YOUNG piano students in York are hosting a concert with music they composed themselves inspired by the Ukraine crisis.

York piano teacher and children’s author, Karen Langtree, set her students, aged nine to 17, the task of creating their own pieces of music which tell a story about war and peace, in light of the Ukraine crisis.

Then, as their compositions began to take shape, Karen said she realised the students’ "wonderful pieces of music" should be performed in a concert, and they could help to fundraise for a charity who helps those affected by war in the process.

York Press: Piano teacher and children's author, Karen Langtree Picture: Karen LangtreePiano teacher and children's author, Karen Langtree Picture: Karen Langtree

The 'A Piece for Peace' concert will be held at St Mary’s Church, in Strensall, on Friday, July 8, from 7pm to 8pm, and they have chosen to fundraise for the Red Cross’ Ukraine Crisis Appeal.

Karen, who teaches piano both privately and at York primary schools Joseph Rowntree, Vale of York and New Earswick, said: “At Easter I set them a challenge to think about how music speaks to us in situations like the one in Ukraine at the moment.

“My students explore how music is put together, and, particularly through this project, about the emotive power of music and how it creates atmosphere and tells a story.

York Press: Piano student of Karen's Picture: Karen LangtreePiano student of Karen's Picture: Karen Langtree

“We've explored how powerful music is to unite and motivate people, and we felt music had a powerful way of drawing people together and of evoking so many emotions.

“Some of the students, although right in the middle of GCSEs, are still so inspired by this project that they have found time to compose.”

York Press: Karen's students will be performing in St Mary's Church Picture: Karen LangtreeKaren's students will be performing in St Mary's Church Picture: Karen Langtree

The performers include Rosa, 10, who has written a piece which tells a story about people living ordinary lives until the mood changes as war is declared.

The music in her piece then slowly leads to a return to peace, and people have to make different lives for themselves as their old lives are now behind them.

Josh, 17, who is studying music at A level at Huntington School, researched Ukrainian folk songs to incorporate a feel for that musical style into his piece.

Plus, Hannah, 14, and Ella, 16, have written pieces about a flower which they feel symbolises peace.

York Press: A piano student of Karen's Picture: Karen LangtreeA piano student of Karen's Picture: Karen Langtree

Karen added: "I love teaching piano and singing! I put on concerts and performance opportunities for my students every year, even over Zoom during lockdown we did concerts.

“All students are encouraged to perform, many get nervous but I’ve seen several students overcome great fear to get up and perform, then they come back next time and do it again a little more confident.

“My concerts are supported by wonderful parents and family members, its always such a lovely, encouraging atmosphere.”

Click here to donate to the A Piece for Peace concert's Just Giving page.