Musicians Unite for Ukraine
ARLINGTON, TEX. – As war in Ukraine has become more devastating, Southwestern Adventist University’s (SWAU) music department reached out to the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) to inquire about a partnership to make a difference in Ukraine. SWAU’s music department offered what it does best, producing beautiful music, as an idea to fundraise for the extensive relief operations going on in the war-torn area. Michael Kruger, ADRA president, was most grateful for the collaborative idea. To maximize this fundraising effort, the music department organized a united concert featuring SWAU’s University Singers and Donne Cantanti, the Southwestern Chamber Orchestra and The Chisholm Trail Academy Honors Choir.
On April 23, 2022, SWAU’s music department presented “For Ukraine,” an Adventist Development and Relief Agency International Benefit Concert, in Arlington, Tex. About 80 student musicians came together for the purpose of using their talents to raise funds to help those suffering in Ukraine and several hundred people attended the performance.
“The concert was a way to raise awareness for people to see and hear more about what ADRA is doing and to be inspired to help,” explained Jonathan E. L. Wall, director of the University Singers and Donne Cantanti. “It was a concert sharing hope to those in desperate need.” This theme of hope inspired every musician, and the audience felt their compassion through each piece, especially “Shche ne vmerla Ukrayina,” Ukraine’s national anthem, or, translated, “Ukraine’s Glory Hasn’t Perished.”
At the concert, SWAU President Ana Patterson shared, “Knowledge, faith and service is our tagline at Southwestern Adventist University. As an institution, we welcome opportunities to engage in service. One of those opportunities came through this wonderful concert which benefitted ADRA’s humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. We were honored to be part of this altruistic initiative and proud of our students, faculty and staff who shared their valuable time and talents to help others.”
Between musical features, three powerful videos aired from ADRA that showed the grateful people of Ukraine receiving food, shelter and lifesaving supplies from ADRA workers laboring day and night within the country and surrounding areas. Michael Kruger, ADRA International president, sent his sincere thanks from Turkey by video, where he was meeting with ADRA country directors, reviewing their humanitarian strategy for ongoing operations for Ukraine.
“We are grateful to each of you for coming out tonight to support this historic humanitarian cause. I regret I could not be in attendance,” said Michael Kruger. “As the Global humanitarian Agency of the Adventist Church, ADRA reaffirms its commitment to serve, protect and stand for the people of Ukraine and all communities impacted by this unending crisis. I want to personally thank each singer and musician performing tonight for giving your time and talents. We appreciate the generosity and applaud you for putting your passion to purpose to support ADRA International’s humanitarian relief operations in Ukraine. We can’t thank you enough for trusting ADRA to bring love and compassion to the people of Ukraine. Please continue to pray for the millions of victims impacted by this monumental crisis and for the safety of thousands of ADRA workers and volunteers leading this crucial mission. Southwestern University, our sincerest gratitude once again for your generous partnership. We are, and will forever, remain grateful.”
By Michelle Bergmann