(Philadelphia, PA—June 29, 2023)—The Philadelphia Orchestra recently partnered with the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine and America Houses in Kyiv, Odesa, and Lviv to make its 2023 Virtual School Concert accessible to Ukrainian students and refugees. The 25-minute program, which includes performances and educational commentary from Philadelphia Orchestra musicians, was updated to include Ukrainian subtitles to reach communities impacted by the war in Ukraine. The collaboration, made possible due to the Orchestra’s longstanding relationship with the State Department, marks the first time since the full-scale Russian invasion that a performing arts nonprofit has provided virtual programming to Ukrainian students through the Embassy.

On Thursday, April 20, 35 teachers from Ukraine participated in a special webinar to learn more about the program and to gain insight on how to expand upon the material with their students. Following the webinar, the School Concert was distributed by the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine and America Houses in Kyiv, Odesa, and Lviv to 58 classrooms across 18 cities in Ukraine and beyond. Of the registrants, 23 classrooms had been displaced due to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and are receiving remote education by Ukrainian educators.

Anna Boiko, an English language teacher in Kyiv, said, “As an English language teacher, I found the resources and knowledge gained from the workshop to be incredibly helpful in teaching my 4th-grade students. In particular, I used the materials in my Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) lessons with a group of 16 young learners, who were fascinated by music and musical instruments. The workshop provided me with insights on how to organize lessons in a more engaging and interactive manner, which helped me to better cater to my students’s interests. The video recording of the concert was a highlight for my class, and for some of them, it was their first time watching a real orchestra play.”

“We are deeply moved by the opportunity to share the Virtual School Concert globally, particularly with schools in Ukraine,” said Matías Tarnopolsky, president and CEO of The Philadelphia Orchestra and Kimmel Center, Inc. “Music has the undeniable power to connect and heal communities, and we hope that this program brought joy and comfort to those who experienced it. We are grateful to the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine and America House for making this opportunity possible.”

America House is a cultural center and resource in Ukraine for American culture, education, and information with spaces in KyivLviv, and Odesa. America House organizes a wide variety of activities, including English-language programs, skill-building workshops, cultural events, art exhibits, concerts, and more. America House is a space where you can think and work creatively, build cultural bridges, and become a changemaker. 

The world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra strives to share the transformative power of music with the widest possible audience, and to create joy, connection, and excitement through music in the Philadelphia region, across the country, and around the world. Through innovative programming, robust education initiatives, a commitment to its diverse communities, and the embrace of digital outreach, the ensemble is creating an expansive and inclusive future for classical music and furthering the place of the arts in an open and democratic society.

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Jane H. Kesson School Concert Program is the ideal way to expose students in grades 3–5 to the exciting and powerful art form of orchestral music. School Concerts familiarize students with the environment and traditions of a concert hall, equip them with fundamental musical vocabulary, and cultivate a lifelong interest in classical music.