Five Mahoning Valley musicians will share the stage with a legendary rock band.
By SEAN BARRON
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- Dena Massaro was listening to music and didn't hear her car phone ring. As she got out of her vehicle to go to class, Massaro activated her voice mail.
A dream came true -- with strings attached.
The person left a message asking Massaro if she would like to play her cello as part of a Yes performance.
As a result, Massaro, along with four others who play with the Youngstown Symphony, will be on stage Friday to perform with her favorite band. The show begins at 8 p.m. at Blossom Music Center.
"They are very dynamic, versatile and intriguing and have gone outside the boundaries of rock 'n' roll," Massaro said in describing the five-member progressive rock band.
Friday's Yes concert will feature an orchestra made up of about 40 musicians from various Northeast Ohio cities. Local orchestras are accompanying the band as part of its summer tour.
Yes formed in the late 1960s; hits include "Owner of a Lonely Heart," "Roundabout" and "Starship Trooper."
Yes is also Scott Burns' favorite band and, like Massaro, he will be making music with them. The Boardman cellist said he relates to the band on a spiritual and personal level.
"Yes' music has to do with colors and how they blend," he said. "You get a sense of atmosphere and color."
Effect of band: Burns, who began playing cello in 10th grade, said it's difficult to make sense of some of Yes' lyrics. However, the band's words and music reach him on an emotional level Burns described as therapeutic and healing.
"Their sounds just wash over you and give you certain feelings," he said.
Massaro said that Yes has a spiritual sound and that the band's lyrics tell more in-depth stories than the "love and defeat" themes she says are common in rock 'n' roll.
As a child, Massaro began playing her brother's violin but realized her passion was with the cello. When she was in fifth grade, she played in the orchestra at Boardman's Glenwood Middle School.
Massaro cited an October 2000 performance at Powers Auditorium, in which she played cello during the second half of a Glass Harp concert, as one of her most memorable. Massaro also said she was honored to have met John Anderson and the other Yes members during their Cincinnati concert last summer.
Tim Powell, a double bass player who will also be accompanying Yes, said he was recently in touch with a Cleveland contractor who works for Blossom Music Center. The contractor told him she needed several string players for Friday's show and Powell gave her Massaro's number.
Other local musicians who will be performing Friday include violinist Christine Burbano and clarinetist Robert Fitzer.