‘Sounds Like Ukraine’ fundraiser concert at Central Library this Sunday

Music will ring out from Swindon’s Central Library this Sunday when it hosts a fundraising concert for Ukraine.

Published: Wednesday, 30th March 2022

Ukrainian concert in Central Library

Local music social enterprise Sounds Like Women is partnering with Swindon Libraries for Sounds Like Ukraine, a fundraising afternoon of live music this Sunday, 3 April. The event will also feature a photography exhibition, a pop-up choir and café.

The concert will feature performances between 2pm and 6pm from Basia Bartz, Marina Avetisian, Tracy Graham, Will Lawton, Bob Heath, Jaybirds, and the organiser Luiza Staniec-Moir.

Luiza said she was compelled to organise a fundraising event after seeing the situation in Ukraine and speaking to family and friends in Poland.

“The musical community has been really supportive and keen to be involved," said Luiza. "We’ve got a great mix of talented artists from different genres coming together to perform in Swindon for this important cause.

"Come along and spend the afternoon with beautiful live music, photography and books, in a friendly and warm atmosphere, and enjoy a cup of tea and cakes. All profits go to Polska Akcja Humanitarna (PAH) to support people at the Polish and Ukrainian border fleeing from the war.”

Swindon group Sunshine Singers will take over from 6pm until 8pm with a pop-up choir event. Choir leader Sarah Summers was keen to be involved.

Sarah said: “We’d love to welcome as many people as possible. The choir is open to anyone regardless of ability or experience. The aim is to raise money, with suggested minimum donations of £5, and have fun and try something new. I’ve chosen songs which show support for Ukraine, including Stand by Me, You’ll Never Walk Alone and Lean on Me.”

To book a place, email sunshinesingers.swindon@gmail.com. People can join on the day if there are spaces available.

Swindon-based Ukrainian photographer Vadym Gurevych will be exhibiting and selling a selection of his photos of Swindon and Ukraine. Since the war started, Vadym has been heavily involved with several charities and organisations that are sending humanitarian aid to Ukraine and Ukrainians outside of the country.

He said: “I always get lots of support when I share my Swindon photos on local social media groups. I had been thinking about selling prints of my photos to help raise money for people in my home country. So it was perfect timing when the Library asked me to be involved. I have a range of photos of Swindon and the surrounding area, from Old Town to Liddington to Peatmoor, so there should be something for everyone.

"Advanced Printing Services in Cheney Manor are kindly sponsoring my exhibition by supplying prints of my photos to sell on the day, so 100 per cent of donations will go to charity. I’ll be signing them so they will be a special, limited edition.”

Allie Brown, Development and Innovation Manager for Swindon Libraries, is delighted that Central Library is hosting the event.

“As well as hopefully raising lots of money for Ukraine, it will bring the community together and showcase local creative talent, explained Allie. "The musicians are all fantastic international artists who usually play in big music venues, so we’re very lucky to be hosting them.

"I’ve followed Vadym’s work on social media for a few years, so when Luiza suggested the event, I wanted him to be part of it. We’re keen to host more events in libraries, so this will be a great taster for everyone.

"Community support has been overwhelming and we hope this will continue on the day with lots of people coming and contributing. Everyone involved is donating their time for free, so every penny donated will go to charity.” 

Volunteers from Sounds like Women and the Polish Saturday School will be running a pop-up café from 2pm until 6pm, selling tea, coffee, soft drinks and cakes. With Polish Delicatessen ‘Smaczek’ in the town centre donating cakes to help with the fundraising effort.

You can find out more about the event on Swindon Libraries’ Facebook page.

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