Ukrainian Exchange Student to Perform Solo Concert in Honor of Tuscaloosa POW
Tym Polkovnichenko, a foreign exchange student from Ukraine studying at a Tuscaloosa high school, will perform in a solo concert Tuesday night in honor of the city's own Alex Drueke, a prisoner of war recently released from Russian captivity.
According to a release from the Tuscaloosa City Schools, Polkovnichenko, 17, will demonstrate his favorite “percussive fingerstyle” of guitar playing during a Northridge High School Jazz & Symphonic Band concert at Moody Music Hall at 6 p.m.
The concert will honor Drueke and American Andy Huynh, who were captured as prisoners of war in a Russian-controlled area of Ukraine in June. The men returned home last month after 104 days of captivity.
Polkovnichenko said he appreciates the men's efforts and this opportunity provides a moment of connection between him and the men.
"I really appreciate the fact that they helped my country, and fought in the war," Polkovnichenko said. "I think this is a very good cultural connection between us, because I’m here for a cultural exchange, and this will be a very touching moment, for us to meet. I really want to thank them for their help for us."
As part of the concert, Polkovnichenko will perform a solo piece called “Baba Yaga” composed by Marcin Patrzalek, which involves both percussions on the guitar as well as using the instrument’s strings and is inspired by Slavic folklore.
Polkovnichenko is attending Northridge High School this year as a part of a Future Leaders Exchange program. He hopes he will have the opportunity to return to the U.S. for college, where he plans to study consumer science.
The concert is open to the public and a reception will follow the conclusion of the concert.