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       Spring 2013

YOLA Students Travel to London


In March, ten high school-aged YOLA students travelled to London to take part in music workshops, participate in panels and presentations at the Future Play symposium, meet peer musicians from the UK, and perform in an open rehearsal with Gustavo Dudamel and young musicians from around London. Samantha (featured in this issue's Student Spotlight) said of her arrival in London, "Today I saw snow for the first time.  I liked how it slowly fell onto our heads. It’s insane to think that just yesterday we were in LA."

After the symposium concluded, the YOLA students spent a day learning and rehearsing with the young students of In Harmony Lambeth - one of England's El Sistema-inspired programs. Read more about the YOLA trip here.

Conductor David Robertson Joins YOLA at Walt Disney Concert Hall

An audience of parents, families, and friends of YOLA gathered in Walt Disney Concert Hall on April 6th to enjoy a concert performance involving more than 300 YOLA students in four ensembles.  Young musicians from YOLA’s EXPO and HOLA sites—ranging in age from 6 to 18—took to the stage in an afternoon that celebrated all levels of YOLA musicians.  Maestro David Robertson, acclaimed conductor and Music Director of the St. Louis Symphony, opened the show with the EXPO Center Chamber Orchestra, leading them in Bizet’s Carmen Suite.  Beginner orchestras from YOLA at HOLA and YOLA at EXPO and an intermediate Wind Ensemble from HOLA took to the stage for the middle of the concert, before the Chamber Orchestra returned to close the program with an impassioned rendition of excerpts from Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite.

Watch a video of the YOLA at EXPO Chamber Orchestra performing excerpts from Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite."

Frank di Polo, Founding Member of El Sistema, Teaches YOLA String Students

Fresh off a plane from Tokyo, Frank di Polo, one of El Sistema's founding members and a leader in the development of music education programs around the world, spent an evening working with more than 60 of YOLA at EXPO's viola and violin students. Di Polo began the session working with 30 intermediate strings before teaching a room full of the most advanced violinists and violists in the YOLA program. Di Polo ended his visit in a master class with five YOLA violists, whom he encouraged to play "Fuerte," insisting he should still be able to hear them when he walked outside and across the courtyard. Di Polo's charismatic persona and years of teaching experience made for a fun-filled night at the South LA site.


Future Play Symposium: Learn More Online

John Adams

Delegates from 14 countries gathered at London's Barbican Centre for the Future Play symposium, an event held in conjunction with the LA Phil's Barbican International Residency and hosted in partnership with Guildhall School and Longy School of Music of Bard College. Registrants spent three days taking in keynotes, discussions, and workshops, in a symposium that culminated with Discover Dudamel, an open rehearsal with Gustavo Dudamel and an orchestra that included 100 young London musicians and 10 YOLA students.

To learn more about the symposium through pictures, articles, and recordings, visit the LA Phil's Future Play website.


YOLA in the Press

Spirit MagazineIf You Know Four Notes...Teach Someone Who Knows Three

KUSCPostcard from London: Discover Dudamel

LA Times
LA Phil makes an impression with "Discover Dudamel"

In Harmony BlogIn Harmony Lambeth meets Youth Orchestra Los Angeles

The GuardianMusic Education Keeps on Moving

Financial Times
Gustavo Dudamel: not just another maestro?

LA Times
Grammy Museum adds Gustavo Dudamel artifacts

Hackney Citizen
Discover Dudamel at the Barbican - review

For more YOLA-related press, photos, and video, visit our YOLA Media Library.


Student Spotlight

As part of their trip to London, YOLA students were asked to keep a journal documenting their thoughts and experiences on the trip. This issue's Student Spotlight accounts are drawn from those journals.


Name: Miguel
Age: 16
Instrument: Clarinet
With YOLA Since:
On Making Friends in London: "I’m surprised with how easy it was to make friends here.  Everybody is nice and very respectful.  It’s also very weird for me because I needed to get used to everybody talking with an accent.  I thought everybody was just messing with me and that their accent wasn’t real.  Every second I had to remind myself that I was in London and things are different here."
Special Note: As part of the Future Play symposium, Miguel sat on a panel of students who discussed their own experiences and ambitions within music education. Miguel discussed his plans to start an El Sistema program in Oaxaca, Mexico after college.


Name:  Samantha
Age: 14
Instrument: Violin for 5 years. Just switched to Viola.
With YOLA Since:
On the First London session for the Discover Dudamel Open Rehearsal: "When I sat down at the rehearsal and played, that's when I knew I want to be a musician for the rest of my life. I love music and I'm going to work hard and when I finish school I'm going to pursue a career as a musician. Music is my passion, music is freedom, music is my life.
On Being Inspired by the Young Musicians at In Harmony Lambeth: "One of the teachers sent up four kids to conduct. I didn't know what to expect. When they got up there, I woke up and realized how fortunate these kids were. It reminded me of the little kids at HOLA and the beginners at EXPO. It reminded me of how fun it was whenever I helped them out. Then I remembered how many kids are on the waiting list. My emotions immediately changed. I went from inspired to determined. I am determined to help out as many kids as I can, not just for now but for the rest of my life whenever I can. I always try to remind myself to give back to the community that's helped me out so much, but lately I've been getting a bit lazy and have stopped helping out. Now I need to lead by example."

To read more excerpts from YOLA students' London journals, visit the LA Phil blog Tour Diary posts at:
YOLA Tour Diary, Part 1
YOLA Tour Diary, Part 2


Stakeholder Spotlight


In February 2013, San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory (SDYS) achieved a major milestone toward the goal of "Making Music Education Accessible and Affordable for All."  

As a result of SDYS' Community Opus Project, the Chula Vista Elementary School District announced this week it will begin hiring full time music teachers for the coming school year. Over the coming years, the district aims for all 44 of its schools to deliver music education to its 28,500 K-6 students!

Since launching the Community Opus Project in partnership with Chula Vista Elementary School District in 2010, the positive effects that music education has had on the students have been groundbreaking:

  • improved motivation and behavior
  • increased attendance and standardized test scores
  • significantly higher parental engagement in their children's overall education

The Community Opus Project went from providing after school music programs in two Chula Vista Schools in 2010-11 to seven schools in 2012-2013. During this time, the School District became so convinced of the benefits of music education for the students, as well as for their families and the community as a whole, that it decided to reinstate school-day music. Because 10 years have passed since music was offered during the school day on these campuses, the district has asked SDYS to collaborate on the program's development and implementation.

Read U-T San Diego's recent article about this news: "Music Class Makes Triumphant Return"

Click here for more information about the YOLA Stakeholder Network.

Leadership support for the LA Phil's Educational Initiatives is provided by the Peggy Bergmann YOLA Endowment Fund, the Lee and Hope Landis Warner YOLA Student Fund, Norma D. Kayser Trust, Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts, Rose Hills Foundation, Max H. Gluck Foundation, Anonymous, William Randolph Hearst Foundation, James Irvine Foundation, Walt Disney Company and Toyota Motor Sales, Inc. Additional support is provided by the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation through the League of American Orchestra's Getty Award program.


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