The Holy Spirit Marching Band is an organization that has its roots in the Bandas Filarmonicas of both the Azores islands and mainland Portugal. It is a brass and woodwind band that consists of on average 40 - 50 musicians. It is a non-profit volunteer institution that performs at many cultural events in concert along with traditional parades such as Canada Day and the Santa Claus parade. It is made up of young and older non professional musicians who enjoy playing music for their attentive audiences.
Founded in 1975 by the Irmandade do Divino Espirito Santo, the Banda Lira do Divino Espirito Santo or (Holy Spirit Marching Band) has had many performances throughout its storied history mainly due to the efforts and sacrifices made by its many dedicated volunteers. Over the years the band has reached the highest pinnacle of success as well as the very lows of tragedy that left its future in doubt. Nevertheless, it has continued forward with the goal to entertain audiences of all cultures, with repertoires consisting of traditional Portuguese pieces as well as music in a variety of more modern styles from all over the world.
The band has traveled to perform at many festivals in cities across south western Ontario, as well Quebec. It has also taken several trips to Fall River and New Bedford, Massachusetts over the years. Some of our more memorable outings have been to the Island of Sao Miguel, Azores. The HSMB has been there on three separate occasions, in 1989, 1992, and most recently in 1999. Many of the older musicians came home to the place where they began their love of music and where the tradition of the Portuguese Filarmonica flourished when they first started performing.
An important part of the ongoing success of the Holy Spirit Marching Band has been our music school and junior band, where the age old musical tradition is taught to both young and old alike. This focus on education continues to supply the band with new musicians for the future. It introduces the young and old students to the world of music as it has been performed for generations before them.
With 45 musicians ranging in age from eight years old to Seventy- five years young, the Holy Spirit Marching Band continues to be an integral part of the London Portuguese Community as well as other communities throughout Ontario. It is our mission and main objective to continue our success for years to come. Without the dedication of the musicians, the board of directors, and the countless volunteers that support our band we would surely not exist today. We hope the band continues playing for many years to come and that the next generations carry on what their parents and grandparents first started with great pride in the winter of 1975.