COLORADO SPRINGS — A local high school student is hoping to continue the conversation about the war in Ukraine and he’s doing it through music.
14-year-old Atticus Wei recorded and edited a 22-minute film, featuring local Ukrainian musicians and shedding light on the war happening overseas. He’s a musician himself who plays the piano.
The virtual concert was showcased at the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wei was there to let the audience know about the film and ways they can help support Ukrainian refugees.
“Near the beginning of the war, I saw a news broadcast about the carnage that was happening in Ukraine, and I really wanted to help,” said Atticus. “I think the war impacts everybody, everybody in the world at a certain level. It’s the biggest refugee events since World War II.”
His passion for music turned into a passion for spreading the word about the war in Ukraine, and shedding light on the ongoing war happening overseas.
The rising sophomore at Cheyenne Mountain High School then reached out to Sergei Vassiliev. He's a local Ukrainian musician, whose family was in the war zone when the war began. Vassiliev also began his own fundraiser effort to send funds and money to Ukrainian refugees.
“The war has just changed everything. It's kind of turned everything upside down,” said Vassiliev, who mentioned his entire family was in Kharkiv or right outside of the city. “It went from zero to 100 in one day, like one day, it was all peaceful, and the next day bombing and shelling and you're in bomb shelters.”
Vassiliev is also the principal clarinet player of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic Orchestra. Now he's one of the Ukrainian musicians featured in the virtual concert for Ukraine and says the fight is not over.
“We have to keep helping because the fight is just as hot as it was on day one. And in some ways, it's getting even more desperate and the help is needed very, very much. So we have to keep helping. And for me, as a Ukrainian I feel like it's my duty to, to, to shed the light on it.”
Atticus recorded and edited the film in just a few weeks. During the writing of this article, it has more than 3,600 views on YouTube.
“I saw the film that he made, and I was just like, ‘wow, this is very impressive,’” said Vassiliev. “I am just very proud of our Colorado Springs, young people who are, you know, making a difference. That's the kind of world we want to live in.”
While the fight continues overseas, the conversation in Colorado Springs is still happening too. Atticus hopes his film will keep the conversation going, and encourage people to donate to a cause like Vassiliev’s.
“I just want people to see the video and to basically know about what's happening and how they can help,” said Atticus.
Atticus has also become an intern and apprentice for the Epic Music Series, which Vassiliev is the artistic director for.
The virtual concert also features a Denver-based musician from Ukraine. Susanna Eglington plays the bandura, which is the national instrument of Ukraine. She also accompanied John Legend at the Grammy’s this year.