On Saturday 12 March in front of Wesley Church in Perth's CBD, around 30 musicians of all ages gathered to play the National Anthem of Ukraine and Mykola Lysenko's 'Prayer for Ukraine' in a show of support and solidarity with the people of Ukraine and the Ukrainian community of Perth.
Lysenko's 'Prayer for Ukraine' is a patriotic Ukrainian hymn published in 1885, which became a spiritual hymn of Ukraine. It gained national significance when it was performed by mass choirs during the Ukrainian War of Independence in 1917-1920, and was performed in Kyiv in 2001 during a parade celebrating the 10th anniversary of Ukraine's independence. It was been performed internationally in response to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.
With only 36 hours notice, conductor Elise Chong put a call out for musicians to form a flash mob / pop-up orchestra via social media. The musicians ranged from young high school students to university-aged students and community orchestra musicians to professional musicians. With no rehearsal, they performed with strength and passion; the music drawing an emotional response from the people who gathered for the occasion.
It was truly a moving experience to have the communion of voices from the Ukrainian community with the musicians of the orchestra.
A big thank you to Bohan Warchomij for helping with the organisation of this event and speaking before the event.
Most of all, thank you to the musicians who said "yes" and came to play. Each of you made this happen and without you, we wouldn't have had an orchestra. Thank you so much for bringing hope into this world through your music.
All photos by: Tallulah Chong Media