Top Four Moments from the Music Mission Kiev Concert

Top Four Moments from the Music Mission Kiev Concert


By:  Jacob Hardman


On September 22nd Faith Church was blessed to have members of the Kiev Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, serving as part of Music Mission Kiev, perform in our sanctuary. The group performed a variety of music from well-known classical pieces to traditional Ukrainian folk songs. I was excited to attend the concert, but also to learn more about Music Mission Kiev’s ministry. Here is a list of my top four moments from the performance.

1. Opening with a performance of “Flight of The Bumblebee”

The performance opened with an impressive rendition of Korsakov’s “Flight of The Bumblebee.” Despite having relatively few musicians compared to most American chamber groups, Music Mission Kiev’s sound was full, rich, and never ceased to impress with their ability to convey emotion. Throughout the performance I was convinced that I was listening to twice as many performers as there were on stage. This speaks volumes to the skill of the Ukrainian musicians. However, “Flight of The Bumblebee” was only a hint of what was to come.

2. Learning about Music Mission Kiev’s mission to help the people of Ukraine

The program that members of Music Mission Kiev (or MMK as I will call them) handed out states that their mission is to: “...proclaim the Gospel of Christ to the world by bringing the sacred masterpieces of classical music to and through Ukrainian musicians and by ministering to the emerging Christian community in Ukraine through evangelism, discipleship, music education, humanitarian outreach to widows, orphans, families of St. Paul’s Church and others in need.” Ukraine is currently enduring a crisis of fighting off Russian-backed aggression and war. MMK has made it their mission to aid the war-weary citizens of Ukraine through the power of the Gospel and music. They tour both the Ukraine and the world raising support for their families and friends back in their homeland through their musical performances. At times during the performance, MMK showed videos highlighting their humanitarian aid to the Ukrainian people. I would be lying if I said that seeing videos of Ukrainian children and women orphaned and widowed by war did not break my heart, even in the midst of listening to some of the most beautiful music that I had heard in awhile. (More information about MMK’s ministry can be found at the end of this article.)

3. Performances of traditional Ukrainian folk songs (and a surprise American folk song)

A definite highlight of the performance was hearing MMK play renditions of traditional Ukrainian folk songs. The tunes and words, while unfamiliar and most likely unintelligible to the majority of the audience, were nonetheless riveting and almost haunting in a way that highlighted some of the best parts of Eastern European culture. MMK once again impressed with their ability to project a sound that extended beyond the number of musicians on the stage. As a surprise, MMK then performed a rendition of the classic American folk song “Shenandoah.” It was both touching and heartwarming to hear our Ukrainian brothers and sisters perform a classic piece of American culture.

4. Closing with a performance of Handel’s Messiah

As a close to the performance, MMK then performed the Hallelujah chorus from Handel’s “Messiah.” It was at this point, as the audience stood and the orchestra began to play, that the swelling voices of MMK’s chorus filled the room in a way that I didn’t think was possible without ample amplification. As always, the Hallelujah chorus elicited strong emotions from the audience and once the piece was finished the applause continued for quite awhile. Without a doubt, everyone who attended the performance (myself included) left both beyond excited for the next time MMK would visit us in Fort Collins and more aware of the aid that the Ukrainian people need and how we as the body of Christ can help meet that need.

Closing Info
MMK is currently continuing their tour across the US in their effort to raise awareness for the plight of the Ukrainian people. Please visit www.musicmissionkiev.org to see a list of upcoming shows, learn more about their humanitarian efforts, and find more information as to how you can help them in their mission to aid the beleaguered people of Ukraine.

 



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