A Safe Place for the Ukrainian Refugees living in VT MARCH 11TH 2023 7:00 PM SOUTH CHURCH HALL- St. Johnsbury Academy Campus BENEFIT CONCERT FOR UKRAINIAN REFUGEES LIVING IN VERMONT provided by The Highlands View Chamber Ensemble with Community Chorus, - 1

Ukrainian refugees at Mercy House.

A benefit concert in support of the Ukrainian refugees living at the Agape House of Mercy will be Saturday, March 11, at 7 p.m. at South Church Hall on the St. Johnsbury Academy campus. The concert will feature a performance by the Highland Views String Ensemble and other guest musicians.

Kathy Charlestream, director of this highly regarded ensemble of 25 string players feels that music is a universal language. A string teacher for 35 years, Charlestream organized this concert out of “a passion to communicate to the Ukrainians the love and support we have for them through music.” Her program will include classical works by Corelli, Bach, Vivaldi, Rachmaninoff, and Handel. Contemporary composers include John Williams from his score for the film Schindler’s List, a fun Ukrainian folk tune by Hopak, and other energetic pieces by various composers.

A community choir under the direction of Alan Rowe of the St. Johnsbury Academy’s music department will be singing selections from Handel's Messiah and choral settings of several hymns.

One of the Ukrainians currently living at the Agape House, Jose Arana Sanchez, will be singing a song about war that will end when daylight will come. The chorus translates “Embrace me tenderly and don’t let me go. May your spring come.” Sanchez says this song is familiar to every Ukrainian for its emotional appeal during this time of war.

The Agape House of Mercy is a former nursing home in Derby that has become a shelter for people from Ukraine who have been displaced by the Russian invasion of their country. Dr. Theresa Cianciolo and pastor Scott Cianciolo founded the House of Mercy to provide a safe place for those seeking time to heal from the trauma of war. There are currently over 30 people living in the House of Mercy, including the Cianciolos and their three sons, two of whom are adopted twins from Odessa, Ukraine.

There is no stated admission charge for the concert, which is being underwritten by several sponsoring businesses and individuals. Donations in support of the refugees will be accepted during the concert.