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Refugees in the south of Eure. An outpouring of solidarity to offer instruments to two Ukrainian musicians

Inna and Irina, two Ukrainian musicians, have found their instrument ©Le Réveil Normand

“Music knows no boundaries, and is said to soften morale.” In the face of dramatic international news, centered on the war in ukraineit is a moving story.

“A chain of friendship was formed”

Arrivals in early March in south of the eur, Inna and Irina, twin sisters, fled Ukraine after the first bombings. Initially installed on Sainte-Marie-d’Attez (Eure)“in accommodation kindly provided by Mr. Thoumine, explains Mayor Patrick Braultbefore joining his mother in official housing at the Verneuil primary school.”

Inna and Irina were musicians in the Ukraine. both in Kyiv Municipal Ballet Orchestra where Irina is a flutist and in National Orchestra of Ukraine where Inna plays the oboe. Two music lovers –“thanks to our grandmother who made us love”– forced to leave everything behind.

“When we left Ukraine in the middle of a disaster, we couldn’t take the instruments with us.” In their flight to survive, it wasn’t necessarily about the essentials.

“Around mid-March, a chain of friendship was formed to find the instruments. A call was first made to Eric du Faÿ, founding president, artistic director and conductor of the “Petites Mains Symphoniques*” association.

Patrick Brault, Mayor of Sainte-Marie-d’Attez

“Eric doesn’t do things by halves. He immediately undertook the search with the ardor that we know him to find this rare instrument that is the oboe”.

Neither more nor less, he came into contact with the most prestigious oboe factory in the world in Paris and in La Couture-Boussey, a small town near Evreux, the cradle of world-renowned French craftsmanship.

“Rays of joy in tired eyes”

Outcome. “On April 1 we traveled to Paris to pick up a high value oboe from the manufacturer Marigaux. The loan comes from Jean-Marc Jourquin, postman”.

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An exceptional and moving moment for Inna.

“It’s wonderful to have such an instrument. I thank all the people who have helped us.” But the trip to Paris on April 1 did not end there, since it was also necessary to find a flute for Irina. “On the recommendation of Aude Bracquemond, a former teacher at the Lycée de Verneuil, we were able to get in touch with a renowned Parisian flutist: Salvatore Faulisi.”

The postman simply offered Irina, “with immense generosity,” a high-quality traverse flute. “It was amazing,” Irina testified, moved to tears. In such a short time, thanks to the immense work of Patrick Brault, Aude Bracquemond and other “little hands”, the success was total. “We knock on all doors and on all networks,” confirms Aude Bracquemond.

“As in the movies, horror scenes often subside at the end, move the mayor of Sainte-Marie-d’Attezfor a music where flute and oboe bring a rediscovered tranquility and these encounters rich in love and generosity have brought rays of joy to eyes tired by the horrors of war”.

In the new commune of Sainte-Marie-d’Attez, the inhabitants took a liking to these people and their families and ties were established. The beautiful story should not end there.

With Eric du Faÿ, “concerts in support of Ukrainian refugees will soon be offered in a church in Sainte-Marie-d’Attez and perhaps in other places on our territory.” Irina and Inna are naturally invited to perform and dazzle the audience with their talent.

* An association that includes more than 500 children and that presents the festival of the same name every year in August in the southern territory of the Eure.

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