Northridge High School band honors Alabama POWs

Tuesday night the Northridge High School jazz and the symphonic band held their annual fall concert at Moody Music Hall on the campus of the University of Alabama.

The night honored two former soldiers from Alabama Alex Drueke and Andy Huynh who were prisoners of war in Russia for 104 days.  

Ukrainian cultural exchange student Tymofii Polkovnichenko played a guitar solo of “Baba Yaga,” composed by Marcin Patrzalek, to show his appreciation. Polkovnichenko and his family escaped from northern Ukraine to Ireland when the war started. Polkovnichenko arrived in Tuscaloosa in August as a part of a Future Leaders Exchange Program.

“I hope they will like it. I am really putting my heart into that song and it’s very close to me. I really think people will enjoy the performance”, said Polkovnichenko.

Northridge High School band director John Cain said students and faculty wanted to do something nice for the POWs.

Drueke, 40, and Huynh, 28, traveled to Ukraine separately to volunteer to fight, but went missing near the Russian border on June 9. They bonded over their shared home state of Alabama. Drueke is from Tuscaloosa. Huynh was living in Hartselle.

They were released in late September as part of an exchange brokered by Saudi Arabia.

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