Music in a time of crisis
Alla Sirenko, President and Founder of the Ukrainian Cultural Association in the UK (UCA-UK), who is also a Ukrainian pianist and composer, and an ISM member, explains what she and the UCA-UK are doing to support Ukraine, and how ISM members can help.
It is such a tragic and challenging time for my beautiful, beloved Ukraine and its people. Families are fleeing their homes, children are living through the sounds of gunfire and bombing, and the people of the Ukrainian diaspora do not know whether they will see their families ever again.
However, in this time of crisis, a beautiful unity has unfolded across the globe. The international community has come together to support Ukraine; instilling sanctions, supporting through humanitarian aid, and rallying together around the community to offer emotional support and solidarity.
The UCA-UK's fundraising concert
Together with the UCA-UK, I am doing as much as I can to help ease the pain of people in Ukraine.
Founded in autumn 2020, the UCA-UK has been providing classical music concerts and cultural events to our Ukrainian, international and classical communities. We adapted our events to be fully virtual throughout the pandemic, and brought the magic of music into people’s homes.
It's a great honour for our organisation to represent Ukraine, its culture and music internationally. We are taking what we know, and using music to help during this time of crisis. Peace is the mission.
Recently, we proudly marked International Women’s Day with an in-person concert, 'A Celebration of Women in Music', in partnership with the Federation of International Women’s Associations in London (FIWAL). The concert took place on Friday 4 March, at St Philip’s Church, London, and was televised by Channel 4 News. I performed, alongside the excellent violinist, Orpheus Leander Papafilippou, and the moving Barcarolle Choir.
We raised almost £3,000 of donations from the concert, which went towards humanitarian aid supporting the people of Ukraine. The UCA-UK is so grateful for the support and a generous donation from the ISM.
We hope to have some more fundraising concerts for Ukraine in the future.
A royal meeting
On 15 March, I was invited by the Irish Cultural Centre in London to represent UCA-UK for a special meeting with HRH Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. It was a very special time and they are sincere in supporting Ukraine.
I presented my fairytale book, The Golden Penguin, to Camilla. This is a fantasy opera I wrote, which was premiered in November 2001 at the Linbury Studio Theatre in Covent Garden by the Ukrainian State Opera and Ballet Company of Lviv, in co-operation with British artists. It has become part of the main repertoire of the Ukrainian Opera and Ballet Theatre of Lviv for the last ten years.
How you can support Ukraine
I want to thank all those who have made such a difference so far and stood in solidarity with Ukraine.
You can find out more about the work of UCA-UK on our website and Instagram, where you will find our latest events, and can sign up to be a member of our diverse community.
You can donate through the UCA-UK to support the British Red Cross’s Ukraine Crisis Appeal. Your help is much needed and very valuable.
The Ukrainian Embassy in London is appealing for help. They require funding to support Ukraine and the Ukrainian volunteers who drive buses to Ukraine with humanitarian aid. The UCA-UK is fundraising for this cause, and if you wish to support their efforts, you can pay the UCA-UK directly, or contact us:
Account name: Ukrainian Cultural Association in the UK
Sort code: 60-05-16
Account no: 27978575
If you wish to house Ukrainian refugees, you can sign up for the government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme.
If you are interested in housing Ukrainian musicians, you can also contact Vladislava Bilotska, a professional solicitor and a member of the Ukrainian Cultural Association in the UK (UCA-UK). She is organising housing in the UK for Ukrainian refugees as a volunteer, and will endeavour to find suitable people for your house. Her details are below.
Please mention that Alla Sirenko, President of the UCA-UK, put you in touch with her via the ISM.
Pro-Capital Corporation Limited
Email: [email protected]
F15 Floor Kestrel House, Knightrider Street, Maidstone, ME15 6LU, Kent, UK
Thank you so much for your kind support!
Composer, pianist, and ISM full member