DRC: Goma's Choristers

Collection with 28 media items created by Transterra Editor

11 Apr 2014 04:00

Goma, the regional capital of the volatile North Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) , prepares for Easter. While the Congolese army is still fighting dozens of rebel groups in the region with the support of the UN, the city is still recovering from its recent occupation by the now defeated M-23 rebels.

As part of the run up to Easter, the Seraphin Choir prepares for Palm Sunday, a day that symbolizes the arrival of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem. Palm Sunday will mark the beginning of the Holy Week, and it is an opportunity for the choir to perform in front of hundreds of people at Goma ́s Saint Joseph cathedral.

For over two weeks, they have rehearsed almost every day to prepare for one of the most important days in the Christian calendar.

Easter is a time of joy for a population that has suffered for so many years. Seraphin choir's members have found singing as away, not only to embody their faith, but also as a way to find of peace and discipline. Their rehearsals can go up to 4 hours every day and attention to detail is mandatory.

Paterne Bandeke, Seraphin ́s director and choirmaster since its creation in 2006, supervises every section with an inquisitive ear. He detects every flaw that would go unnoticed for the average listener. Discipline, passion and hard work have paid off, allowing their members to express their faith in a beautiful way in front of hundreds of people during open-air masses.

From 1996 until 2002, DRC was a battlefield for several neighboring countries - including Rwanda, Uganda, Zimbawe and Angola - who fought over security concerns while plundering the country of its precious resources.

When the M-23 rebels took over Goma in November 2011, Seraphin ́s Choir had to split. Those who could afford to flee ran away south to nearby Bukavu, or to the neighboring Rwanda. The others had no choice but to stay.

Paterne saw Congolese Army soldiers drop their weapons in front of his doorstep and run away while M-23 rebels took Goma.

Dominique Briego, the sound technician, could not flee because he was suffering from an injury acquired in a biking accident. During his recovery, choristers often came to support him and make sure he was fine.

André Buke, the organist, lost his faith during the M-23 rebellion and blamed God for what was happening. However he rediscovered his faith when he escaped bomb
shelling in two separate occasions. The choir taught him to forgive and be thankful.

The defeat of M-23 and a new leadership in the Congolese army have given people hope. While a comprehensive peace in North Kivu is still elusive, Goma ́s choristers will celebrate Easter like always: with pride and joy.

The Democrat... Congo Goma North Kivu Easter Religion Choir Choirmaster Seraphin Choir Saint Joseph... Chorister Sunday Palm Chapel Cathedral Christian Music War Faith Holy

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Goma Choristers Story 01
Goma
By Transterra Editor
11 Apr 2014

Paterne Bandeke is Seraphin´s Choir director since its creation in 2006. As a choral music lover, he divides his time between music and teaching carpentry to disabled children.

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Goma Choristers Story 03
Goma
By Transterra Editor
11 Apr 2014

Seraphin and Saint Joseph Choir sing together for Palm Sunday and Easter.

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Goma Choristers Story 04
Goma
By Transterra Editor
11 Apr 2014

Singers normally meet twice a week although during Easter, rehearsals can take place almost every day. Both choirs can gather together up to 100 people.

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Goma Choristers Story 05
Goma
By Transterra Editor
11 Apr 2014

The lower voices sit in the back of the chapel.

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Goma Choristers Story 06
By Transterra Editor
11 Apr 2014

Every section of the choir has its own part. They need to know every detail of the harmony to sound perfect.

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Goma Choristers Story 08
Goma
By Transterra Editor
12 Apr 2014

Paterne Bandeke works with organist André Buke. Paterne has taught André how to play the organ since he joined Seraphin´s Choir in 2007. He lost his faith during the M-23 rebellion and blamed God for what was happening. However he rediscovered his faith when he escaped bomb
shellings in two separate occasions. The choir taught him to forgive and to be thankful.

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Goma Choristers Story 09
Goma
By Transterra Editor
12 Apr 2014

A choir member arrives at the Amputees Center´s chapel in Goma for a recital.

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Goma Choristers Story 10
By Transterra Editor
12 Apr 2014

Seraphin´s Choir director, Paterne Bandeke, during a rehearsal two days before Palm Sunday. He supervises every section with an inquisitive ear, detecting every flaw that would go unnoticed for the inexperienced ear.

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Goma Choristers Story 11
By Transterra Editor
12 Apr 2014

While Seraphin´s Choir is composed of young voices, St Joseph Choir has older woman among its member. The mix creates depth when the two choirs sing together.

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Goma Choristers Story 12
By Transterra Editor
12 Apr 2014

A rehearsal at the Amputees Center´s Chapel in Goma, North Kivu.
Eastern Congo has suffered its own Via Crucis during decades and the members of these choirs are not exempt. From 1996 until 2002 DRC was the battlefield where several neighboring countries -including Rwanda, Uganda, Zimbabwe and Angola- fought for security concerns while looting the country from its precious resources.

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Goma Choristers Story 13
Goma
By Transterra Editor
12 Apr 2014

Choristers decide to practice outdoors to prepare for Palm Sunday Mass. The mass took place in open air.

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Goma Choristers Story 15
Goma
By Transterra Editor
12 Apr 2014

A rehearsal at the Amputees Center in Goma, North Kivu.
Seraphin ́s Choir had to split during the take of Goma by the M-23 on November 2011. Those who could afford it ran away south to Bukavu, in South Kivu, or the neighboring Rwanda, while the others had no choice but to stay.

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Goma Choristers Story 16
Goma
By Transterra Editor
13 Apr 2014

Choristers wait for the arrival of abbé Romain near Goma´s prison on Palm Sunday.

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Goma Choristers Story 17
By Transterra Editor
13 Apr 2014

Abbé Romain gives the blessing before starting the pilgrimage to St Joseph´s Cathedral on Palm Sunday.

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Goma Choristers Story 18
Goma
By Transterra Editor
13 Apr 2014

Seraphin and St Joseph´s choirs singing during the Palm Sunday pilgrimage to Goma´s Saint Joseph Cathedral.

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Goma Choristers Story 19
Goma
By Transterra Editor
12 Apr 2014

St Joseph´s Cathedral was destroyed during volcano Nyiragongo´s eruption in 2002. Goma's cathedral was rebuilt thanks to private donations.

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Goma Choristers Story 20
By Transterra Editor
13 Apr 2014

Choir members during Palm Sunday Mass at Saint Joseph Cathedral in Goma.

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Goma Choristers Story 21
Goma
By Transterra Editor
13 Apr 2014

Brother William Mulenda is giving communion to Seraphin Choir members.

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Goma Choristers Story 22
Goma
By Transterra Editor
12 Apr 2014

The opportunity to sing on Palm Sunday in front of hundreads of people was more than a reward for these choristers. They rehearsed every days for two weeks to prepare for the most important day in the Christian calendar.

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Goma Choristers Story 23
By Transterra Editor
12 Apr 2014

Rachel Kavira has been in Seraphin Choir since its beginning in 2006.
Seraphin choir's members have found singing as away, not only to embody their faith, but also as a way to find of peace and discipline. Their rehearsals can go up to 4 hours every day and attention to detail is mandatory.

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Goma Choristers Story 24
By Transterra Editor
12 Apr 2014

Monique Mulonda has been in Seraphin Choir since 2008. Easter will be an opportunity to perform in front of hundred at Goma's cathedral. Seraphin choir has joined forces with St Joseph ́s, whose members are older. For over two weeks, they have rehearsed almost every day to prepare for one of the most important days in Christian calendar.

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Goma Choristers Story 25
Goma
By Transterra Editor
12 Apr 2014

Dominique Briego is the sound technician. He has been in Seraphin Choir since 2011.

Seraphin ́s Choir had to split during the take of Goma by the M-23 in November 2011. Those who could afford it ran away south to Bukavu, in South Kivu, or the neighboring Rwanda, while the others had no choice but to stay. Dominique Briego could not flee because he was suffering from an injury acquired in a biking accident. During his recovery, choristers often came to support him and make sure he was fine.

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Goma Choristers Story 26
The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Goma
By Transterra Editor
12 Apr 2014

David Bandeke is Paterne´s son. He has been in his father´s choir since 2009.

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Goma Choristers Story 27
Goma
By Transterra Editor
12 Apr 2014

Julie Tshibola has been in Seraphin Choir since 2011.

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Goma Choristers Story 28
By Transterra Editor
12 Apr 2014

André Buke is the organist. Paterne taught him how to play ehen he joined the choir in 2007.
He lost his faith during the M-23 rebellion and blamed God for what was happening. However he rediscovered his faith when he escaped bomb
shelling in two separate occasions. The choir taught him to forgive and to be thankful.