From 1981 until 1996, the Contrada Massarella was represented in the parade by outsourced groups of drummers and flag flyers from contrade outside the Town of Fucecchio. Although they were talented, they could never be a true symbol of our town. So in 1997, the youth of Massarella decided to found the Musical Group of the Contrada, working hard to learn how to play the drums, giving up their free time year-round to participate in the rehearsals.
The first group of drummers comprised the following young people from Massarella:
- Catiuscia Angerame
- Luca Angerame
- Veronica Banti
- Manuela Beconcini
- Bianca Boncristiani
- Annalisa Boschi
- Claudio Buralli
- Dario Buralli
- Elisa Cardini
- Ivan Cardini
- Emily Chiti
- Imerio Cucini
- Nadia Guelfi
- Paolo Oliva
- Francesca Perna
- Francesco perna
- Giacomo Rosati
- Marianna Rosati
- Tiziano Talini
Standard bearer: Cecilia Oliva
The first Director of the musical group was VALERIO NACCI, who for many years taught both the “drumming” and the “steps” to young drummers. He was eventually replaced by Professor VINCENZO IACOBELLI, who still directs the group as well as being the first clarion.
The seamstresses of the town worked hard on sewing the costumes for the drummers, which were the colours of the Contrada and had the town coat-of-arms on the front. Then the cheapest drums were purchased, considering that the Contrada did not dispose of considerable financial means, and the costs were therefore sustained by the families of the young musicians, demonstrating their determination to establish their own group. Over time, the Musical Group expanded, replacing older members with younger ones, and six years ago the Contrada replaced those first heavy-weight drums in metal with imperial and half-imperial snare drums in precious wood with an octagonal snare system made by hand by the historical company of GIOMI in Certaldo. The use of this type of drum, which has natural skin heads, requires particular skill because the wires must be tightened correctly to tune the drum perfectly. The Musical Group was also joined by three clarions, which open the parade of musicians and flag flyers.
The Group of Flag Flyers was founded the year after the Musical Group, in 1998, the same year as the Millennium celebration of the Parish of Massarella.
The first group of flag flyers comprised the following young people from Massarella:
- Virginia Banti
- Daniele Baronti
- Andrea Corpaccioli
- Christian Guidi
- Martina Perna
Master Flag Flyers were hired to instruct our youths in the difficult art of flag flying. In a short time, with long sessions and evening training, the Flag Flyers Group was ready to perform together with the Musical Group in the historical parade.
Over the years, the group has grown to ten members.
The costumes, strictly in the colours of the Contrada with the coat-of-arms on the front, were once again skilfully prepared by the seamstresses of the town, and among them was: EDA BAGNESI, who had already worked non-stop to create the costumes for the Historic Parade.
The first flags of the Flag Flyers were hand painted by LAURA CARTURA and DANIELE BARONTI, and later were replaced with flags better suited to the purpose, because the original flags were very heavy and the tempera designs interfered with the performance. However, those first flags are still kept on display in a hall of the Contrada Centre. The flags that the Flag Flyers Group uses are now made according to the sketch that won a competition held by the Contrada to design the new flags. Many artists and aspiring artists from the Contrada participated in the competition, while the design most voted at the assembly of the Contrada was that of MARTINA PERNA. Even today it is still used as the design on the flags.
At the same time, the Contrada scarf was changed, with the fourth edition being made according to a design created by PAOLO GIUGGIOLINI.
The Musical and Flag Flyers Groups, in addition to marching in the historic parade of the Palio, have been invited to perform in several events: Including the Palio del Cerro in Cerreto Guidi, at the Ponsacco Furniture Show, at the Carnival of S. Croce sull’Arno, a the Feast of the Patron Saints of San Romano and Signa, at the Palio del Tiro con l’Arco in Montopoli Val d’Arno, at the presentation of the national Under 16 soccer match between ITALY–RUSSIA in Castelfranco di Sotto, at the inauguration of the COPPA CARNEVALE World Football Tournament in Viareggio.
Representatives of both groups, together with other Contrade of Fucecchio, have also participated in RAI national television programming and on other TV stations.
The Contrada Massarella is, therefore, very proud of their Musicians and Flag Flyers!