It was speculated to be a part of a busy yr to have fun the choir’s fiftieth anniversary. However Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine modified all that, with members scattering inside their homeland and overseas seeking security. Some members say they’ve misplaced family and friends within the preventing.
“It is extremely tough to assemble the kids,” mentioned Marianna Sablina, the choir’s inventive director and chief conductor, whose mom based the choir in 1971. A number of the members are “outdoors the borders of Ukraine, and solely a few third of the discussion board at present lives in Kyiv.”
Earlier this yr, the choir managed to reassemble and started rehearsing in Kyiv’s Nationwide Palace of Arts.
The vagaries of struggle usually plagued the rehearsals. When Kyiv got here below bombardment and suffered energy outages, air raid sirens pressured the choir to assemble in a darkened bomb shelter, illuminating their sheet music with no matter gentle supply they may discover.
“When there are sirens, we go to the shelter and simply sing with our telephones and flashlights,” mentioned 15-year-old choir member Anastasiia Rusina, whose household fled to western Ukraine following the invasion.
“I believe that we’re type of getting used to it as a result of it is our job to do. Now we have a live performance, so we simply can’t skip any rehearsals,” she mentioned.
The viewers at Copenhagen’s Church of The Holy Ghost just lately listened to the hovering voices of the choir, made up principally teenage women sporting black and white attire accentuated by pink and black squares on their sleeves and colourful beads round their necks.
“I sincerely hope that the live performance right here will ship a message of affection and hope and in addition sympathy and help to all Ukrainian households,” mentioned Nataliya Popovych, co-founder of Copenhagen’s Ukraine Home, a civil society group which introduced the group to Denmark. “Hopefully subsequent yr, all Ukrainian households will be capable to have fun Christmas correctly,” she added.
On the core of the efficiency was the track “Carol of the Bells,” maybe greatest identified from the 1990 Christmas film House Alone’.
The carol was initially organized by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych within the early 1900s. The choir’s title, “Shchedryk,” comes from the track’s Ukrainian title.
“Now we have to ship to those that our tradition is so necessary to our world,” Polina Holtseva, one other mentioned 15-year-old choir member, whose household has stayed in Kyiv all through the battle.
“It is our tradition, it is our songs, and it is so wonderful that we have now an opportunity to provide you this music,” she mentioned.
Choir members Rusina and Holtseva mentioned they haven’t any concrete profession plans. They famous they do not even know what they are going to do tomorrow. However amid the horrors of struggle, Shchedryk choir has turn into their “secure place”.
“We simply do not take into consideration the struggle or our state of affairs. We simply sing, we’re along with our associates, our household,” Rusina mentioned.