Yo-Yo Ma performance showcases how the arts can improve communities

Local News

A huge concert in Warren took place Monday night with world renounced cellist Yo-Yo Ma as the special guest.

“It was incredible,” said musician Howard Howell.

Howell is the leader of a local group called The Point Five Band. His group got to see the concert up close and personal… because they were in it.

“No one could have ever told me that I would open up for Yo-Yo Ma,” he said.

Yo-Yo Ma’s performance is part of an initiative by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Arts Across America to keep creativity and arts thriving in cities around the country.

The beginning of the concert highlighted local artists.

Then, Yo-Yo Ma played with the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra and the Warren Philharmonic Orchestra.

What does this concert do for musicians watching in the Valley?

“It gives them hope. It gives them a venue. To know that you know they don’t have to step out of here,” Howell said.

Not only does it give them hope, it gives local musicians like Howell and his band opportunities.

“They mentioned about getting The Point Five Band to the Kennedy Center, and I’m like, ‘Wow!’ So I couldn’t even imagine that. So they talked to me and I said, ‘Yeah, let’s go for it!” he said.

The concert was put together in only three weeks. Organizers say they hope this will make more people support local artists.

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