DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)– Two Dayton-based folk musicians have spent weeks in Ukraine two miles from the war’s front line. In addition to playing music for the soldiers, they also raised thousands of dollars to bring medical supplies to them.
Ohioans Brett Hill, otherwise known as Brother Hill, and Benya Stewart began working with the Ohio with Love Campaign when Russia invaded Ukraine. Since then, their shows have been raising thousands of dollars to bring aid to the soldiers but this time, the musicians brought the concert to the soldiers fighting on the front lines.
“The music turned out to be more important and more of an impact than I believed,” said Musician Brett Hill.
Hill aims to clear misconceptions that others may have about Ukraine and its people by creating a cultural solidarity through traditional folk music. He says Ukrainians are fiercly sovereign, self-identifying, modern and regular people.
“It’s a huge psychological component to this, the medical supplies are what we’re here to deliver but the feeling through music is one of the most valuable things and probably the most valuable thing that we as musicians, Benya and I can bring,” said Hill.
Brett says seeing the soldiers in-person gave them a new meaning to determination.
“Still very much a war that can be won in the eyes of a lot of friends I have there and soldiers on the front lines that are determined as ever,” said Hil.
The musicians have raised over $66,000 all together to purchase tourniquets and advanced bleeding control kits all to send to Ukrainian soldiers. Hill and Stewart began organizing statewide shows through the Ohio With Love Campaign when war broke out after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.