CHICAGO (WLS) — On Friday, seven members of the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra performed and talked about their instruments at St. Nicholas Cathedral School.
Some of the musicians took part in a fundraiser for Ukraine earlier this year.
Saint-Nicolas has 70 new students whose families fled the fighting in Ukraine. Olena Raczkiewycz has two children at school.
SEE ALSO | Top Ukrainian general on war against Russia, Putin’s nuclear threat: “We are and should be worried”
“It’s important because we feel, like, in the community,” Raczkiewycz said.
Also as part of Friday’s concert, the school choir sang and everyone came together for the Ukrainian national anthem.
“Simply amazing. The strength of their voices, just amazingly powerful,” said Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra principal bassoonist Preman Tilson.
Hearing the anthem was bittersweet for some, like 12-year-old Nazar, who left his father and grandparents behind in Ukraine.
“Maybe a bit difficult. Like, we’re here. We can eat. We can sleep. We can do whatever we want, but in Ukraine you can’t do all those things,” Nazar said.
RELATED | Russian authorities advise civilians to leave Ukrainian region
The school offers a Ukrainian class, a place where children can speak and sing in their mother tongue.
“When you hear and sing your own song, it makes you so happy and you feel so good that music is the cure for all those hard feelings for Ukrainian children,” said Irene Dychiy, a foreign language teacher at St. Nicholas.
The new St. Nicholas families don’t know what their future holds, but for now they are safe and can find familiarity and camaraderie.
Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All rights reserved.