Kyiv children’s choir sings powerful ‘Carol of the Bells’ in New York Grand Central

2 December 2022, 17:51 | Updated: 4 December 2022, 20:59

Kyiv children’s choir
Kyiv children’s choir. Picture: Twitter / USAmbKyiv

By Kyle Macdonald

A spontaneous moment in busy Manhatten as young singers from Ukraine share a musical message with the world.

The Shchedryk Children’s Choir from Kyiv, Ukraine has travelled to America, from displaced homes in Poland, to sing a historic concert in the hallowed walls of New York’s Carnegie Hall.

Many of the young singers have lost friends and relatives in Russia’s war in Ukraine. They were forced to leave their homes and watched as Russian bombs destroyed their schools, churches and neighbourhoods.

But, this week, their response has been in music. In New York as part of their preparations for a concert at Carnegie Hall, the choir stopped off at another iconic Manhattan location. In the city’s Grand Central station, in jeans and winter coats, they sang the seasonal Ukrainian song ‘Carol of the Bells’.

Watch below as singers brought the busy station to a stilled hush, their voices resonating around the huge early-20th-century building.

Read more: Heart-wrenching tones of Kyiv children’s choir, silenced by Russian invasion, finally shared with the world

“Light amid darkness,” wrote United States Ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget A. Brink.

At Carnegie Hall, the choir’s 56 singers will perform traditional songs and carols alongside other Ukrainian artists in a program sponsored in part by the Ukrainian foreign ministry.

Shchedryk is the oldest running professional children’s choir in Kyiv, founded in 1971. In fact, the choir shares the same name as the Ukrainian folk chant on which this carol is based, which means ‘Bountiful Evening’.

To these incredible young singers, thank you for this gift.