Last week a group of homeschooled music students put on an evocative performance to help highlight and raise funds for the people affected by the war in Ukraine.
The Whakaaro Tahi Trust students, supported by tutor Jane Hillier, performed in the beautiful Te Ahu atrium, to once again celebrate New Zealand Music Month as well as to raise much-needed funds for Ukraine.
"It is always an honour and experience to make music in this space, and this time proved no exception," Hillier said.
Music student Kristina is New Zealand born of Ukrainian heritage and spent time in recent months writing the heartfelt lyrics of the song, as well as playing a solo piano piece as this year's event finale.
Kristina debuted her special song at the event that highlighted the plight of the Ukrainian people due to the war.
According to Hillier, the group worked together on the melody of the song as well as the instruments, bringing an orchestral touch to the work.
Haunting strings introduce the mood, then lead to the refrain, which all students play and sing along to.
Guitarist Genevieve added another feel to the poignant lyrics, reading the four verses, while a soft chorus played under each.
Before her piano solo, Kristina softly read the Russian lines of the refrain, which had an impact all its own and adding yet another dimension.
Hillier said Kristina's piano solo also complemented the mood and solemnity of the war, with her composition beginning as lento (slowly) before building and carrying the listener -representing the strength and resilience of the Ukrainian people.
"We wish to thank Sharyn van Heerden and her Whakaaro Tahi Community Trust for enabling all this to keep happening, by sourcing funding for the programme, the tutors and many of the instruments," Hillier said.
On Tuesday the students, along with tutor Jen Whittington, performed this piece and others at Pak'nSave where they raised $678 for Ukraine in under two hours.
"We want to thank the new owner, Mr Doug Cochrane, for this opportunity and to the public for their very generous donations."