Nashville violinist plays in harmony with Ukrainian in bomb shelter

'Some of them had already put their violins down to take up arms'
Violinists harmonize with Ukrainian who played in bomb shelter
Posted at 3:32 PM, Mar 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-17 18:12:14-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Violinists around the world are rallying around a man who played his instrument in a Kyiv bomb shelter.

People know Nashville violinist Barbara Lamb in her neighborhood because she would play outside during the pandemic. But recently, Lamb played her instrument for a different reason.

Ukrainian Illia Bondarenko played in a bomb shelter with his grandmother. In solidarity, violinists around the world like Lamb harmonized with him in a video. They played their strings to tug at heartstrings.

"I think about him being down in the basement, and here I am a beautiful sunny day in Tennessee, and ugh. I hope he gets there," Lamb said.

Posting the video online was all Kerenza Peacock's idea.

"I just randomly took to Instagram and befriended some fiddle players in Ukraine," Peacock said.

Peacock said Illia sent her a video in-between the sounds of air raid sirens and explosions.

"Some of them had already put their violins down to take up arms.” Peacock said, “It must have been a horrendous situation, and they must feel so isolated in their basements and the bomb shelters."

Peacock edited the video in Nashville while she was visiting Lamb.

"Also it’s moving because everybody can only take a few belongings to the bomb shelter, all the violinists of course have their fiddles with them because that’s the most important possession," Peacock said.

Since then, Illia has left Kyiv. He told them he's safe for now. Hopefully, he'll be able to tour again one day.

Illia didn't want any donations.

However, he asked if Americans can donate to refugees. So far, people who've watched the video have already donated thousands of dollars to aid in the humanitarian crisis. Donate here.