Over £30,000 is hoping to be raised as a result of an ambitious concert being held in Leicester to support war-torn Ukraine.
The two-hour concert, which is being held on Sunday, May 8 at De Montfort Hall, is being billed as a “powerful and uplifting family event of hope and reflection”.
Over 25 acts are set to perform between , including Ukrainian dancers and singers from across the UK, including the award-winning Orlyk Ukrainian Folk Dance Ensemble, one of the few Ukrainian acts left in the world that dance and sing to live music.
It is hoped that the two-hour show will raise in excess of £30,000 for DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, which provides emergency support and protection for those forced to flee the country.
“We were lucky. We contacted De Montfort Hall who said we could have the venue for free, so 100 per cent of the ticket sales are going to the Ukraine Humanitarian appeal, and they’re also donating the bar profits as well”, revealed Lesia Smaditch, the event’s organiser, who lives in Leicester, but has family over in Ukraine.
“Like everybody else we were just desperate to do something to help the Ukrainian people in Ukraine, so we just sat down and thought what can we do? And I thought we could organise a concert, it’s what I do, so I set to work”, added Lesia, who runs community choirs across Leicestershire, through her business ‘Musical Village’.
“The planning has been 24-7. Because we were given the go-ahead, and there was six weeks until the event, it’s been crazy busy trying to find people to perform at the event, to compare and to pull a mast choir together, so it has been really, really busy, but exciting as well”.
“We’ve been inundated with so many emails and calls from people wanting to support the event, so it does seem like everybody does want to do their little bit. It’s really nice that the community of Leicester is behind Ukraine.”
Among those also set to perform at the event, are West End actor and singer Jonny Fines, EAGA Gospel choir, Shiamak Midlands Bollywood dancers, a massed community choir of singers from across Leicestershire, dancers from the Curve Young Company, Leicester Cathedral Choir singing John Rutter’s newly composed A Ukrainian Prayer, plus Rozanna Madylus (British-Ukrainian Mezzo-Soprano).
The event will be hosted by the BBC’s Amy Payne and ITV’s Rajiv Popat, who called it an “absolute pleasure and a privilege”.
“It’s exactly two months since the Russian invasion which has devastated the lives of millions of people. It’s hard to believe this is happening in the 21st century”, he said.
“Although the concert is an opportunity to remember and reflect, it will also be hugely uplifting and a celebration of the incredibly diverse communities here in Leicester”.
Mrs Smaditch said she is keeping her fingers crossed that everything runs smoothly on the day.
She is looking forward to a “hopeful and reflective”, event.
“We’re trying to create a hope and reflection kind of theme, so I think it’s going to be quite an emotional event, but quite powerful and uplifting”, she said.
“We’re trying to show the best off of Ukraine, and also to showcase what Leicester can offer as well, especially with all the diverse communities that we’ve got here as well”.
To find out more, or to book a ticket, visit: https://www.demontforthall.co.uk/event/concert-for-ukraine