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A chuch in Woodstock opened its doors for a concert in support of the people of Ukraine

COURTESY PORTLAND CHAMBER MUSIC - Anya Kalina, here singing with her Portland Chamber Music colleagues, in a recent free concert in Woodstock at All Saints Episcopal Church. As its end, attendees were encouraged to contribute to Ukranian relief efforts. The second half of a concert held on Saturday night, April 30th, at Woodstock's All Saints Episcopal Church, offered only Ukrainian music; these five fairly-short pieces were, in turn — soaring, subdued, brilliant, and beautiful. The free benefit concert was held to support relief efforts in Ukraine.

Two cellos, one flute, a violin, and a clarinet were the performing ensemble, composed of five extremely accomplished musicians. Seven years ago, Portland Chamber Music began making classical music accessible, at no cost, for many different kinds of communities — churches, schools, public libraries, retirement communities and, more recently, correctional institutions and prisons.

The soprano vocalist was Portland Chamber Music's Executive Artistic Director, Anya Kalina, who was born in Ukraine, and is the daughter of two opera singers. At a very early age she began making vocal recordings, performing in concerts, and appearing in radio and television performances. Kalina's full and versatile soprano voice accompanied several pieces, filling the large Woodstock sanctuary, and blending with the other musicians' playing.

In the early years of the 21 Century, Kalina moved to the United States — first to Los Angeles, and then in 2009 to Portland. Since then her love of bringing classical music into communities has impacted many people, and educated them about music composed around the world.

One of the pieces in the April 30th concert was a composition by Portland Chamber Music violinist Regina Sadowski. She wrote it after she and other members of the ensemble had performed in the Larch Correctional Center in Washington State.

Entitled "The Chamber of Your Soul", the piece reflects the profound experience of presenting classical music to inmates -- some of whom had never before heard such music performed. The inmates proved to be grateful for the concert, and their gratitude moved Sadowski to create a subdued and beautifully nuanced piece.

In the Woodstock "Standing With Ukraine" concert, the audience of some 150 appeared to be impressed and moved by the music, performed by clarinetist Christopher Cox; an outstanding cello duet composed by Ukrainian Reinhold Gliere, and rendered by cellists Jonathan Cheskin and Jonah Thomas; and lilting and energetic flute playing by Lynda Hess. Hess also arranged the five Ukrainian musical pieces offered in the second half of the program. Anya Kalina's singing complemented the experience.

At the end of the concert, church member Bill Habel encouraged those present to donate to at least one of three nonprofits currently doing relief work in Ukraine: The International Committee of the Red Cross; Mercy Corps; and UNICEF. "There is no overhead. Every penny goes to Ukrainian relief,"Habel assured. The free concert ultimately raised a total close to $4,200.

If you, too, would like to support relief efforts in Ukraine, you can contribute online or by mail to the same three organizations: The International Committee of the Red Cross, at www.icrc.org; Portland-based Mercy Corps, at www.mercycorps.org; and UNICEF — www.unicefusa.org

To keep up with the various public musical events coming to Woodstock's All Saints in the future, go online — www.allsaintspdx.org


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