The world is anxiously watching Ukraine after Russia abruptly claimed the nation's peninsula of Crimea for itself and massed troops at the border. As the West wrings its hands over how to handle this act of aggression, the feeling throughout Ukraine must surely be tense with the threat of war hanging in the air.
Over the weekend, the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra lifted the spirits of its countrymen with a flash mob performance of Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" in a local market. Under conductor Hobart Earle, the piece slowly builds into an orchestra and choir booming throughout the market.
Maybe it was a simple act to give the gift of music during these worrisome times, maybe it was a statement. "Ode to Joy" is known as the "Anthem of Europe," and Ukraine is seeking closer ties to Europe, reducing its dependence on Russia.