SAN DIEGO – Musicians from the San Diego Symphony played a benefit concert Saturday for a stranded youth orchestra group in Poland.

Violinist Julia Pautz organized the benefit concert after speaking with Ukrainian flutist Daria Hudymenko.

“I can’t imagine being separated from the rest of my family like Daria has been, I can’t imagine being separated from my orchestra and the music that I love like it has happened to Daria and so many other musicians and people in Ukraine,” said Pautz.  

Hudymenko left Ukraine in December 2021, two months before the Russian invasion for an exchange program and is now in the U.S. under Temporary Protected Status.

“It’s really great that we can have this opportunity to raise some money and to send this to these kids,” said Hudymenko.

The concert was co-hosted by Tasha Koontz from FF Collective and several volunteers from the San Diego Symphony.

“Everyone just jumped right in and said ‘yes fantastic I would love to be involved,’ everyone has learned new music and I’m just really honored that this volunteer effort has come together,” said Pautz.

Hudymenko says she doesn’t know when she will be able to safely return home but hopes people attending this concert won’t forget about the war still happening in Ukraine.

You can still donate Youth Academic Symphony Orchestra and Doctors Without Borders.