladies of the city, including Águeda Ibars.


     Our Madrinas, Alejandra Sáez Sisamón and Lourdes Climent Moreno, did not want to miss the event. They accompanied the vice-president Javier Rodríguez Capdevila and paid attention every moment to the musical program prepared for the occasion. The Municipal Band performed a repertoire that resulted in a dialog between the past and our time. It included the paso dobles that occupied the first four positions, inserted among pieces as “Cuadro Mediterráneos” from the former maestro of the Municipal Band, Eduardo Felipe, and “8 de Febrero” from the composer from La Vall d’Uixó, Vicente Ortiz. This young composer is a professor at the Berklee College of Music in Valencia with an international career and focuses on symphonic bands’ repertoire. The band also played “Las Carboneras del Nalón” from María José Balaguer from Onda, dedicated to the first group of women who worked in the mines of Asturias and the winner of the second prize in the International Composition Contest “María Teresa Prieto” in Mieres.


As expected, the concert finished with the interpretation of the “Rotllo i Canya.” Before that, Mr. Antonio Gascó retook the floor to make a reflection and an explanation about all the parts of the famous paso doble.


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