Ukrainian choir to perform at Detroit Pistons game

When an organization like the Pistons stands up, it makes other people notice as well

Monday (March 21) night, when the Detroit Pistons go up against the Portland Trailblazers at Little Caesars Arena, a special tribute will be deeply personal to so many people in Metro Detroit. It's Ukrainian community night, and it's going to include what's expected to be a moving performance.

DETROIT – It’s Ukrainian community night, and it’s going to include what’s expected to be a moving performance.

Monday (March 21) at the Detroit Pistons game against the Portland Trailblazers, the Pistons organization stands with Ukraine.

“It’s like a piece of my soul, I would think,” said Volodymyr Shesiuk of Ukrainian Community Choir.

The Pistons have a history with Ukraine.

“We have two players who are Ukrainian and played for us with the Pistons,” said Kevin Grigg. “We’ve been connected to that community for a while now, and it’s important for us to show our support.”

The Ukrainian community choir sings a prayer, understanding they are safe, and many of their close family relationships are not.

“The Pistons supporting Ukraine is very important for all communities and also for all the people that are here in Detroit and in our country,” said Dr. Olena Danylyuk.

This is a collective choir seen in the video player above from Ukrainian churches across the metro area. Twenty-nine members were invited to remind the world that after 26 days, Ukrainians continue to fight.

Seven hundred members of Ukrainian ancestry will take in the game for free, and an arena of people will have one thing in front of them for a single, salient, important moment, unity.

“This is a perfect time for us to do what we can and do what we do to bring people together and use our game as a vehicle to not only bring awareness but also bring that community together for a little time out and a little enjoyment when they have everything so heavy going on,” Grigg said.

In fact, we find out that fewer and fewer of the personal stories of loved ones are escaping because Ukrainians, once anxious to show the world what was happening at the battlelines, have pulled back, believing Russia sees some of the social media posts and uses them to trace targets.

“Most of the stories are not getting out because we would like to protect them,” Dr. Danylyuk said. “If people would post videos and share with us when we have bombings or when planes are attacking different cities if the videos are shared then Russian forces can take coordinates and specifically place where my friend was shooting a video about bombing in my city where I was living.”

When an organization like the Pistons stands up, it makes other people notice as well.

About the Authors:

Paula Tutman is an Emmy award-winning journalist who came to Local 4 in 1992. She's a Peace Corps alum who spent her early childhood living in Sierra Leone, West Africa and Tanzania and East Africa.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.