Winchester`s United Church provided a splendid venue for a charity concert held on Saturday, November 18 in support of the DEC Ukrainian Appeal.

Based in Hungerford, the Kennet Accordion Orchestra treated an enthusiastic audience to a varied selection of tunes, many in arrangements by its livewire conductor Nigel Pasby. 

It was a good idea to begin their programme with a moving performance of the Ukrainian National Anthem, especially as the guest soloist was the Ukrainian virtuoso Volodymyr Vasylenko. His two solo sets contained something for everyone, including arrangments of classical pieces by Bach, Handel and Vivaldi, some jazzy items and pieces from his native country, some based on traditional Ukrainian melodies, and at least one work by the Ukrainian composer Myroslav Skoryk. 

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There was no doubting Mr Vasylenko`s incredible technical skill, and his playing was greeted with at least one standing ovation. Not to be outdone however, all the members of the Kennet Accordion Orchestra themselves impressed the audience with their skill and attention to detail in their contribution to the afternoon`s proceedings. Particularly fine playing came from David Hall, who can himself also be considered as a virtuoso on the instrument.

Representatives from the growing Ukrainian community in Winchester and its environs were conspicuously present, and it was obvious how moving they found the whole experience. 

Not only was £900 raised for the Ukrainian DEC Appeal, but it should clearly be stated that everyone involved in this concert ought to feel very proud regarding the way the afternoon`s proceedings panned out.

Review by Jeremy Neville