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PhilHarmonia, described by artistic director Mitos Andaya Hart as “your friendly neighborhood chamber choir,” and Nashirah, the Jewish Chorale of Greater Philadelphia, will present Singing from the Heart: A Benefit Concert for the Children of Ukraine at Congregation Rodeph Shalom. The concert benefits Okhmatdyt National Children's Specialized Hospital in Kyiv, Ukraine, the country’s largest children’s hospital, and will feature a performance from the Dzvin Ukrainian Male Folk Choir.
We can do something
While both Nashirah and PhilHarmonia frequently collaborate with other musical groups, unlike their other shows, this concert was not originally planned at the beginning of the season. Instead, it was created out of a desire to help the people (particularly the children) of Ukraine in a tangible and specific way. “I always feel like, especially now in this dark time, we’re often being told that there’s nothing we can do," Hart said, "…and I’m like, ‘no, we can do something, we’re not helpless.' That’s where we’re coming from.”
After receiving a call from Hart and PhilHarmonia executive director Sara Brown expressing their desire to collaborate on a benefit concert, it was Nashirah’s artistic director Dr. Julia Zavadsky who made the connection with Okhmatdyt. “I knew about this hospital not just because I grew up in Ukraine, but because my brother was very sick and he spent many months in that hospital,” she explained. All of the funds raised through the concert will go directly to the hospital to support their day-to-day operations. Their focus has pivoted since the beginning of the war and rather than child-centric care they now serve both children and adults alike, many of whom cannot be relocated due to serious injury and illness.
Attendees both in-person and online will be treated to a wide variety of quintessential chorale pieces, contemporary songs, broadly defined Jewish music, Ukrainian folk music, and more, including a surprise finale sure to impress audiences with the City of Brotherly Love’s spirit of unity in solidarity. When asked what distinguishes this event from past performances, Zavadsky drew a parallel to the Shabbat kiddush (wine) blessing. “It’s basically how grateful we are for everything that we get every day. This is the reminder that being grateful, it’s the combination of thanksgiving, love, and our fight for freedom.”
What, When, Where
Singing from the Heart: A Benefit Concert for the Children of Ukraine. PhilHarmonia, Nashirah, Dzvin Ukrainian Male Folk Choir. Free entry with a suggested donation of $30 ($10 for seniors and students). June 2, 2022, at Congregation Rodeph Shalom, 615 N. Broad Street, and online streaming via Zoom. Register and donate online.
Audience members are requested to remain masked throughout the performance.
Congregation Rodeph Shalom is wheelchair accessible, and free parking is available in the Rodeph Shalom lot.
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