Orquestra de Harmónicas de Ponte de Sor

Orchestra of Harmonicas of Ponte de Sor - Portugal

The Cultural Association Harmonicas Orchestra of Ponte de Sor


In 1942 a group of excelent mouth-organ (harmonica) players turned up in Ponte de Sor - Portugal - known by the name of Os Mindagos.

Thanks to their uncommon characteristics this group became famous and carried along a halo of curiosity having thus been considered for many years a much appreciated musical embassy which was the pride of their hometown.

They travelled through the country and in 1946 they saw their first recorded being released.

Like other cultural values its vanishing became prominent and by and by it would only perform at charity parties until it definitely fell into oblivion.

So they remained until 1977 when the conditions to their re-appearance were created, although integrating some new elements together with the former ones within the orchestra

From then on the group has not only grown but also up-dated itself and presently with 16 musicians it has recovered its fame once again.   

According to all its musicians they have changed their name and are now called the Orquestra de Harmónicas de Ponte de Sor.

Beyond their hundreds of performances both in the country and abroad – Switzerland, Canada, Spain (7), Italy (4), Greece, Malta, Serbia, Cecily, Croatia, Sardinia, Morocco (Festival 7Sóis7Luas) – its journey to The House of Alentejo in Toronto, Canada in June 1997 where the Orchestra played at the Metro Toronto International Caravan together with the Ponte de Sor City Hall Orchestra was a remarkable deed. Indeed the Casa do Alentejo was awarded with the first place among 32 orchestras from different countries.

We wish to remark the fact that it has been a tradition to celebrate the Orchestra’s anniversary with a dinner party on November 30 and than at midnight on the 1st of December the city streets shall be walked down by the Orchestra playing the Restoration Anthem.  Despite cold of the night people open their doors to listen to the Orchestra and present them with a snack and something to drink so that they get warmer on their way along the town streets. It is also usual that the town’s public individualities escort the Orchestra during this performance.

Since our foundation the Orchestra hasn’t charged any fees for the performances. Our source of income are grants given by The City Hall of Ponte de Sor  and by Civil Parish's Union of Ponte de Sor, Tramaga and Vale de Açor.

In our repertoire we include mainly Portuguese music although we perform some foreign scores.

Presently the Orchestra is seeking new elements but has been facing difficulties to find them since there is a remarkable lack of interest for this popular instrument.

But we carry on... you may count on us!

 


1 single 1946 (sold out)

1 LP 1978 (sold out)

1 Cassette 1998 (sold out)

1 CD - April 2003

1 Cassette - April 2003 (sold out)

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