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There’s a free benefit concert by Ukrainian musicians in St. Pete this weekend

The Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus will perform sacred classical and traditional Ukrainian music.
 
The Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus will perform a benefit concert at First Presbyterian Church in St. Petersburg on Sept. 17.
The Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus will perform a benefit concert at First Presbyterian Church in St. Petersburg on Sept. 17. [ LUIS, SANTANA | Times ]
Published Sept. 12, 2023

As the Russia-Ukraine war rages on, there’s another local way to help. The Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus will present a free concert on its Hope for Ukraine tour at First Presbyterian Church in St. Petersburg on Sept. 17.

The concert will feature sacred classical music and traditional Ukrainian music. The 30 touring musicians are all women — because Ukrainian men aren’t allowed to travel during wartime — and graduates of the Tchaikovsky National Music Academy. They will be dressed in traditional garb.

Music Mission Kiev is the nonprofit Christian organization that founded the musical group. It formed in 1993, performing classical pieces such as Handel’s “Messiah,” Brahms’ “Requiem” and Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” — music that had been banned under Communist rule.

Its outreach programs assist widows, children and war victims. First Presbyterian Church is fundraising for the mission, with 100 percent of donations going directly toward it. A free-will offering will be collected at the concert. For more information, visit musicmissionkiev.org.

“When we see news on the television, or read an article about the atrocities taking place in Ukraine, I think we all feel somewhat powerless and ill-equipped to help the people who are impacted,” said Matt Clear, director of traditional worship music and the arts at First Presbyterian Church, in a news release. “I think this concert-mission project creates a tangible way that we can render assistance through the power of music and humanitarian aid that these funds provide.”

People who wish to contribute outside of the concert can send a check to the church or make a donation online at fpcstpete.com.

What to know before you go to the Hope for Ukraine Concert.

The Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus’ Hope for Ukraine concert. Free. 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17. First Presbyterian Church, 701 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg. 727-822-2031. fpcstpete.com.