The group includes 51 students from Indonesia’s oldest Catholic seminary. The first performances were held in Magelang with the participation of local university students. Concerts in Yogyakarta and Jakarta were sold out. For the choir coordinator, “months of preparation have served this: to build their capacity to communicate with others."
Jakarta (AsiaNews) – The Mertoyudan Minor Seminary in Magelang (Central Java), known for its well-established orchestra, has elicited the aid of its choir of seminarians to promote priestly vocations among young Indonesians.
The initiative, which involves 51 students and required seven months of preparation, was a great hit among the Catholics in Magelang, Yogyakarta and Jakarta.
In 2014, during its centennial, the seminary decided to look at ways to counter declining vocations and revive its presence in society.
Four years later, the idea of setting up a vocal group took shape. Supported by the seminary’s prefects and the rector, Fr TB Ganhi SJ and former student Jay Wijayanto were tasked with setting up Canis Choir, in honour of Saint Peter Canisius, the institute’s patron.
Mertoyudan Minor Seminary is the oldest in the country and currently has about 250 students.
After months of rehearsals, the first performance took place in Magelang with the participation of local university students.
Afterwards, the Canis Choir showed off its skills in Yogyakarta: first in a Mass in St Anthony of Padua Parish in Kotabaru and then, on 5 June, at the Sanata Dharma University, where the response of the public was amazing. All 1,200 tickets were sold.
Following this success, the seminarians played at St Thomas the Apostle Parish in Bojong Indah, St John the Evangelist Church, St Stephen Church and finally the cathedral, between 8 and 11 June.
The two concerts held on the last day at Usmar Ismail Concert Hall in South Jakarta were also sold out.
Jay "Jagger" Wijayanto told AsiaNews that Canis Choir’s success is due to the months of rehearsing, which gave seminarians the opportunity of developing their personal skills and of learning how to deal with people of different ages, professions and social backgrounds.
"In the seminary, students relate above all to colleagues, teachers and priests,” Wijayanto said. “It is rare for someone from the outside world to become part of their lives. The project has created space and time to get to know new things.”
“As future priests, seminarians will have to deal with diversity and the challenges that come with it. The seven months of preparation have served this: to build their capacity to communicate with others."