Formal music education is available in Amarante since 1980, which complemented instruction already provided by the city’s three philarmonic bands (two of them are about one century old) which have had a major role in musician’s professionalization. However this offering of musical education has been improved in the last few years through public and private initiatives. Today, the eight schools in the municipality provide musical training to about 900 students every year.
Banda Musical de Amarante
The Banda Musical de Amarante (BMA) was created in December 1854, to celebrate Portugal’s Restoration of Independence. The actual name, however, only came about in 1983. Since 2013, the BMA has taken efforts to revitalize its school, which counts 40 students, and the training of its younger constituents. The BMA is comprised of 50 elements, plus 30 that are part of its Juvenile Band. In 2008 the Banda started holding the Percussion and Wind Brass instruments Summer Course.
Banda de S. Martinho de Mancelos
This Banda was formed out of a “tuna”, created in 1889 by the priest José Vitorino Carvalho, but it was not until 1919 that it assumed its current format. In the 1980s the Social and Cultural Centre of the Banda de S. Martinho de Mancelos was created, located in Nogueira.
Today, the Banda is composed by 55 musicians and a conductor, most of them young people, and its music school is attended by about 50 students.
Conservatory of Music and Dance of the Amarante Cultural Center
The Conservatory of Music and Dance of Amarante’s Cultural Centre is a vocational school attended yearly by about 350 students. It currently offers teaching courses for primary and secondary levels of education on a broad array of music instruments, such as accordion, clarinet, double bass, bassoon, recorders and transverse flutes, classic and Portuguese guitars, harp, organ, piano, percussion, saxophone, trombone, French horn, trumpet, tuba, viola, violin and violoncello. The Conservatory also has free music courses for all ages.
Escola de Música Sacra de Amarante
The Sacred Music School of Amarante has been open since 2012 and holds an evening course with 3 weekly classes attended by professional teachers, both in an individual (chant and organ) or group format (choir, musical education and harmony). The school works with students aged from 10 to 70 years and has a social component, as it stimulates sacred music education for all social groups, even the most underprivileged ones. Students also have the opportunity to perform publicly during mass, inside the St. Gonçalo’s Church.
Music Academy 906
The school has been open since 2016, focused on providing music courses on such instruments as drums, guitar, violin, piano and accordion. Today it is attended by roughly 70 students, of ages between 5 and 80, and 6 teachers.
Escola de Música da Associação de Beneficência de Vila Meã
Presently lecturing about 200 students, the Music School of the Associação de Beneficiência de Vila Meã provides musical education in the namesake parish. The school was founded in 1953, part of a non-profit private institution of social solidarity.