An orchestral event in a village church has raised money for Ukrainian refugees living with host families.

The weekend before last St Nicholas Church, in the village of Islip, hosted “Come and Sing Vivaldi Gloria” accompanied by a 17-piece orchestra, raising funds to support Ukrainian refugees currently living with local families.

Led by David Blackwell, organist and choir master at the church, the choir all came together for the first time at 2pm.

They were ready with the orchestra to perform to a packed church at 5pm.

The group had never all sung together before, and as well as Vivaldi’s Gloria they also sang two pieces in Ukrainian, including a rendition of the country’s national anthem as the finale.

During the rehearsal the singers were coached in their Ukrainian pronunciation by Hannah, who with her son, is currently being hosted by a local family.

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Mr Blackwell said: “The choir did a fantastic job, raising money for a brilliant cause and having an enjoyable afternoon while increasing awareness of the project to help local Ukrainian families.

“All monies raised go to the Islip-Ukraine Community Support fund, and the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC).

“The local project aims to provide welcome packs with practical things such as maps, timetables, a free sim card, gift vouchers, plug adaptors, notebooks and pencils, educational equipment and language lessons.

“As well as a subsidised account for each family at the Islip village shop.”

If you would like to support the project there is a Just Giving Page


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This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

Get in touch with him by emailing:

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1

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