Despite Russia’s attempt to forcibly annex Ukraine, sweet sounds are coming from the war-torn country.

On Monday evening, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine will perform at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers.

About what it means to be a participant of the event, WINK News spoke with the orchestra’s violinist Vladei Slavaluchenko.

“Our weapon is music, it’s art, and we can speak directly to the human heart and remind people of peace and human values,” Slavaluchenko said.

Vlady Slavuchanka demonstrates his impressive skill as a violinist. CREDIT: WINK News

The 66 members of the orchestra pick up their instruments and get to work in Southwest Florida.

The Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine is making stops across the United States, and Monday night is Fort Myers Happy Night.

While the Florida sunshine may help visitors live in the present and forget their troubles at home, that’s not the case for this orchestra. Many of them cannot help but think about the reality at home. Band members can find it difficult to even connect with their family and friends back home while they struggle with the realities of war around them.

“They had no electricity, blackouts. yeah So you have to wonder if everything is ok? So it’s a terrible feeling,” said Slavuchanka.

“Despite the fact that rockets are flying in the air. During the day and in the middle of the night, alarms go off across the country, bringing life to a standstill. Within an hour after these alarms, everything normalizes on some level,” said Teodor Kuchar, conductor of the orchestra.

Their new normal is anything but. Even so, an orchestra touring the country is a way to represent your country during a difficult time. And even a way to say thank you for the support provided by the United States.

A Ukrainian soldier walks past a destroyed Russian combat vehicle in Buchi, Ukraine, Thursday, April 7, 2022. Russian troops left behind destroyed buildings, streets littered with wrecked cars and residents in dire need of food and other aid in the northern city Ukraine, fueling Kiev’s calls on Thursday for more Western support to help stop Moscow’s offensive before it refocuses on the country’s east. (AP Photo/Vadim Girda)

“If it weren’t for the support. From the financial and military point of view of the United States of America, it is very possible that Ukraine will already be a ready country,” Kuchar said.

The orchestra will perform 40 concerts across the United States and conclude on March 3 in Iowa.

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