Out of Africa and into the Classroom: A teacher's dream site on Africa!

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Kinshasa, Congo

Ode To Joy:  A Symphony in Congo

     Whether you have ever been to Africa at all, if you have any appreciation AT ALL for music, this is a video you MUST see:

http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7404678n- "60 Minutes"

     In the middle of culture-rich Congo, war-torn for 60 years, springs the heart of the symphony. This is the world's only all-black symphony, according to 60 Minutes.  It all begins with a Congolese airline pilot who decided to become a musician.  This is his story.  I am placing this page last on the site for two reasons:  It ends with Beethoven's "Ode to Joy," which was his last movement in his last symphony, but more notably, because I have never been to the Congo, and, aside from knowing two missionaries from the country, I have no first-hand knowledge of it.

     There is a German version of this movie, made first, which reviews state is less pejorative. In 2010 two German symphonists/singers went to Congo to professionally train members of this symphony.  At first, they were mistrusted, due to past experiences some of the Congolese had had with White people.  But they earned the Congolese's trust, and together mastered a miracle.

     When I watched this the first time, I cried.  It will tug at your heart strings, as it reveals such beauty-albeit European- that springs from the center of such a raveged country.

      The original German documentary about the same is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vTk0XsgZV4. There, you get to hear the musicians speak in their native language, not just French.

     From the Kinshasa Congolese Symphony Center, itself:  http://afrolegends.com/2011/01/28/kinshasacongolese-symphony-orchestra/