Kyiv Symphony to visit Scottsbluff on Sept. 18

September 17, 2018

SCOTTSBLUFF — Music speaks to the soul and breaks through the barriers of division to unify people and overcome struggles. That’s what the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus hope to share as they take the Midwest Theater stage on Tuesday, Sept. 18, at 7:30 p.m.

The Kyiv Symphony Orchestra is a Ukrainian orchestra that formed when the Iron Curtain fell between Russia and Ukraine. The orchestra performs spiritual, classical and Ukrainian folk music with a choir and string ensemble. Some of the performances are done a capella, as solos and duets.

“It is a world class string ensemble,” said tour coordinator Bob Stoecker.

While the full orchestra consists of roughly 140 musicians and vocalists, during the American Midwest tour, the orchestra and chorus are bringing their best 31 singers and seven musicians. The groups have done 13 tours in the United States since 1998. This year’s tour, though, is the first to be specifically for the Midwest region. The tour includes stops in Iowa, Missouri, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Tennessee.

As Stoecker was putting the tour together, he said they had to figure out whether they would travel through western Nebraska or Wyoming on their way from South Dakota to Colorado. He began looking for communities with good music programs and churches that spread the gospel through missionary work and he found Scottsbluff. He connected with Western Nebraska Community College Choral Activities Director Patrick Newell about setting up the performance. There are three options to set up a concert — love offering, sell tickets or charge churches.

“When Patrick and I talked about it, we thought a free will offering would be good,” said Stoecker. “It depends upon how God moves them for what they give to the ministry.”

The orchestra will perform on Sept. 18 at 7:30 p.m. The event is free for the public, with a free will offering to help pay for the tour expenses like airfare, work visas and transportation. The professional musicians are also paid.

The Ukraine Music Mission Kiev does spiritual and humanitarian mission work by using the sacred classics to proclaim the gospel to the country of Ukraine and the world. Since the conflict began, the mission has offered aid to widows, orphans and victims of war. Stoecker shared that there are three locations along the Ukrainian and Russian border where people have lost their homes. The mission travels to that region every Wednesday with four vans loaded with food to help soldiers and families who are afraid to leave their homes to get necessities. As the ministry celebrates 25 years, work continues as there is still a need.

As the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus make their way to Nebraska, Stoecker hopes the public comes to the Midwest Theater and enjoys the music and spreads the word as they continue their tour. He is also hopeful that people will get involved with the ministry and adopt a widow. There will be brochures available at the concert about the ministry.

The tour started on Sept. 7, with the final day of the tour on Oct. 16.

For more information about the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and tour details, visit musicmissionkiev.org.

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