Tufts raises support and funds for Ukraine through music

By Vishal Manve, MALD 2023 Candidate, The Fletcher School

From the Ukrainian national anthem to Faye Wong’s ‘As Wished’, music echoed the halls of Granoff Music Center on April 16, 2022, as a group of Ukrainian artists, Tufts students, and musicians from the Berklee College of Music performed, played instruments, and narrated poetry to raise funds for humanitarian aid in Ukraine.

“Fill the sentence with your music! Fill it today. To tell our story. Tell the truth about the war on your social networks, on TV,” Artem Dinh said, repeating the words of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to an audience of 300 guests.

The funds raised from the concert were donated to Razom and Sky Philanthropy. Razom is a non-profit supporting civil society activism in Ukraine and Sky Philanthropy has shipped over 20,000 lbs of humanitarian aid to Ukraine since the Russian invasion began on February 24, 2022.

Olga Lisovskaya, who had previously performed at Tufts University, kickstarted the musical rendezvous with her rendition of I’m Looking at High Skies (“Дивлюсь я на небо”), the first song that was performed in space on August 12, 1962, by Pavlo Popovych.

“We have been constantly shipping resources to many different cities in Ukraine — Lviv, Kyiv, Odessa, and Bucha. These places have seen terrible things happen to them and completely destroyed. We have reached out to hospitals, children’s hospitals, and territorial defense and sent them clothes, food, etc,” Lisovskaya said.

“Ukraine is on fire everywhere and people are stressed, trying to either work in territorial defense or trying to move out and save their families,” Lisovskaya further added.

Olga further added her brother was participating in territorial defense and that many Ukrainian men are “stuck in a limbo and uprooted” while trying to protect the country from invading Russian forces.

Other performers included the Klezmer Group, soprano Maria Kotova, Tufts SQ, and The Amalgamates who performed with a variety of musical instruments playing Ukrainian songs, and enthralled the audience. The Klezmer Group performed a combination of Ukrainian-Jewish musical renditions using the Armenian musical instrument Duduk.

“I am so glad so many people came today to support the Ukrainian cause, which gives me hope. Armenian relations with the neighbouring countries have been facing a lot of heat in recent times so it is good to see the people from the region supporting each other,” Nat Seelen from the Klezmer Group said.

The event also included Tufts students Archit Jain, Cindy Wang, Janice Wang, Kevin Tang, and Leslie Yuan who performed poetry, Chinese pop songs, or other traditional instruments.

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