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Ukrainian pianist holds concert in Palm Beach Gardens to raise money for refugees

'We pray for the war to end as soon as possible,' Nina Kanyeva says
Posted at 10:58 AM, Mar 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-21 10:59:21-04

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — The power of music brought people together Sunday at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Palm Beach Gardens.

"Music is the language of the soul. No translation is needed," said Rev. Dr. Sandford Groff the Associate Rector at St. Mark's Episcopal Church.

Ukranian pianist Nina Kanyeva, who is also a Holocaust survivor, held a fundraiser concert for loved ones in Ukraine.

"We pray for the war to end as soon as possible so children wouldn't be dying. Children and women and old people, and of course young men," Kanyeva said through a translator.

Kanyeva is classically trained and played pieces by Mozart, Bach and more at Sunday's event.

Natasha Patterson, played concert at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, March 20, 2022
Natasha Patterson was among those who played at the church in Palm Beach Gardens.

In between songs, her family shared stories of her preschool years in a Nazi slave labor camp.

Her daughter-in-law, Natasha Patterson, who is classically trained, also played songs that she composed herself.

"It would be good if everybody could do something to help and to use their talent, their time," Patterson said.

People filled the pews of St Mark's Episcopal Church to watch her performance donating whatever they could for the cause.

Rev. Jim Cook at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, March 20, 2022
Rev. Jim Cook speaks about Sunday's concert at his church.

"I was thrilled we had about 100 folks here. I don't know how much money we raised, but you know it doesn't really matter. The point is that we're trying, that people are here," said Rev. Jim Cook with St Mark's Episcopal Church.

Through the church, proceeds will go to benefit the World's Central Kitchen, which has been making strides feeding Ukrainians overseas in need.

"Even though we can't go there, and we can't fight necessarily. We sure can connect," Cook said.