Do Your Thing Choirs raise over £2600 with fundraising concert for The DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal
The stunning backdrop of The Albion Church in Ashton-under-Lyne was the setting on Saturday night for “An Evening of Hope for Ukraine”. The Ashton and Stockport based Do Your Thing (DYT) Choirs along with singers and musicians from Ukraine entertained a packed church of over 300 audience members, raising over £2600 for the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal.
Producer and Musical Director of the DYT Choirs, Liz Taylor, was delighted with the support.
“As a choir we have experienced so many times, first-hand, what the power of music can achieve. Saturday was yet another example. Music is a universal language that transcends barriers and connects us all, no matter where we are in the world. Our concert celebrated this and the audience was treated to a variety of different voices and instruments, paying tribute to different cultures whilst recognising that music connects us all.”
The tone of the evening was set as the rousing Ukrainian National Anthem bellowed through the pipes of the magnificent organ at the church and Ukrainian voices in the audience proudly sang the anthem of their beloved homeland.
The acoustics of the church enhanced the 60-strong Do Your Thing Choir as they entertained with a varied programme of songs with one common theme – hope. From Enya’s “May it Be” from “Lord of The Rings, Fellowship of the Ring” to Heather Small’s “Proud” their uplifting and touching repertoire was certainly designed to pull at the heart strings.
Award-winning Maria Petrovska stunned the church with her angelic vocals accompanying herself on the bandura, a Ukrainian stringed instrument. Despite there being many young children in the pews, you could hear a pin drop. Everyone was in awe of her incredible talent. Maria was delighted to be part of the evening to help Ukraine and said: “I was very pleased to take part in it and help the Motherland with what I can.”
Star of The Voice Kids, Ukraine, Maksym Komisarchuk, wowed the crowd with his rendition of Iris by Goo Goo Dolls as well as singing two of his favourite popular Ukranian songs, which went down very well with Ukranian audience members who were singing along.
The DYT Kids Choir, for primary school-aged children from as young as five upwards, certainly added the cute factor to the evening’s proceedings. Seemingly undaunted by the huge crowd all the way down to the last pew in the North West’s longest aisle, the kids choir stole everyone’s hearts. Their version of “Refuge” by Howard Goodall left not a dry eye in the house. The poignant words of the chorus “I will be your second sight, the light that guides your way at night. Don’t be down-hearted. I’ll be your refuge” were so much more powerful with the voices of innocent children singing them, highlighting the importance of the cause.
Three members the DYT Youth Choir, formed only weeks ago, took to the stage to perform the haunting “Fix You” by Coldplay. Their solitary voices were joined in a rousing chorus by the DYT adult choirs seated around the church. One audience member remarked “It was like watching a film in black and white and it becoming colour in 3D when all the voices kicked in. It was stunning!”
Surrounded by blue and yellow balloons, the entire Do Your Thing choir community of young children through to retired grandparents sang the words of an original piece “Where we belong” by Liz Taylor. “I wrote this during lockdown for the choir when we couldn’t be together. It was at a time when all we had was hope and faith that we would see better times. It really resonated with what this evening’s concert was about and it was a great honour for it to close the show.”
A night to celebrate community and connection ended with Ukrainian audience members exchanging phone numbers and contact details, as they left the Church.
Natalia Vasylenko arrived in Greater Manchester four days before the concert and managed to exchange numbers with a fellow Ukrainian, who had lived near where she was staying in the UK for twenty years.
“The concert was a great present for me and my little son. We enjoyed it very much. We saw British people who support Ukrainians and feel their kindness.”
To date, the choir has raised £2600 for the appeal. To donate please go to their JustGiving page – www.justgiving.com/fundraising/aneveningofhope