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Karina Sings at VE Concert

Karina, 11, honours Russian wartime veterans

            A solo in Russian was sung by an 11-year-old Stafford schoolgirl who took to the stage to honour World War Two veterans against a backdrop of images of her great grandfather.


            Karina Edwards travelled to Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge football stadium to perform in a concert at Roman Abramovich’s Under the Bridge music club, to celebrate VE Day.  The event was organised by the Russian Community Council and paid tribute to veterans who fought in the Second World War, including Karina’s late great grandfather, Alexei Sigokin.  


            The bilingual Stafford Preparatory School pupil was the youngest soloist to perform to Russian veterans and their families.  Wearing an army cadet uniform, Karina delivered the famous 1938 love song, Katyusha, which became popular in Russia during the war as it reminded soldiers of their wives and girlfriends back home. 


            “It felt amazing and very special, like I was spreading joy around the room.  They put up pictures of my great grandad behind where I was singing and so it was a little bit emotional,” said Karina.


            The Stafford Prep youngster went on to join other singers for a group performance.  Flowers were given to every veteran and one man was so moved by Karina’s rendition that he presented her with his bouquet.


            “He gave me his flowers and told me I was a talented singer.  He said when I sang it reminded him of when he was a soldier in the war and how that song had brought back memories,” added Karina.


            Having won a talent competition at her school last year, Karina was invited to sing in Russian at an annual village celebration while on holiday in Crimea.  Since then she has performed in Birmingham and London and her hectic agenda includes further concerts in Shrewsbury and Bearwood, before she returns Crimea to sing again later this summer.  The busy youngster also brushes up her language skills each Saturday at the Birmingham Rubric Russian School.