Sister Cities of Houston One World Concert a Huge Success

Heidi PP- Editor in Chief

Audience members attending the free 18th Annual Sister Cities of Houston (SCH) One World Concert 2023 on October 25th at MATCH were treated to an evening that they will long remember. Susan Young, President of the organization that promotes citizen diplomacy, welcomed the group to the performance whose theme was Building Bridges for the Future.

Mayor Sylvester Turner, a strong supporter of both SCH and the event, came for the last time before his term in office ends. Introduced by emcee Pooja Lodhia, a member of the ABC-13 Eyewitness News Team, the Mayor said wonderful things about the valuable projects of the nineteen associations that are partnered with cities around the globe. Before going to a celebration that was in his honor, he stayed for the first act—Cool Pops FLY Dance Company, The Gentlemen of Hip Hop. The energetic young men started the show with a bang.

Members of the Houston-Basrah team that won the Sister Cities Soccer Tournament were honored for their achievement, then the elegant, talented violinist Dominika Dancewicz enthralled the audience by playing Sonata for Solo Violin (Op 115) by Sergei Prokofiev. Aris Kian Brown, Houston Poet Laureate, 2023-2025, inspired everyone with the presentation of her piece, How to Build a Bridge.

In a change of pace, the group Moodafaruka, starring Rom Ryan and Edita Rozenberg, played Less is Moorish and Save the World, examples of Music Without Borders. Everyone was awed by the young, talented Chinese Classical Dancer Aria Wang, Chinese/Modern Dancer Daisy Chen, and Musician Yixiu Yang who played a variety of Chinese instruments.

Katumbella, an Angolan Singer/Songwriter, had people clapping and toe-tapping to the rhythm of her songs. At one point she went into the audience to get Susan Young and the honoree Ellen Israel Goldberg to dance with her. It was a surprise move that brought everyone to their feet.

The final portion of the concert was the One World Award Ceremony 2023. Following a short video showing highlights of the recipient’s life, produced by Anita Long, Katumbella, on behalf of Sister Cities of Houston, presented a beautiful trophy to Ellen, recognizing her dedication and commitment to building bridges and promoting peace.

Following the concert, a reception gave everyone a chance to mingle and enjoy refreshments.
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