South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestra hosts concert supporting Ukraine

NOW: South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestra hosts concert supporting Ukraine

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The South Bend Youth Symphony Orchestra hosted a special concert at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center at Notre Dame, and performed a special rendition of the Ukrainian National Anthem. 

Choirs from Marian and Penn High Schools stepped in to perform the lyrics, with assistance on pronunciation from two Ukrainian Catholic Priests at Notre Dame.

One of their own violinists was born in Ukraine.

For the Orchestra, this was their chance to show solidarity.

“We heard many inspiring stories over the past few weeks about how the arts have brought momentary strength and solace to people who are suffering terribly," said Diane Economakis, the SBYSO's Executive Director. 

Before the performance, Mischa Geckhtman, a Notre Dame professor, shared his story of visiting his ailing father in Ukraine-- who died the day before the Russian invasion. 

“We planned the funeral for the next day," Geckhtman said. "We woke up—well, I woke up because of the explosions at 5:00am. We managed to leave Kyiv and in three days reached the border with Poland and then took our Mom to Berlin where she’s staying with my sister and I just got back yesterday.”

He implored the audience to do whatever they could for Ukraine, by donating to charities to provide food and medical supplies. He only wishes more could be done. 

“I wish we could bring in some of those people, there’s no more than two million people displaced," he said. "Many of them in terrible circumstances. But we can’t do that-- the government has to do that. I wish we could, but just help with whatever you can.”

But he did have one final message for the audience: "Slava Ukraini--" glory to Ukraine. 

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