New York chorus sings Russian national anthem to honor Alexandrov Ensemble (VIDEO)
The performance took place during a wreath laying ceremony at the Teardrop Memorial in Bayonne, New Jersey on Saturday.
The choice of time and place for the ceremony was not a coincidence. January 7 is the day when Christmas is celebrated by Orthodox Christians in Russia, while the deadly plane crash took place on the day when American Christians mark the birth of Christ.
The Teardrop Memorial was a gift from the Russian people to America on the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The Schiller Institute Chorus performed the Star Spangled Banner and the Russian National Anthem in the presence of Russian Embassy officials and members of the New York Police and Fire Departments, as well as relatives of 9/11 victims.
Chorus director Diane Sare offered her “deepest condolences” to the Russian people over the tragedy.
“The loss of the chorus was particularly great, because as everyone who sings in a chorus knows, the combination of our voices is greater than each of us individually, or each of us added up as parts,” Sare said, as cited by the Schiller Institute NYC Chorus website.
She stressed that Russia’s pain is felt by many in America, saying, “let me assure everyone, we are not a group of Russian immigrants, as was said on YouTube.”
The Schiller Institute NYC Chorus also performed at the Russian Consulate in the US on New Year’s Eve to commemorate the Alexandrov Ensemble.
Footage from the event was watched by 400,000 viewers in Russia in just 24 hours, who were “grateful for a gesture from Americans,” chorus member Suzanne Klebe told the Hudson Reporter.
The Russian Defense Ministry’s Tu-154 plane crashed soon after takeoff from Sochi Airport, killing all 92 people on board.
The jet was en route to Latakia, Syria, carrying 64 members of the Alexandrov Ensemble army choir, aid workers, and journalists to take part in Christmas and New Year’s celebrations.