On the way of the remarkable increase of the regional philharmonic movement in Years 1930, was based the Music Society of Porto Santo (circa 1930-1971), on the initiative of Father Lira, Jose Joaquim Pestana de Vasconcelos, and França, a Porto violinist who had visited the archipelago on tour with circus theater and who had settled on this island. Made up of several young people from Porto Santo and military musicians deported to this island, the Music Society of Porto Santo took advantage of the sums of the Town Hall and proceeded to collect donations across the island for the acquisition of the necessary instrument. Under the artistic direction of França, the approximately fifteen performers of the Music Society of Porto Santo started the animation of the local religious festivals with copied repertoire of the congregational associations of Funchal and Câmara de Lobos, having made the first appearance in Madeira in 1935, in the Feast of the Lord, in Câmara de Lobos. Unfortunately, the offer of instrumental music, unique on the island, will not have captured at first the pleasure of the revelers and few have been the artistic services (free) of the community: face the abandonment of some musicians, persisted the institution with the credits of the membership fees of the associates until its annexation favorable to the House of the People. Succeeded in the artistic direction of the Musical Society of Porto Santo, Lopes, from 1937 to 1946; Lemos (since 1946 – after 1948) and Faria (? – until 1971?). Among the regular presentations in the religious festivals of the island – the Lord’s Day, the Feast of Mercy, the Feast of Grace and Feast of the Holy Spirit – and in entertainment in Calheta e Pico, for visitors on tour, s to mark the participation of the Musical Society of Porto Santo in the festivities realized in 1948 in Funchal for the arrival of the image of Our Lady.
About fifteen years after the extinction of the Musical Society of Porto Santo, the House of the People has taken a new opportunity to restore and maintain the existence of a harmony on the island. With the support of the Madeira Regional Government and the House of the People for the acquisition of an instrument and for the provision of a decent space for rehearsals and the school of music, the Musical Harmony of the House of the People of Our Lady of Mercy of Porto Santo was founded on May 12, 1986. Under the artistic direction of Virgílio Ramos 2, the first performance of the Harmony of Porto Santo took place on May 12, 1988, in a Procession of Candles. In 1991, Sergeant-Major João Gomes de Sousa assumed the regency of the community and the teaching of apprentices2.
In a region devoid of other philharmonic groups of instrumental music, testifies the remarkable work of these conductors and performers the regular participation of the Musical Harmony of the House of the People of Our Lady of Mercy of Porto Santo in the Regional Meeting Harmonies, the digressions of the community in the Azores, in 1997, in Braga, 2000 and 2001 and in Venezuela, 20043, as well as his participation in the phonographic recording of the repertoire composed for the parades of the popular marches from Saint Jean to Porto Santo realized between 2001 and 2004, published by the City Council of Porto Santo, 2004. Thanks to the regular support of the House of the People, the Town Hall and the Regional Government3, the Musical Harmony of the House of the People of Our Lady of Mercy of Porto Santo is developing a competent musical training of the communities of Porto Santo, currently consisting of about 30 young people of both sexes, and a important artistic activity, playing in religious festivals, in popular Summer festivals, in civic and official events and in concerts in Porto Santo and Madeira.
Source 1: Franco, João F.D., 2011. Bandas Filarmónicas Portuguesas; p.784, Ancorensis.
Source 2: Provided by Harmony “Fernandes, Carina. 2018 “.
Source 3: http://www.bandasfilarmonicas.com/cpt_bandas/banda-da-casa-do-povo-n-sra-da-piedade/.