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Ukrainian Music Concert Held in Bomb Shelter

When the prospect of war threatened the viability of the annual international classical Kharkiv Music Fest, organizers were left scrambling. But their answer was found in the same place as many other Ukrainians looking for shelter amidst the conflict: underground.

Instead of the Kharkiv Philharmonic concert hall, musicians assembled their instruments inside of an underground subway station. They played their instruments for a grateful public in an ad hoc event known as the “concert between explosions.”

Among the first pieces was the Ukrainian national anthem, played while members of the audience stood with their hands over the hearts. Art director Vitali Alekseenok said, “Music can unite. It’s important now for those who stay in Kharkiv to be united.”

The program was intended to highlight the connections between Ukraine and other Western Europeans. It included arrangements of Ukrainian folk songs, interspersed with works by Bach, Dvorak, and other well-known composers.

One violinist said that the concert was unique among his performance experiences. “There was no stage excitement that usually happens when performing for people. But I knew that I was where I should be.”

Possible Preaching Angle:

Even in a time of deadly conflict, music and art are gifts that can point us back to God.

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