Philharmonic Bands (Bandas Filarmonicas) are ensembles of brass, woodwind and percussion instruments of about 50 musicians, mainly amateurs. Traditionally in Portugal, playing in a philharmonic band was a family tradition; several members and generations of one family would play together in the same band. Bands were traditionally afiliated with a single village, and its members were residents of that village.
This musical tradition was adapted once Portuguese immigrants established themselves in the United States. Ensembles in the US are usually named after Portuguese regions or saints and are affiliated with social clubs or churches.