Gallery, video: Thousands in Estonia sing for Ukraine in mass joint choir

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On Sunday evening, thousands of singers from across Estonia gathered at the Song Festival Grounds in Tallinn to sing a new choral arrangement of Ukrainian folk song "Oi u luzi chervona kalyna" ("Oh, the Red Viburnum in the Meadow"), which was recorded and aired on ETV on Monday night. Watch the video below.

Leading the project, which was conducted and promoted by prominent Estonian conductor Hirvo Surva, were photographer Kaupo Kikkas, entrepreneur Enno Rätsep and U.S.-based composer Jonas Tarm, who also composed Sunday's new choral arrangement of the iconic Ukrainian song.

"We'll be spreading the video made of this singing on social media channels to ensure that it reaches people all over the world and helps raise both financial and moral support for Ukraine," Kikkas said.

"A lot of musicians the world over have performed their own versions of  'Oh, the Red Viburnum in the Meadow' by now, as its message is one of unity and hope," Tarm said. "As the Estonians' song festival tradition is fundamentally tied to independence and we feel a strong sense of support when singing in a choir, then the best way to show our support to Ukraine is by singing this particular song together."

"We cannot feel weary from the war, or get used to it, and abandon Ukraine!" Rätsep said. "This is why this joint singing is taking place right now ⁠— at a time when, after three months, war-related news has already become background noise for many, but Ukraine continues to need both financial and moral support. And that is precisely the objective our joint singing fulfills."

Among registered participants on Sunday were more than 100 choirs and individual singers from across Estonia, including Hiiu, Ida-Viru, Järva, Lääne-Viru, Lääne, Rapla, Saare, Tartu and Viljandi counties, as well as choirs and singers from the U.S., U.K., Poland, Finland and Sweden.

Sunday's joint performance can be watched on ETV at 8 p.m. on Monday night. At 10:10 p.m., ETV will also be airing the new documentary "Mariupol: Chronicles of Hell."

The programs will be used to raise donations for MTÜ Slava Ukraini.

Callers from within Estonia can call to donate directly to Slava Ukraini at the following numbers:

9002406 — 10€
9002407 — 25€
9002408 — 50€

Watch the video of Sunday's performance of "Oi u luzi chervona kalyna" with English subtitles below.

Click here for credits, including a full list of participating choirs.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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