The band of music of Beniarda
The band was created by the years 1920 to 1922 by the then parish priest of the town, Mr. José María Laborda Nadal, “el retor negret” that some called him, with young people and children of the town, without any subsidy or help. official or private, only with the enthusiasm of its members and its founder, although over the years the work of this man in favor of youth was not taken into account. The rehearsals were held three nights a week on the ground floor of the Abadía House and in winter, during the breaks of the rehearsals, we used to warm up with a big bonfire that was done in the room next to the rehearsals, and this time generally used to tell stories, play jokes or refer gossip or local jokes with what we spent quite well the long winter evenings to instruct us musically. The instrumental expenses, apart from what each one could contribute for his instrument, were covered with the profits obtained in the local festivals, those of the Valle villages, Callosa de Ensarna and S. Jorge de Alcoy. The instruments were facilitated by the “Spanish Musical Union, formerly Casa Dotesio de Valencia”.
I think it was very instructive to have a Music Band in the locality, which frequently enlivened the local festivities and many religious functions accompanying in them the magnificent Beniardá Parochial Choir with which these functions were beautiful and attracted enough parishioners.
The band came to have more than thirty components, some boys and not so many others, causing, especially in the youngest, anecdotal situations that sometimes also entailed a cheerful and fresh picaresque.
On one occasion, June 28, we went to play Benimantell in the blessing of a bell. At dawn we passed to Benifato for having to perform at the San Pedro party. The tiredness that we had and the accumulated dream served to promote the merriment, jokes and thanks. A musician, the cymbalist, joker and witty, thought and placed between the eyelids two pieces of toothpicks to have them open, he said.
In Benifato we were lodged in the houses of Mr. Mayor, I think his name was Genaro, he stayed with those who nobody wanted, the five smaller ones, that when they sat down at the table to eat, three of them fell asleep, such was the fatigue that accumulated.
On another occasion in Callosa de Ensarna, a small boy, housed in a house where there were several wenches, was cradled and asleep in the arms of one of them so that when the older musicians knew it there were jokes and jokes at the expense of which “so much luck had had”.
Alcoy parties went with the car of “Uncle Planet” only existing vehicle then in the town and with which they took the instruments and supply for the days of stay in Alcoy. The musicians each made a trip on their own, although most of us went on foot accompanying the car. In Alcoy, the Row that had hired us, we were staying in a warehouse where we slept and ate what our cooks prepared with the supply brought. At night the older musicians marched with the components of the Row, while the smaller ones stayed to sleep on the sacks.
After some time, the direction of the band led a man from the town called Rafael Ribes and, later, due to political issues derived from the Civil War and also due to the continuous depopulation suffered by Beniardá, the Band ceased to exist.