Thornton Academy News

TA Junior organizes musical fundraiser for UkraineĀ 
John Lamb
Janet Newman is organizing a concert fundraiser

Thornton Academy Junior Janet Newman has studied piano for 12 years with Ukrainian-born Natasha Skala at Fiddlehead Center for the Arts in Scarborough.

As the conflict in Ukraine intensified, Janet wanted to help those affected, including members of Skala’s family, and asked if her teacher would play at a benefit concert to support humanitarian efforts. 

“I thought music would be a nice way to help,” says the 17-year-old. 

Janet’s idea has taken off. Skala agreed to perform, and will be joined by her mother, a retired piano teacher, Skala’s 12-year-old son, and other teachers from Fiddlehead Center. What started as a piano concert now includes a harp and acoustic guitar. In addition, the concert will also include performances by world renown musicians Emil Afrasiyab and his wife, Leyla Babayeva Afrasiyab.

Not one to sit on the sidelines, Janet will also perform on the piano, playing Oginski’s Polonaise and Mariage d'amour by Paul de Senneville. 

An Afternoon for Ukraine is Sunday, March 20, 1pm, at Aura in Portland, the popular venue co-owned by Janet’s mother.  

Tickets can be purchased at the door or on Aura’s website.

Read a Portland Press Herald story about the concert