The previous bands in the city
1869 saw the founding of the first band in Lleida, the one named “Banda Popular.” Jaume Roig was the founder and it grew in prestige and musical level, especially when Cosme Ribera was appointed conductor.
The growing prestige of the Banda Popular made it possible for other bands to appear in the city. Amongst those, the Banda Lira Popular, under the baton of Manel Herrera and founded in 1889, which was a symphonic band.
In 1892 the Banda de la Casa de Misericòrdia was founded by Josep Torné, its conductor and it later (1923) became the Banda Provincial under the conducting of Antoni Mateu.
In 1900 the Banda de Santa Cecília was founded by Francesc Gelambí.
The band was founded, mainly, to take part in religious events.
In 1914, after a concert in the Theatre in Els Camps Elisis (now demolished), Banda Popular becomes the Banda Municipal de Lleida, with Josep Vila as a conductor. Today’s Banda Municipal de Lleida, thus, can be referred to as the successor of this early Banda Popular.
Jaume Roig i Torné
Born in Lleida in 1839, Jaume Roig started playing the violin, though he was better known as a composer and a conductor. In 1869 he founded the Banda Popular de Lleida. He was the conductor of the band for 20 years, entirely as an amateur. As a composer, he wrote many works for the band. Amongst those, we have to point out Los ilerjetas , written for Lleida’s City Council and El màrtir del Gólgota..
Roig was described in an early newpaper, long disappeared, named El Pacto :
“… Supo inculcar entre sus compañeros el amor al arte y les hacia trabajar con fé por el solo behemente deseo de dar brillo a Lérida.” El Pacto 182, 7th July 1890
(He taught his partners the love for the arts and for the only purpose of making Lleida better)
In Roig’s honour, the City Council of Lleida, the Municipal Institute of Culture (IMAC) and the Banda Municipal de Lleida, created the Festival Germans Roig i Torné for wind bands. The festival has seen the performances of great bands, such as Unió Musical de Llíria, la Banda Municipal de Barcelona, Banda la Primitiva de Llíria and many more, apart from our band, which is the host to the festival.