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Boston Children’s Chorus sings a special song for Ukraine

BOSTON — People all across the Commonwealth are honoring Ukraine in different ways, including through music.

The Boston Children’s Chorus sang a special song to honor the war-torn country during its annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Concert at Symphony Hall on Sunday.

It was called A Prayer For Ukraine. And for a few members, the song hit close to home. “It will mean that I support my country, my grandparents, my aunts, my uncles all the people back there,” said  Yana

Tsibere. The 13-year-old was born and raised in Kiev and immigrated to Lexington a year and a half ago with her family.

Yana’s mother, Lena Sikorska, says Yana’s grandmother sleeps in a bomb shelter each night and Yana’s aunt and cousins, who escaped Kiev, are now sheltering in the western part of Ukraine. So this song for them is deeply personal. “This is the song Yana used to sing back in Ukraine. Whenever we are thinking about our country we are singing this prayer. So it means a lot for our family that this opportunity is given because it is very close to us,” she said.

The song is also very close to 17-year-old Sabrina Kogan of Newton.  Her parents were born in Russia and her extended family lives in Kiev. Sabrina’s grandmother is also forced to sleep in a bomb shelter to stay safe. “I’m singing more so from the heart. I was raised with Russian and Ukrainian culture and also just getting the language spoken as a child and being able to send a message in my language so much more meaningful especially,” Sabrina said.

A meaningful message of hope through the power of music. Sunday’s concert was the first time the Boston Children’s Chorus sang in front of an audience at Symphony Hall since before the pandemic.

Sabrina and Yana both say their families are trying to make it to Poland.

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