‘United in Music’: Over 500 young musicians perform Ukraine’s winning Eurovision entry

12 May 2023, 15:39

Newham Music Hub released a cover of the 2022 Eurovision winning entry
Newham Music Hub released a cover of the 2022 Eurovision winning entry. Picture: Newham Music Hub / Alamy

By Sophia Alexandra Hall

Watch hundreds of children from London perform last year’s winning Eurovision song in perfect Ukrainian…

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As Eurovision fever hits the UK, musicians across the country are celebrating the arrival of the annual European song contest in time for the final this weekend.

Earlier this week, the English National Opera performed a medley of Eurovision tunes in Liverpool city centre for visiting fans, and on the eve of the contest final, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra hosted a concert of fan favourites.

But one of the best celebrations we’ve seen of the arrival of the competition in the UK for the first time since 1998, is this cover of last year’s Eurovision winner ‘Stefania’.

Performed by over 500 children and young refugees from the London Borough of Newham, their multi-instrumental take on the song by Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra is inspired by this year’s Eurovision theme: ‘United by Music’.

Watch the emotive and impressive rendition below...

Read more: Eurovision winner, Kalush Orchestra, brings traditional Ukrainian woodwind into the 21st century

Newham Music in East London is an independent charity that brings music to over 21,000 children and young people annually.

The multi-award-winning Music Education Hub works with schools, community centres and local cultural organisations to deliver the transformational effects of music in their part of East London.

On discovering that the UK would be hosting Eurovision 2023 on behalf of last year's winners, Ukraine, Newham Music told Classic FM that they “immediately knew” they had to cover ‘Stefania’, the winning song from last year’s competition.

The charity told Classic FM, “Given that many Ukrainian refugees now call Newham their home, and bearing in mind this year’s Eurovision theme of United By Music, this song felt like a genuine opportunity to welcome and connect with our young people through music.”

Read more: What is the Eurovision opening music and how long has ‘Te Deum’ featured in the song contest?

The first semi-final of the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest, which took place earlier this week
The first semi-final of the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest, which took place earlier this week. Picture: Getty

The charity continued, “We shared learning resources on our website that could be adapted to any instrument, voice or ability so that as many schools and young people could get involved. Over 500 young musicians from ages 6-18 are featured in the video and they were all so inspired to take part.”

Clive Clifford-Frith, the teacher who led the musical project shared with Classic FM, “Our Ukrainian students lit up when everyone learnt this song.

“When they met the video’s Ukrainian director, Alina Shaposhnyk, and she spoke to them in their mother tongue in the classroom it was overwhelmingly emotional!

“We loved making this video,” Clifford-Frith said. “And living this year’s Eurovision theme: ‘United by Music’!”