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The Youngstown Symphony: For All People



Planning for the Future

In entertainment Youngstown Symphony Orchestra

Youngstown Symphony Society Board Member, Architect Jay Crafton

Photo courtesy: Rudinec & Associates

Education: For the advancement of music

YSO Conductor Randall Craig Fleischer with YSO Personnel Manager Gloria Slocum

YSYO String Coach Richard Smrek

Heidi Joyce, Young People’s Concert Narrator

Photo courtesy: Rudinec & Associates

Photo courtesy: Rudinec & Associates

Photo courtesy: Rudinec & Associates

Tradition: Honored with the preservation of the DeYor Performing Arts Center

Edward W. Powers Auditorium - Interior

Ford Family Recital Hall - Interior

DeYor Performing Arts Center - Exterior

Photo courtesy: Rudinec & Associates

Photo courtesy: Hanson Photography

Photo courtesy: Hanson Photography

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2016 • Special Advertising Section f •




Youngstown Symphony Orchestra Celebrating 90 Years

Hello Youngstown


t is such a pleasure and an honor for me to be the Music Director and Conductor of the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra.

We are so lucky to have such a fine symphony orchestra in our community. These professional musicians come from all over the state and

nearby states to play with us. I remember the first time I conducted the YSO, I really did not know what to expect. Wow! I was truly impressed and remain so as we grow together as a team. Those of you who have been following the orchestra recently know that I have an appetite for many kinds of music. Certainly as a classical conductor, the great masterpieces of the symphonic repertoire are nearest to my heart. But, I love rock music, jazz, Gospel, country, movie music, Broadway, folk music and on and on. Growing up in Canton, I had only minimal exposure to classical music. I was a rock fan and mostly listened to Top 40 and what we now call Classic Rock. My father was timpanist in the Canton Symphony and a drummer in a big band so I also heard lots of classical music and Sinatra. All of these influences contribute to form my vision for the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra which is to

touch as many people in the Mahoning Valley as we can with the power of symphonic music. Great music is much more than entertainment, it is the sound of our lives - our feelings, our dreams, our passions, our losses - everything that we are can be found in great music. The field of symphonic music holds some of the greatest masterpieces in the history of mankind. There is truth, power and deep emotion in the music. Yes, certainly, it is entertaining to come to a concert, but great symphonic music offers so much more. I invite you to join us. If you haven’t been downtown to the DeYor Performing Arts Center and Edward W. Powers Auditorium in a while - you deserve a great night at the symphony. It’s beautiful to see and beautiful to hear. I promise we will play our hearts out for you. Warmly, Randall Craig Fleischer

A Journey Back in Time

Carmine Ficocelli

Michael Ficocelli

he Youngstow n Sy mphony Orchestra began in 1926. It was then that Michael and Carmine Ficocelli organized “The Little Symphony Orchestra”. The Ficocelli brothers, who were music teachers in the Youngstown City School District and aided by their sister who served as orchestra librarian, recruited twelve young musicians all under the age of sixteen. The first program of the newly minted ensemble was a broadcast in

1926 from the studios of WKBN Radio. The first public performance of the orchestra was 1929. In the early years of the orchestra the Ficocelli brothers would rotate between the conductor and Concertmaster positions. Michael and Carmine continued as the founding fathers of the orchestra until 1951. In 1951, John Kruger was named as the conductor and the name “The Lit-


See JOURNEY, Page F3




The Arts

John Kruger

Franz Bibo


Congratulations to the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra on your 90th Season!

Continued from Page F2

tle Symphony Orchestra” was changed to the Youngstown Philharmonic Orchestra. Growth under Mr. Kruger included the formation of a chorus and the incorporation of a Women’s Committee established in 1935 to promote music education through children’s concerts and the Youngstown Symphony Youth Orchestra in 1954. Today, the former Youngstown Symphony Chorus is now the Stambaugh Chorus and the work of the Women’s Committee for Children’s Concerts is directed by the Youngstown Symphony Society. The Youngstown Symphony Youth Orchestra continues to flourish with regularly scheduled performances at the Edward W. Powers Auditorium. In 1965, Franz Bibo was appointed the orchestra’s fourth conductor and remained in the post for twelve years. It was during this period that the name of the orchestra was changed to the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra and the Symphony Society acquired the Warner Theatre renamed the Edward W. Powers Auditorium in honor of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Powers who gifted the venue to the Symphony Society in 1968. Today, the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra is one of a few orchestras in its budget category in the country to own its own concert hall and the second orchestra in the nation to renovate a former movie theatre to become a concert hall. Conductor Bibo was instrumental in the development of a successful series of fully-staged, locally-produced operas and the establishment of the Youngstown Symphony Opera Guild which is now Opera Western Reserve. In 1980 Peter Leonard was selected Music Director and conductor and began a series of pre-concert lectures to accompany a full season of classi-

take center stage to make our community a better place for our residents and visitors.

Peter Leonard

David Effron cal and pops subscription programming. With Mr. Leonard’s departure three years later, the Symphony Society underwent an extensive Music Director search retaining the services of Youngstown native John DeMain as Acting Music Director until the appointment of David Effron in 1987. That same year, the Symphony’s Board of Directors initiated a major endowment campaign raising $3.5 million. In September 1996, Isaiah Jackson was appointed Music Director of the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra followed by the orchestra’s current Music Director Randall Craig Fleischer who was appointed October 2006. 800-447-8201 #YoungstownLive





Expanding Musical Horizons


he Youngstown Symphony Society extends its presentation of musical entertainment with After Hours and Cabaret Nights at the DeYor. Following each Youngstown Symphony Orchestra concert, members of the orchestra and area musicians gather in the Overture Lobby to present After Hours where patrons can enjoy beverages, late night dining and live music. Long-time orchestra double bassist Jeffrey Bremer schedules the musicians and performs with them. Bremer says, “After an enjoyable evening at the Youngstown Symphony concert, we provide a light musical backdrop to compliment the atmosphere so that patrons can socialize and dine while appreciating a broad spectrum of Latin, Swing, Rock and Pops selections with a jazzy, bluesy twist. Pulling musicians from the local community allows us to offer a wide variety of talent and experience.” Last year Easy Street Productions co-founder Todd Hancock and

Youngstown Symphony Society CEO Patricia Syak talked about a series of musical acts showcasing different artists each month paired with a small plate menu of signature appetizers created by Chef Jeff Chrystal. Their dream became a reality with Cabaret Nights at the DeYor. Kick off of the new venture began February 2016 to sold out performances. Hancock explains, “Cabaret Nights has turned the Overture Restaurant into downtown Youngstown’s hottest new venue for entertainers and musicians.” Next up on the Cabaret calendar is From Broadway to Blackson Friday, September 16 at 7:30 PM. The concert will feature hometown and national cabaret artists Mary Jo Maluso and Rick Blackson performing Broadway favorites and other carefully selected gems. Cabaret doors open at 6:30 PM. Admission is $25 per person and beverages and food plates are available for purchase.

Musical Voice of the Valley


ommunity outreach programs throughout the years have enabled the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra to be the musical voice of the Valley serving a variety of cultural, educational and social needs to a diversified community cultivating a love of music in all generations and providing collaborative, innovative educational programs to fill the gap left when schools can no longer provide music education classes. Through its programming, the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra has presented music reflective of the American identity and provided opportunities for community residents to perform with the orchestra. Throughout the years, the orchestra has reached out to the community in numerous ways: establishing a pilot program to provide free instruction in string instruments to inner-city school students, sponsoring a vocal contest for


young adults, widening and deepening the artistic advancement of the orchestra through the commissioning process and performance of new works, providing musical therapy programs at nearby hospital behavioral, medical/ oncology and surgical centers and musically celebrating the Native American and African American experiences. The Youngstown Symphony Orchestra continues the tradition with the Stained Glass Concert Series, a collection of free informal concerts at area houses of worship, presentation of school-release and school-site Young Peoples Concerts, sponsorship of the Youngstown Symphony Youth Orchestra and Youngstown Symphony Symphonette, performances of outdoor concerts and the 90th Anniversary Classic and Pops Series at the DeYor Performing Art Center spotlighting the ethnic populations that have settled the Mahoning Valley.

Countless Volunteer Hours

ach year fifty ushers provide over 5,000 hours of volunteer service to the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra and DeYor Performing Arts Center. The Center has immediate openings for more ushers. Candidates must demonstrate friendliness and helpfulness to patrons. In return, the Youngstown Symphony promises to appreciate every hour they donate. No matter what the event, ushers play an important role at the Center helping patrons find their way around the facility, locate seats,

and if need be, exit the building safely in case of an emergency. Projecting a spirit of knowledge and professionalism to all who enter the venue, ushers also create long lasting friendships with other volunteers and facility staff becoming an integral part of the patron experience at the DeYor Performing Arts Center. Immediate openings are available. Call the symphony office volunteer coordinator at 330-744-4269 to learn more about this awesome volunteer force.


On the Road with YSO Each year the orchestra and Music Director Randall Craig Fleischer pack up music stands and instruments and travel to area houses of worship and school auditoriums. During the season the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra will perform Stained Glass Concerts at Canfield United Methodist Church Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016 at 3 p.m., Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church in Lowellville Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016 at 5 p.m. and Temple El Emeth in Youngstown on Sunday, March 26, 2017 at 2 p.m. Support for the free concerts is provided by the Howard and Jeanne Karr Charitable Trust and the Charles W. and Sarah J. Syak Foundation. The long-held tradition of school release concerts continues with a performance of Young Peoples Concerts at the Edward W. Powers Auditorium Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 10 a.m. Several years ago, recognizing that schools already overburdened with mandatory test preparation and schedules and increased busing costs and liabilities could no longer take advantage of the traditional schoolrelease Young Peoples Concert format, the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra began a program of school site performances. School site performances are scheduled at Champion School District Monday, March 20, 2017; South Range School District Tuesday, March 21, 2017; Poland School District Wednesday, March 22, 2017; and West Branch and Sebring School Districts Friday, Oct. 28, 2016. Through the Young Peoples Concert program, the orchestra will introduce students to the symphonic art form and concert experience while thematically programming materials that reinforce classroom curricula and in particular the ethnic heritage of the residents of Mahoning Valley in an interactive concert for elementary and secondary school students. Additionally, workshops for high school band and drama students are offered at school site performances. Young Peoples Concerts which reach over 3,400 students annually are underwritten in part by The Monday Musical Club Fund of the Youngstown Foundation and the Schwebel Family Foundation.





A Chair for Young Musicians

ach year the Youngstow n Symphony Society engages over 165 area youth in music education providing over 7,000 hours of training each school year. The Youngstown Symphony Youth Orchestra under the direction of Stephen L. Gage and Richard Smrek meet each Monday evening during the school year at the DeYor Performing Arts Center to advance music literacy skills and prepare for upcoming concerts. In September each year, music students who are ages 13-18 years-ofage travel from neighboring counties and states to the Edward W. Powers Auditorium to audition for positions in the Youth Orchestra. Also in September, senior members of the Youth Orchestra are invited to compete in the Senior Concerto Competition and a chance to perform their selected work with the Youth Orchestra. The Youth Orchestra began in 1954 when Music Director John Krueger formed the Junior Philharmonic. The original concept was that each member of the Philharmonic Orchestra would mentor a member of the Junior Philharmonic by becoming stand partners. The first time the young musicians performed w ith their adult counterparts was in 1954 in the Rayen High School Auditorium. The practice of side-by-side performances of the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra and Youngstown Symphony Youth Orchestra continues today. In 1996 the Youngstown Symphony Symphonette was established to provide young string students with opportunities to perform and prepare for admission to the Youth Orchestra or their school orchestra program. The Symphonette, guided by Youngstown Symphony Orchestra violist Michele Prokop, is open to all string students in grades 5-7 who have had at least one year of private string instruction. Youth Orchestra concerts will be Sunday, December 4, 2016 and Sunday, May 7, 2017 at 4 PM at the Edward W. Powers Auditorium. The Symphonette will perform prior to the Youth Orchestra December 4. Ford Family Recital Hall will be the setting for the Symphonette spring concert April 4, 2017 at 6:30 PM.

Youngstown Symphony Youth Orchestra.

Photo courtesy of Rudinec & Associates







Something Old, Something New


ome time ago, a family donated a collection of string instruments to the symphony. The instruments were refurbished and given to children wishing to take string lessons, but who could not afford to purchase an instrument. One violin was beyond repair. Symphony Society Board member Floyd Barger began a search to locate an artist to paint the violin for a fund raiser the symphony was planning to undertake. Charles Allen Orr, a


YOUNGSTOWN SYMPHONY From your Friends at


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New board members pose with Chairman of the Board Florence Wang. Pictured are (left to right) Joseph Rudinec, Mrs. Wang, Diana McDonald, Dorothy Tesner and Scott Zoldan.

Board Members Share Their Talents Boardman resident and recent Best of Show recipient at the Butler Institute of American Art Area Artist Exhibit, was selected. Mr. Orr, a photo realist painter, recreated the interior of the Edward W. Powers Auditorium on the violin from a photo taken by Joe Rudinec. Once the violin was painted, fellow Symphony Society Board member Jim Dunlap built the display box to house the Orr art work. Community residents have a chance to win the painted violin and the services of the Youngstown Symphony Quintet. Raffle tickets are available at the DeYor box office, at Youngstown Symphony Orchestra concerts or from Symphony Society Board members. Tickets are $50 or 5 for $200. The raffle drawing will be March 25, 2017.

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ith more than 1,800 symphony, chamber, collegiate and youth orchestras across the country, America is brimming with orchestra music-making. Over 75,000 community residents are serving their orchestra as a member of a Board of Directors. Board members serve because they believe their orchestra is an important part of the community fabric improving the quality of life, promoting understanding of other cultures, fostering pride in the community and an indicator of the community’s economic development and contributing to the education and development of children. Members of the Youngstown Symphony Society Board of Directors are asked to contribute generously to the orchestra setting the example for fellow directors and community, raise funds, ser ve on committees, sell tickets and attend concerts. Board of Directors are advocates for their orchestra and its programming. At a recent Society Annual Meeting Sarah Brown-Clark, Jay Crafton, Dr. Derrick Jackson, David Kosec, Diana McDonald, Rev. Christopher McKee, Jr., John Moliterno, Msgr. Robert Siffrin, JoAnn Stock, Dorothy Tesner, Joseph Rudinec and Scott Zoldan were elected to serve on the Society’s Board of Directors. Also at the Annual Meeting, James

James Dunlap

Dunlap was elected Honorary Life membership to the Board. Mr. Dunlap, a past recipient of the Fran Greenburg Awa rd for Outsta nding Board Service, has served as the Proper t y Ma nagement Committee Chairman for six years. Dunlap also performs with the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra as violist. He came to the orchestra in 1956 when he won the Ficocelli Award earning him a seat in the orchestra’s violin section. Mr. Dunlap was also an original member of the Junior Philharmonic. Mr. Dunlap joins Clarence R. Smith, Jr. as an Honorary Life Board member.




Broadway Kidz


he classrooms in the Adler Art Academy are alive with the sound of music every Saturday when Easy Street Productions present their Broadway Kidz Workshops. Easy Street co-founders Maureen Collins and Todd Hancock started Little Rascal Musical Workshops over twenty years ago as a way to find talented youngsters for their annual Christmas show Miracle on Easy Street. It was soon discovered that there was a hugh need for quality classes for aspiring young artists and the duo began holding the workshops three or four times a year. The workshops became so popular last year that they outgrew the Easy Street studio on Mahoning Avenue. A larger venue was needed and the Adler Art Academy on the second and third floor of the DeYor Performing Arts Center was the obvious first choice for Maureen Collins. “Moving my classes to such a beautiful and historic environment has been an exciting opportunity for these lucky kids. The studios are roomy and the windows showcase downtown Youngstown and all of its renovations. It truly feels like I’m teaching in a New York City loft!” The classrooms weren’t the only perks about moving the workshops

to the DeYor. Easy Street now stages their Little Rascal final performances and recitals in the Ford Family Recital Hall. Now family members and friends can see their budding star perform on an actual stage with lights and sound. “Our final performances in the Ford are just awesome” said Collins. “The kids love being on stage and the excitement they generate in front of their families fills the entire building”. The final Little Rascals workshop of the season begins September 24 for Little Monsters Musical Workshop. Students will meet every Saturday ending with participants performing a concert in costume on Halloween weekend in Ford Family Recital Hall. Little Rascals has become a permanent part of the local entertainment scene, popping up on local television commercials, featured as special guests including with the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra and in Easy Street full-scale productions. If you would like your child to get involved with the Easy Street Little Rascals, signing them up for a workshop is the best way to get started. For more information and registration forms visit the Easy Street Productions website at



A Grand Old Theatre

nce a flourishing business in downtown Youngstown, cinema theatres fell on hard times with the decline of movie attendance in the 60’s forcing the grand movie houses in the area to close. Today, one remains standing, the Warner Theatre now known as the Edward W. Powers Auditorium. Built in 1931, the theatre honored Sam Warner the brother of Harry, Jack and Albert Warner who resided in the area following their parent’s arrival in the United States from Eastern Europe. The theatre featured exotic woods, Egyptian brass chandeliers, tapestries and handpainted murals, which are still evidenced in the theatre today. In 1968 the Youngstown Symphony Society acquired the theatre and began the renovation to convert the movie house to a concert hall. Three hundred twenty-four days later on September 20, 1969, the newly renovated theatre was opened as the home of the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra. With the opening, the Symphony Society became the second musical organization in America following the St. Louis Symphony to renovate a former movie house for concert use. Since the acquisition of the theatre, the Youngstown Symphony Society has embarked on numerous renovation and expansion plans designed to streamline operations, increase visitor access, restore the facility to its original facade, enhance patron convenience and comfort and anchor the complex - now the DeYor Performing Arts Center - as the hub

Photo courtesy of Rudinec & Associates

Lobby of the DeYor Performing Arts Center.

of arts and entertainment in the Mahoning Valley. Next on the drawing board are plans to improve the venue energy consumption and system control ability with heating, air conditioning and ventilating upgrades that will permit the venue to grow into newer technology for heating and cooling and save energy costs. Planned sound improvements will provide digital systems with more flexibility and control than present venue equipment. Restoration of the Lower Salon will enable patrons to once again visit spaces considered to be some of the most beautiful in the facility. Main theatre curtains, original to the facility will be scheduled for replacement.

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Special Section: Youngstown Symphony  

Youngstown Symphony special section published September 11, 2016.

Special Section: Youngstown Symphony  

Youngstown Symphony special section published September 11, 2016.

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