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Ukraine orchestra members ‘very excited,’ ‘grateful’ to share music, peace in Carmel

CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — Exactly a year to the day since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Ukraine’s national orchestra played before a sold-out crowd Saturday night at the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts.

Jeffrey McDermott, president and chief executive officer of the Center for the Performing Arts, said of the members of the Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine, “I think they are very excited to be here and I think they are grateful to be here and to bring this sort of message of music and peace really all over the United States.”

McDermott adds that it usually takes 18 to 24 months for the center to book performances, the orchestra’s performance exactly a year since the war began was a coincidence.

Lviv was the largest city in western Ukraine prior to the war. The orchestra kept a busy tour schedule even as the war raged on, including a stop at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

Anya Aslanova, a volunteer with Indiana Supports Ukraine, told News 8, “It’s an amazing coincidence, I don’t know if I would have come, or if I would have heard the Lviv Philharmonic Orchestra is coming.”

Aslanova’s group was created when the war started a year ago and, so far, has donated 2-1/2 tons of medical supplies, blankets and clothes to Ukraine. “To see the outpour from Americans, from fellow Ukrainians, from everyone, from Hoosiers, that’s been amazing,” Aslanova said.

Aslanova says donations are still needed to support soldiers and civilians.