By Chris Ruel
The Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra, Lyric Opera Stage Artists, and Ukrainian musicians presented a benefit concert, “We Stand with Ukraine,” at St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in Chicago on Sept. 9, 2022.
The benefit raised over $48,000, according to the chief organizer of the event, Principal Bassoon Preman Tilson. Half the proceeds are earmarked to assist refugee children who have arrived in Chicago from the war-torn country. The Orchestra will wire the remainder to the Ukrainian Medical Association of North America (UMANA) to provide medical supplies for Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art and the Kyiv Committee of Chicago Sister Cities International hosted the concert.
ABC Chicago 7 reported that 31 children have arrived in Chicago, home to over 45,000 residents who claim Ukrainian ancestry. Those children are now enrolled in St. Nicholas Cathedral School, with Principal Anna Cirilli noting she expects more children to arrive in the coming weeks.
Attending the performance were Cardinal Blaise Cupich and Mayor Lori Lightfoot. In the ABC 7 report, Cupich stated, “Here in Chicago, we have a significant Ukrainian community, and I think it’s important for all of us to take responsibility to defend democracy and freedom throughout the world.”