Truro Cathedral Choir’s recording of Ave Maria, by Ukrainian contemporary composer Valentin Silvestrov, will be performed at the Cathedral and released as a recording on YouTube on Mothering Sunday this weekend.
The Crowdfunder, in aid of Unicef’s emergency appeal ‘Protect Children in Ukraine’, was inspired by young choristers who wanted to use their talents to help their peers caught up in the war.
By extraordinary coincidence, Ukrainian refugees Akim, 12, and his mother Tanya Huhnina, who fled Cherkasy in Ukraine to join her family in Cornwall last week, visited Truro Cathedral as the choir rehearsed the anthem.
The mother and son had been shopping for shoes in Truro for Akim’s first day in a Cornish school and had felt moved to step inside the cathedral.
When she realised what was happening in the cathedral, Tanya said: "God has led us here tonight."
The choir, with 34 children and 12 adult professional singers, received support with their Ukrainian pronunciation from Prof Marta Jenkala, Associate Professor of Ukrainian at University College, London.
Dean of Truro Roger Bush said: “This will be a very poignant Mothering Sunday in the UK. As we celebrate with family at home, our thoughts will naturally turn to the plight of millions of Ukrainian mothers, courageously attempting to bring their children to safety, including those who are making their way to our shores.
“Whatever your faith, we hope that this beautiful Ukrainian Ave Maria offers a powerful channel for our feelings, thoughts and prayers.’
Truro Cathedral's Director of Music, Christopher Gray, said: “It has been a joy to discover some of Ukraine’s music recently in preparation for our Crowdfunder. When I came across the music of Valentin Silvestrov it had a stillness and sheer beauty that stopped me in my tracks."
Marc Gregory, who is one of the bass singers in the choir, said: “Our whole choir community is behind this initiative and we hope people in Cornwall and further afield will help us do something, however small, to support Ukrainian children caught up in this present-day horror.”
Josh, 13, Head Chorister, said: "Some of us have given our pocket money and we hope people will give lots, lots more to help us make a difference.”
The recording will be released on YouTube on Mothering Sunday this weekend and the choir will also sing the song live at the 4pm service in Truro Cathedral that day.
It is the second Crowdfunder by the choir – last year they raised more than £8,000 for UNICEF’s VaccinAid appeal as part of their ‘Sing2G7’ programme.