Perseverance Pays Off For Congo Musicians

A young Congolese violinist practices for his friends(Photo: kinshasa-symphony.com)
A young Congolese violinist practices for his friends(Photo: kinshasa-symphony.com)

As musical organizations the world over struggle to find funding to keep the doors open, one orchestra of mainly self-taught musicians are reaping the rewards of their grit and determination.

I recently wrote about this orchestra, literally put together from scratch.  However, the story doesn’t end there.

To briefly refresh your memory, it was 20 years ago that a small number of music lovers decided to form an orchestra.  Friends and family told them they were wasting their time, that nothing would come of it.  They had little money, no instruments, and little to no musical training.  Some of them built their own instruments, all are self-taught, and all are determined that the next generation will have opportunities they didn’t.

As Kimbanguiste Symphony Orchestra has grown and improved, it has caught the attention of an unlikely music lover…Princess Caroline of  Monaco.

The orchestra was invited to perform earlier this year in Monaco, with Princess Caroline in the audience.  She recently traveled to the Central African nation, not just as an audience member, but as the orchestra’s patron.  With the princess was Nicole Curau, a professional violinist from Monaco, who came to perform with the orchestra in Kinshasa, the capital city of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“The orchestra offers hope to classical music,” Curau recently told Reuters.

Orchestra members hope to set up a music school in Kinshasa, so future musicians can receive the training which they did not.  Thanks to a princess, that may happen sooner than they thought.  Find out how you can help through the Global Giving website.

Read more: Congo orchestra born on mean streets finds royal favor (Reuters.com)

Watch: The musicians speak about what the music means to them

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