On September 4, 1874, in the parish of Paul do Mar, a band of music was born, under the name of “Banda Philarmónica Paulense”. It is not known exactly how the idea of forming a Band appeared, but it seems that everything started in a family reunion, since all the founding members belonged to the same family.
The founding members of the band were Manuel Gonçalves Jardim, master Arsénio Gonçalves Santana (first conductor of the band) and Mr. Santana (first president of the band). The first President and also first Conductor of the Band was Arsénio Santana, who later passed the testimony to Arseninho (his son). This was followed by teachers António Coito, Manuel Bernardo Coito Andrade, António Coito, Manuel Balelo (Teixeira) and João Pedro Gomes Fernandes.
Like the band’s artistic direction that has been maintained throughout the years in a single family nucleus, that of the Santanas and Coitos, the governing body would also have a large family component through the Santana, Coito e Abreu dos Santos families, which encourages the continuity of the Band, even going through various adverse circumstances.
According to Luíza Clode, many instruments were offered by a Russian Prince, nevertheless the funds for the maintenance of the Band, came from the Amadores of the Band. The Amadores had a fixed membership fees (2$50 in 1950), but in case of necessity, they gave more money and in return Banda had to go to their house in the first octave of Santo Amaro and to the funeral services, of these or person of the family, as a way of thanking the Band’s Amadores for their generosity.
From 1991 this band was called the Banda Municipal Paulense.
The Band has always had many performances, both in popular festival as in funeral ceremonies, weddings, anniversaries, among others. The trips were made with many difficulties, since they had to travel on foot through the sidewalks, when it came to acting in the Municipality of Calheta or in the neighboring Counties and by boat, to places like Porto Moniz, Seixal, Funchal, Câmara de Lobos and Porto Santo (on a trip made on June 12, 1946 and another between August 7 and 15, 1973 for the “Senhora da Piedade” and Nossa Senhora da Graça” festivities).
Throughout the ages the Banda Municipal Paulense has experienced difficulties, sometimes even endangered due to emigration. In search of better living conditions, almost all elements of the band emigrate (Panama, Samoa, Mexico, United States of América, Venezuela, Ecuador, South Africa, Australia and more recently to England) and thus the Band is in constant renewal and always has a very young age average. Throughout the years Calheta Municipal Council has given support that is directed to the School of Band Formation, uniforming of the elements and acquisition and maintenance of musical instruments, with the purpose of giving continuity to this service provided, and contribute to the evolution and constant renewal of the Band.
In the centennial of the Philharmonic, a Hymn was created by the master António Coito. On October 5, 2010, at 10:30 am, he participated in the Commemorations of the Centenary of the Republic (1910-2010) playing the National Anthem (A Portugueza).
It should be noted that until today, on December 1st (Dia da Restauração) and on the 1st day of the year, the Band takes to the streets of the parish of Paul do Mar, in the morning, to mark these holidays.
Freitas, Manuel Pedro, Girão Vol II nº5, 2º Semestre/ 2009.
FRANCO, João Elias Domingues (2011); Bandas Filarmónicas Portuguesas, Vila Praia de Âncora : ANCORENSIS;
SARDINHA, Vítor e CAMACHO, Rui (2001); Rostos e Traços das Bandas Filarmónicas Madeirenses, Funchal: Direção Regional dos Assuntos Culturais e Associação Musical e Cultural Xarabanda;
Página de facebook da Banda Municipal Paulense, consultada a 25 de novembro de 2018 www.facebook.com/Banda Municipal Paulense