Ukrainian musicians delight as the Shrewsbury Orchestra share instruments ahead of the Castle concert

The Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra welcomed Ukrainian refugees to play at its concert

The Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra have shared their instruments with the refugees and together they will play a benefit concert for Shropshire Supports Refugees at Shrewsbury Castle on Wednesday 13 July.

Rehearsals are going well so far. One refugee, Nana Illarionova, 23, had to give up her violin when she fled Ukraine. She borrowed an instrument from violist Jane Park to practice on.

Olena Sazonkina, a music teacher and pianist in Kyiv, arranged for a refugee choir to sing the Ukrainian anthem at the concert. They will be joined by a Ukrainian conductor. “I am amazed at the efforts the orchestra is making to raise funds and provide support for refugees and musicians,” Olena said.

The program will include favorites such as the theme music “Superman”, Pomp & Circumstance, Jerusalem, Radetsky March, “The Big Apple”, Die Meistersingers Overture, Nimrod and many more.

Jon Box, Chairman of the Shrewsbury Symphony Orchestra, said: “It was lovely to see the joy on Nana’s face as she played the violin which Jane had lent her.

“We are delighted to involve the Ukrainian community in Shropshire in our concert. We hope this will help the incredible work of Amanda Jones and her team at Shropshire Supports Refugees to continue to provide services to the many displaced families arriving in Shropshire. .”

Amanda Jones of Shropshire Supports Refugees said: “’Currently we have 350 Ukrainians housed in Shropshire and another 372 on the way!

“We are also supporting 22 families from the Middle East and a number of asylum seekers. We rely heavily on donations to maintain the level of support we provide. Our help desk sees up to 50 people a day and we have to make sure the fridges and cupboards are well stocked.

“We also run a minimum of nine lessons per week out of the hub and evening classes and ESOL (English lessons) at hotels in Telford that cater to Afghans. Visitors can access help, signage and support in all aspects of their lives from here. »

The concert starts at 7 p.m., doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost £2 for adults (free for children) with a suggested minimum donation of £5 to Shropshire Supports Refugees. To book in advance, visit

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