National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine performing in Fort Myers on Monday - 96.9 WINK FM

National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine performing in Fort Myers on Monday


Despite Russia’s attempt to forcefully annex Ukraine, sweet sounds are coming from the war-torn country.

Monday night, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine will perform at the Barbara B Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers.

WINK News spoke with Vladey Slavaluchenko, an orchestra violinist, about what it means to be a part of the event.

“Our weapon is music, is art, and we can speak directly with human heart and remind people of peace and human values,” Slavaluchenko said.

Vladey Slavaluchenko demonstrating her impressive skills as a violinist. CREDIT: WINK News

66 orchestra members are picking up their instruments and getting to work in Southwest Florida.

The Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine is making stops across the United States, and Monday night is Fort Myers’s lucky night.

While the Florida sunshine can help visitors live in the present and forget their problems at home, that isn’t the case for this orchestra. Many of them can’t help but think of the reality back home. It can be a struggle for orchestra members to even get in touch with their family and friends back home while they struggle with the realities of war all around them.

“They had no electricity, blackouts. Yeah. So then you have to wonder, is everything alright? So it says horrible feeling,” Slavaluchenko said.

“Despite the fact that rockets are flying in the air. Alarms are sounding through the entire country in the middle of the night during the day, which causes life to come to a halt. Within one hour after those alarms, things come back to normal on some level,” Theodore Kuchar, the orchestral conductor, said.

Their new normal is anything but. Despite this, the tour the orchestra is doing across the country is a way they can represent their country in a difficult time. And even a way of them saying thank you for the support the United States has provided.

A Ukrainian serviceman walks on a destroyed Russian fighting vehicle in Bucha, Ukraine, Thursday, April 7, 2022. Russian troops left behind crushed buildings, streets littered with destroyed cars and residents in dire need of food and other aid in a northern Ukrainian city, giving fuel to Kyiv’s calls Thursday for more Western support to help halt Moscow’s offensive before it refocuses on the country’s east. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

“Were it not for the support. Financially, militaristically of the United States of America, it’s very possible that Ukraine would be a finished country by now,” Kuchar said.

The orchestra will put on 40 concerts throughout the United States and ends on March 3 in Iowa.


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