Symphony Banners: ‘In Concert With You’

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Youngstown Symphony Orchestra wants to be “In Concert With You,” as its new banners that hang outside the DeYor Center proclaim.

Tom Phillips, Randall Craig Fleischer and Mayor John A. McNally played a resounding chord for all music lovers on a rainy Wednesday morning as they stood inside Overture restaurant to present the black vinyl banners visible outside.

Hanging the banners — their white letters read “In Concert With You” — was not a simple matter, as Phillips, chairman of the symphony board of directors, related.

The idea originated with Claire Maluso, retired director of Youngstown Federal Plaza and one of the strongest boosters of the downtown. Maluso approached the president and CEO of the symphony society, Patricia Syak, about hanging the banners along the 200 block of West Federal Street and Symphony Place.

Banners for other institutions — Youngstown State University, for one — hang on poles elsewhere in the downtown and along arteries that lead to it.

As McNally said in his remarks, “Patricia has learned more about light poles than she ever wanted to know.”

Syak related afterward that she learned there are utility poles, traffic poles and breakaway poles.

Ohio Edison Co. owns the utility poles that support lights. The city owns the poles where wires lead to the traffic signals. And the breakaway poles could not be used.

The lawyers for First Energy, parent of Ohio Edison, needed a half hour to allow permission, McNally related, while he had to sign off on the traffic poles. And both the utility and the city specified that the banners must be at least 15.5 feet above the sidewalks.

In presenting the banners, Phillips noted, “We have taken another step in strengthening the bond of the symphony with Youngstown.” Phillips manages the branch of the Stifel Nicolaus & Co. on South Avenue in Boardman.

The mayor praised “In Concert With You” as “a great saying” and the symphony and its musicians as “a long and important part of the downtown arts community.”

Fleischer, music director and conductor of the symphony, said the banners will raise awareness “about the incredible artists who come into this building. … At this corner the arts thrive, and Youngstown thrives.”

In Powers Auditorium of the DeYor Center, Fleischer noted, all kinds of musicians and all types of music are performed, from rap to rock to country to pop to classical. And world-renown artists and performers, such as Carol Wincenc, who teaches flute at the Julliard School, have been impressed by the DeYor Center when they come here to play with the symphony, Fleischer said.

Pictured: Tom Phillips, Patricia Syak and Randall Craig Fleischer.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.