People of Berwick urged to show support for Ukraine

A musical service is to be held in Berwick town centre to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

By Joshua Wright
Tuesday, 15th March 2022, 5:37 pm
Updated Tuesday, 15th March 2022, 5:57 pm
The mini-concert will be held on the steps of Berwick Town Hall.
The mini-concert will be held on the steps of Berwick Town Hall.

Organisers are asking people to wear the colours of the Ukrainian flag – yellow and blue – and listen to performers on the steps of the town hall at noon on Saturday.

The event has been organised by Northumberland and Borders Concert Band and the Berwick-upon-Tweed Concert Band, which is run by Nick Elwood.

Mr Elwood has also received support from county councillor Georgina Hill (Berwick East) and Berwick’s deputy mayor, Mike Greener.

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Mr Elwood said: “I am delighted that this event is taking place and we can show support for Ukraine. I would encourage as many people to attend as possible and for local musicians to make contact with me and take part.

"Music is a bit of a universal language, and I think it appeals to everybody. I also feel quite angry about what Russia is doing.

"It could escalate, and I just thought it was important that we show the Ukrainian people that we’re behind them, and also to support each other.

"One unfortunate positive side to it [Ukraine] is that it is bringing a lot of people together from different backgrounds, countries and classes in support.”

One of the hymns to be performed, Prayer to Ukraine, was first written as a poem in 1885 during the time of the Imperial Russian Empire’s suppression of the Ukrainian language, and then adapted into a patriotic music composition by composer Mykola Lysenko. It first became widespread during the Ukrainian War of Independence in 1917.

The national anthem of Ukraine, Shche ne vmerla Ukrainy I slava, I volia’, will also be sang and organisers have said all musicians are welcome to take part.

Cllr Hill said: “This is a wonderful way for Berwick to show support for Ukraine – music is a universal language and can touch and express our emotions in an unrivalled way.

“We also stand in solidarity with ordinary Russian people who oppose this war.”

To view the event’s sheet music beforehand, or if you are a musician with an inquiry, email Nick Elwood via [email protected] or call 07598 121853.