João António Branco Martins
Nº OF MEETING: XV
João António Branco Martinsgraduated in Theology. Over the years,he has actively participated in the organization of various activities promoted by the Government of the Azores through the Regional Directorate for Communities.
Hisacademic qualificationsinclude a degree in Theology from the Diocesan HigherSeminaries.
He has participated and collaborated in the preparation and organization of various programs and activities promoted over the years by the Governmentof the Azores through the department with jurisdiction over the Communities, among which:
– Four editions of the Congress of Azorean Communities;
– Seven editions of the program“Youth Vacations – Discovering the Roots” for studentsfrom various schools visiting the Region;
– Eleven editions of “FolkloreCourses for Cultural Animators” held in Angra do Heroísmo;
– Seventeen editions of the “Seminar Atlantic Portugal and Azoreanity”held at the University of the Azores in Ponta Delgada;
– Ten editions of the “Training Program for Teachers of Portuguese Language and Culture Abroad”held in Angra do Heroísmo.
He has been part of all committees that review applications for support from the Regional Directorate for Communities in the area of Emigration, and he has alsocollaborated with dozens of other activities carried out to support the Azorean communities of the US, Canada, Bermuda, Brazil and Uruguay.
Identified with the mission and values of the DRCOM, he has playeda crucialrolein the preservation of the Azorean identity in the communities, particularly in those in Brazil, having been awarded the SpecialAzoreanityTrophy in 2001 by the Federal University of Santa Catarina, a prize which honors individuals and/or institutions that stand out through their actions in favor of the Azorean culture.
He was also been honored by the Portuguese Cultural Institute of Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil, as a result of his work in support of the Azorean Rooms.
His civic participationhas been equally intense, and he has heldimportant positions that have greatly benefittedhis community, namely:
– He was the conductor of the Choir of the Angra do Heroísmo Cathedral for 24 years;
– He was in charge of the musical preparation of the liturgical celebrations of the following anniversaries:
• Celebration of the 450 years of the Diocese of Angra and of the Remaining Islands of the Azores;
•Official reopening of the Angra Cathedral after the restoration of that building in 1985;
• Musical preparation carried out in all the parishes of the island of Terceirafor the liturgical celebration presided over by His Holiness Pope John Paul II in Angra do Heroísmo.
During his service at the Angra CathedralChurch, he also supported many choirsfrom the parishes of Terceira.
In 1979, he traveled to California as the conductor of the choir of theparish of Santo Amaro, Pico Island, to conduct this choir during the liturgies where it performed both on the West and East Coasts.
He is currently the conductor of the choir of the parish of São Bentoin Angra do Heroism, where he lives.
He was a student of the great musician and composer Dr. Edmundo Machado de Oliveira, having participated in theChoral Societyof the Angra do Heroísmo Episcopal Seminary in the 1960s.
Besides music, hehas helped theneedyfrom his parish as a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Conference and has made his apostolate in the area of catechesis.