OUTLOOK: Holy Trinity hosting Ukrainian pianist for benefit concert

Published 4:00 am Sunday, October 16, 2022

Since Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, television news reports have exposed the effects of warfare.

The ravaged homeland of its people is heartbreaking, but even more gut-wrenching is the children who have been left orphaned and disabled due to the fighting and atrocities the Kremlin has given rise to.

For concert pianist Volodymyr Zaitsev, this situation hits closer to home than most living in the United States.

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Zaitsev was born in Ukraine and in seeing what is going on in his homeland, wants to do what he can to help the neglected children. Therefore, benefit concerts have been scheduled throughout Louisiana as well as Vicksburg, with hopes of raising money for those most vulnerable.

(Video courtesy of Volodymyr Zaitsev)

The concert in Vicksburg will be held at 6 p.m. on Oct. 26 at the Church of the Holy Trinity.

Zaitsev immigrated to the U.S. when Ukraine was still part of the Soviet Union. He has since performed worldwide, even returning to his homeland, most recently in 2019 as part of the “From Mozart to Gershwin” project.

Naomi Cordill, who is from Louisiana and is a friend of Zaitsev, said Zaitsev reached out to her about the prospect of hosting benefit concerts for Ukrainians since she had previously worked with him in contracting musical tours for the state.

Cordill said she told Zaitsev she felt like people would be responsive to a benefit concert and performances were scheduled, including the one in Vicksburg.

“I told Volodymyr that all would know of the actions taking place in Ukraine and that he would not have to convince or convict them to understand his request,” Cordill said.

Funds received from the benefits were also discussed, she said.

“I asked him if he had a direct contact in Ukraine that he knew and could trust to actually get the ‘offerings’ to Ukraine, and if would they also guarantee that these particular orphans would actually receive the benefit of the funds,” Cordill said. “(Zaitsev) assured me that he did.”

Cordill said she researched the two Orthodox Priests who were Zaitsev’s contacts. One was from Ukraine, she said, and the other was a pastor at a church in New Jersey. She said the pastor from New Jersey provided her with the non-profit information on his church to show that it is legitimate.

And because Zaitsev does not want to handle any of the funds, Cordill said, each concert venue will be in charge of collecting donations.

Zaitsev’s concerts will last approximately 45 minutes and will include religious selections, worldwide selections and “beautiful” Ukrainian selections, Cordill said. Zaitsev will also be providing commentary to connect the selections of music.

“I have listened to most of the selections in the program and it will be an enjoyable, comfortable concert,” Cordill said.

In addition to the local performance, Zaitsev will be performing at 2 p.m. on Oct. 23 at Temple Baptist, Winnsboro, La.; 6 p.m. on Oct. 24 at First Baptist, Saint Joseph, La.; 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 25, First Baptist West Monroe, La., and at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 27.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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