The Waynesburg Central Elementary School Orchestra showed their support for the people of Ukraine with a special performance on Thursday.
Fifth and sixth grade band members performed and recorded the Ukrainian national anthem, which the Central Greene School District will send to the Ukrainian National Embassy in Washington, D.C.
The embassy informed the school district that it would share the video with the warning-torn country via social media.
The students of the orchestra had rehearsed the anthem “The glory of Ukraine has not perished” for three weeks.
Led by music teacher and band manager Jason Falvo, the students performed the catchy tune while wearing blue and yellow shirts, representing the colors of the Ukrainian flag.
The group members also learned to say “We are with you” in Ukrainian “to show how much we care about them, we stand by them and how students from all over the world from a small town in the south- western Pennsylvania can do what we can for them,” Falvo said.
The phrase was also printed on blue and yellow sheets and posted on the front row of desks.
The performance was the brainchild of Falvo, who together with the nation saw Ukrainians bravely fighting to repel the Russian invasion and preserve their democracy and independence from Russia. He was particularly struck by the impact of the war on Ukrainian children.
“I was thinking of ways our students could help. How could I help, a music teacher, a band leader? said Falvo. “It then occurred to me to arrange the Ukrainian national anthem for our students to play, and to try to have it sent to Ukraine.”
The students were thrilled to have the chance to learn and perform the song, and to let Ukrainian children know that people around the world, including in Greene County, care about them.
The show allowed students to experience the universality of music and gain insight into current world events and their impact on the world.
“I couldn’t be prouder of our students for their hard work and dedication, and for them I think of the other kids,” Falvo said.
Ukrainian poet Pavlo Chubynsky wrote the lyrics to the national anthem in 1862. The score was composed by West Ukrainian composer and priest Mykhailo Verbytsky in 1863. It was adopted as the national anthem in 1992, after the country’s independence of the Soviet Union, and the lyrics were updated in 2003.
Falvo’s arrangement was one he adapted from the United States Armed Forces version of the anthem.
Superintendent Dr. Kevin Monaghan was moved by the students’ performance.
“It was amazing. It blew my mind,” Monaghan said. “That’s what makes Central Greene special. there is something they can do to help.They looked beyond their own borders and showed solidarity with those in need.