Choir records song for Ukrainian children

Truro Cathedral Choir has recorded a fundraising anthem for Ukrainian children, released on Mothering Sunday.

Ave Maria, by Ukrainian contemporary composer Valentin Silvestrov, was performed at the cathedral and released as a recording on YouTube on Mothering Sunday.

The Crowdfunder, in aid of UNICEF’s emergency appeal ‘Protect Children in Ukraine’, was inspired by young choristers who wanted to use their talents to help their peers caught up in the war. The appeal seeks to support the 7.5million Ukranian children currently at risk.

By extraordinary coincidence, Ukrainian refugees Akim, 12, and his mother, Tanya Huhnina, who fled Cherkasy in Ukraine to join a family in Cornwall last week, visited Truro Cathedral as the choir rehearsed the anthem.

The mother and son had been shopping for shoes in Truro for Akim’s first day in a Cornish school and had felt moved to step inside the cathedral. When she realised what was happening in the cathedral, Tanya said: "God has led us here tonight.”

The choir, with 34 children and 12 adult professional singers, received support with their Ukrainian pronunciation from Marta Jenkala, Assistant Professor of Ukrainian Studies at University College, London.

Dean of Truro Roger Bush said: “This will be a very poignant Mothering Sunday in the UK. As we celebrate with family at home, our thoughts will naturally turn to the plight of millions of Ukrainian mothers, courageously attempting to bring their children to safety, including those who are making their way to our shores.

“Whatever your faith, we hope that this beautiful Ukrainian Ave Maria offers a powerful channel for our feelings, thoughts and prayers."  

Marc Gregory, who sings bass with the choir, said: “Our whole choir community is behind this initiative and we hope people in Cornwall and further afield will help us do something, however small, to support Ukrainian children caught up in this present-day horror.”

Josh, 13, Head Chorister, said: "Some of us have given our pocket money and we hope people will give lots, lots more to help us make a difference.”

The choir has set an initial target of £3,000. They are inviting donations to their Crowdfunder, which has already gathered over £1,300 in its first few days. The total is now over £4000.

The recording below was released on YouTube on Mothering Sunday.