Soaring songs from an orchestra you'll never forget

Extraordinary amateur symphony orchestra in the heart of the Congo performs famous classical compositions, gospel hymns, and the songs from our 60 Minutes story

The Congo is probably the last place one would expect to find a symphony orchestra, but that didn't stop Armand Diangienda -- a former commercial pilot -- from starting one. Diangienda taught himself how to read music and play the piano, the trombone, the guitar and the cello. Then he helped volunteer musicians in his orchestra learn. Watch as he conducts the Kimbanguist Symphony Orchestra perform Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana."

The seed of a musical miracle took root in the Congo's capital city of Kinshasa 20 years ago when the Kimbanguist Symphony Orchestra was founded. Watch as the orchestra rehearses Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, known as the "Ode to Joy," the last movement of Beethoven's last symphony.

The Kimbanguist Symphony Orchestra is the only symphony orchestra in Central Africa and the only all-black orchestra in the world. Almost all of the musicians started out as beginners with little musical training or the ability to read music, but with practice and time, the volunteer musicians have developed a repertoire that includes Bach, Mendelssohn, and Handel. Watch these volunteer musicians and vocalists perform Handel's "Messiah."









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