It was amazing! We were honored and delighted to welcome the Shchedryk, Kyiv Children’s Choir which performed brilliantly at the Helligandskirken in Copenhagen! Shchedryk is a choir with 50 years of history, making it one of the oldest-running and the most internationally acclaimed choirs in Ukraine, and a laureate of numerous Grand Prix at international festivals.
“Shchedryk” is also the name of a Ukrainian song storytelling from pre-Christian times, when the new year started in spring; the bird mentioned in the song — a little swallow — is associated with spring and revival. The Ukrainian folk song was later arranged by the Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych in the early 20th century. Shchedryk’s concerts in Copenhagen are dedicated to Shchedryk the choir and Shchedryk the carol, mostly known worldwide as “Carol of the Bells.”
Thanks to the tireless work of our volunteers and partners, the concert was sold out, and 500-person audience had a chance to experience the international Christmas classics and Ukrainian carols with culminating in a song that became a symbol of Christmas all over the world.
One of the magical moments of Shchedryk’s concert at Helligandskirken was the delightful surprise of the Danish Boys Choir (Det Danske Drengekor) appearance and passing to the young Ukrainian musicians the candles expressing hope for peace and solidarity.
“The Danes understand music as resistance better than anyone else. The performance of Danish songs during World War II was a symbol of preserving the Danish identity, and national dignity, and a manifestation of defiance against the inhuman system of Nazism. Ukrainians know this like no one else — we carried our culture and music and singing, practically underground, through the years of the Soviet totalitarian system, preserving dignity and choosing freedom. Today, the Shchedryk Choir’s performances around the world are another proof: Ukraine exists and will continue to exist. And the joint performance and greetings from the Danish Boys Choir Chapel is solidarity and the beginning of a friendship with the choir of the country which is united with Ukraine by the common values of freedom and human dignity,” commented co-founder of Ukraine House in Denmark Nataliya Popovych.
We are so grateful to The Ukrainian-Danish Youth House and Augustinus Fonden for providing financial support to organize the event; the Ukrainian Institute - Український інститут for their help in making it possible for the Shchedryk Youth Choir to perform for the Danish audience en route from New York to Kyiv; the Embassy of Ukraine to the Kingdom of Denmark for their continued support and presence; Bevar Ukraine and Міжнародний Інститут Культурної Дипломатії for providing informational assistance for the event.
At home in Ukraine, Christmas has always been the most joyous holiday for a family to come together and celebrate the special day with rich Ukrainian cultural traditions. Unfortunately, this year, many Ukrainian families will not see Christmas lights, many of them will not be together, and many more will not have the strength to sing. To counter the horrors of this unjust war against Ukraine, it is a privilege to bring the Ukrainian families in Copenhagen together, in the spirit of trust, love, and hope, by bringing powerful young voices of the Shchedryk Youth Choir from Kyiv to you.
Thank you, dear friends, for your support!
Photos by Alex Samorodov and Anastasia Seriukova