History – Banda Recreio Camponês

The Banda Recreio Camponês (B.R.C.), better known as “Banda Nova”, was founded on December 1, 1910 in Câmara de Lobos.

José Gonçalves de Freitas was the founder of Banda Recreio Camponês. Freitas was born on August 27, 1884 and was a native of Câmara de Lobos. Trader in the grocery store, [Girão Revista, nº 3, 2º semestre, 1989, p. 93] began his musical training in the Band Recreio dos Lavradores (Band Municipal de Câmara de Lobos) by Mr. Noronha, in the instrument of clarinet Eb . Considering that there were disagreements in the Banda Recreio dos Lavradores, José Gonçalves de Freitas founded the Filarmónica Recreio Camponês (now Banda Recreio Camponês) in 1910, when he was 26 years old.

Initially the band was composed of ten or twelve elements, and a few years later it had more than 20 [Silva, Tito A., 1985.: “75 anos da Banda Recreio Camponês de Câmara de Lobos”]

The first seat of this band was in the site of the Caminho Grande e  Ribeiro d’Alforra, popularly known as “Escalracho”. This seat, and test site, about 10 meters long, was loaned by Mr. Francisco Gonçalves de Freitas, father of José Gonçalves de Freitas, for 10 years.

“It was with some boards that made of common shelves, wooden benches of various types and shapes and without any platform that raised the head, than those who started …” [Silva, Tito A., 1985.: “75 anos da Banda Recreio Camponês de Câmara de Lobos”]

The first public performance in camps was on January 1, 1911, in the Estreito de Câmara de Lobos, at a feast in honor of the Senhor Jesus. [Girão Revista, nº 3, 2º semestre, 1989, p. 93]

The founder of B.R.C. died on November 30, 1913, at the age of 29, recognized as a man very esteemed and respected, not only by the elements of his Philharmonic and by the many sympathizers of the band.

The B.R.C. has always been present and has accompanied popular and religious festivals, such as the Procissão dos Passos do Salvador, on March 22, 1914, and the Feast of the Espírito Santo, on May 31, 1914, in Câmara de Lobos , under the regency of Mr. Guilherme Honorato Lino.

Since its foundation, B.R.C. has faced some difficulties. In addition to the attempts that suffered of destruction of the band and the premature death of the founder, a barrier was created between the elements and sympathizers of the two bands then existing in Câmara de Lobos: Filarmónica Recreio dos Lavradores and Banda Recreio Camponês. While the Philharmonic intended to end with the latest band, this in turn was struggling for survival:

“If we take into account that up until the date of the founding of B.R.C., there was only one Banda Municipal de Câmara de Lobos (B.M.C.L.) and so it was this band that received all the attention both from official entities, as individuals and from the public in general, we will easily understand the effort that was made, both by elements of this band and by its supporters, in the sense of killing at birth a rival that would take away not only services, but also part of the support and perks that until then had been enjoying “. [Silva, Tito A., 1985.: “75 anos da Banda Recreio Camponês de Câmara de Lobos”]

Between provocations, threats, musical despiques and even physical confrontations, the meeting of the two bands in free animations was usually tense, sometimes supported or disapproved by the sympathizers of both bands.

Ten years after its founding in 1920, B.R.C. would be composed of about 30 elements and was divided into two bands. Given that each division was customarily composed of 15 musicians, B.R.C. was thus already considered as a band of good artistic level. [Silva, Tito A., 1985.: “75 anos da Banda Recreio Camponês de Câmara de Lobos”]

In 1924 the Banda Recreio Camponês celebrates 14 years and to celebrate this date the governing committee organized a mass sung in the parish church of Câmara de Lobos. According to the local press, the band and the guests enjoyed a funeral in the residence of Mr. Manuel Joaquim Lopes, at the Sítio de Jesus Maria José, the new uniforms were presented and the new flag debuted, which was offered to B.R.C..

Subsequently, the Banda Recreio Camponês headquarters moved to José dos Santos’ house, located at the Lagar das Giestas, on the site of Quinta do Leme, on February 13, 1927, as reported in the local press. In December 1936 the headquarters of B.R.C. it is transferred again, this time to the facilities it occupies today.

On November 29, 1989 a protocol was signed between B.R.C. and the Government of the Autonomous Region of Madeira. This protocol signed by Dr. Alberto João Jardim, president of the Autonomous Region of Madeira, and José Manuel de Faria, president of B.R.C. and the band has its own headquarters, thus titling the transmission of the rustic and urban building, located in Quinta do Leme. B.R.C. was made up of 45 performers and 25 apprentices.

Today, the venue has a space reserved to instruct young people who begin their musical career, the School of Music of the Banda Recreio Camponês. To this end, the school provides instruments for all students to use during classes are guided by elements of Banda Nova.

The band is currently formed by about 55 elements of both sexes. Banda Recreio Camponês is constantly asked to perform in the Autonomous Region of Madeira and has already represented this region in national territory, as in the II Encontro de Bandas de Portalegre (1989) and Expo 98 (1998). The Band has also been in the Autonomous Region of the Azores, in the V Festival de Bandas de Fenais da Luz (1997) and participated in the exchange with the da Banda Lira Nossa Senhora da Estrela (2007).

Status: On June 21, 1979, the Regional Government of the Autonomous Region of Madeira assigned the Public Recreation Collective status to the Banda Recreio Camponês for the promotion of musical and recreational art according to the interests of its members and the general population.

Praise: On October 16, 2011, he received the Public Praise from Câmara de Lobos City Hall.

Freitas, Manuel Pedro, Câmara de Lobos, Dicionário Corográfico, Câmara de Lobos, sua gente, história e cultura, Edição electrónica www.concelhodecamaradelobos.com/dicionario/banda_recreio_campones.html.
Sardinha, Vítor & Camacho, Rui, Rostos e Traços das Bandas Filarmónicas Madeirenses, DRAC, 2001.
Site Oficial da Banda Recreio Camponês: www.bandarecreiocampones.com.
Silva, Tito A., 1985.: “75 anos da Banda Recreio Camponês de Câmara de Lobos.
Diário de Notícias, 22 de Março de 1914, “Notícias Religiosas”, p. 2.
Diário de Notícias, 29 de Maio de 1914, “Notícias Religiosas”, p. 2.
Diário de Notícias, 13 de Fevereiro de 1927, “Banda Recreio Camponez”, p. 2.
Diário de Notícias, 09 de Julho de 1989, “Banda Recreio Camponês Participou no II Encontro de Bandas de Portalegre”, p. 6.
Jornal da Madeira, 06 de Dezembro de 1924, “Filarmónica ‘Recreio camponês’”, p. 2.
Jornal da Madeira, 30 de Novembro de 1989, “Banda Recreio Camponês assinou protocolo com o Governo para adquirir a sua sede”, p. 13.
Jornal da Madeira, 20 de Julho de 1997, “Viagem aos Açores Ultrapassou Expectativas”, p. 11.

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