Take a Stand Update
YOLA in the Press
Student Spotlight
Stakeholder Spotlight

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July 25
YOLA at HOLA Summer Concert at Lafayette Park

August 3
YOLA at EXPO Summer Concert at Santee High School

September 29
YOLA Side-by-Side Concert with the LA Phil at WDCH

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       Summer 2013

YOLA Performs at Hollywood Bowl Opening Night

HB Opening Night

In a performance that the Los Angeles Times would later call “assured" and "tense,” 63 YOLA students took to the stage of the Hollywood Bowl to perform the Finale of Stravinsky’s Firebird. Led by Hollywood Bowl Orchestra Principal Guest Conductor Thomas Wilkins, the ensemble, made up of the most advanced students from across both YOLA sites, hushed the assembled audience with the piece’s triumphant opening french horn solo.  The performance, which built to a towering climax, was met with a standing ovation from the crowd.  Sharing the Hollywood Bowl Opening Night bill with such big names as Aerosmith, Patti Austin, and John Legend, and introduced by Glee’s Darren Criss, the YOLA ensemble made their impact felt at the star-studded event.

YOLA Expands to Serve Families East of Downtown L.A. with YOLA at LACHSA Site

The YOLA family will grow a bit bigger in the coming year when the third site, in partnership with the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA), opens in East Los Angeles.  Cities in the eastern portion of LA County will now have access to YOLA, made possible in part, with public funding from LA County Supervisor Gloria Molina. LACHSA, housed in a brand new building on the campus of Cal State LA,  has a long history of musical and academic excellence, excellence which YOLA at LACHSA will extend to new families and communities.

Learn more here.

Summer Programming Update

YOLA programming continues throughout the summer with some very special offerings. Though classical instrument instruction and orchestra rehearsals are ongoing, students at both YOLA sites are having fun trying on some different musical and non-musical skills. At YOLA at EXPO, students are participating in musical workshops in Jazz Improvisation, Mariachi, Drumming, and Wind Band. Rising high school juniors and seniors are also participating in a leadership training intensive, preparing them to be leaders at YOLA and beyond. At YOLA at HOLA, middle schoolers are having the opportunity to discuss some of the anxieties and excitements that arise at their age through participation in a "Transitions" class with their peers, supplemented with early morning yoga. Amid it all, students are playing lots and lots of music, as they get ready for performances later in the summer.


MAT Program Welcomes 18 New Students

Take a Stand

A new class of 18 students has taken up residence at the YOLA at Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) campus in Rampart District, beginning their year of study for the Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in Music program. With its focus on El Sistema, the MAT program, developed by Bard College, the Longy School of Music of Bard College, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic as a part of the Take a Stand initiative, offers candidates access to MAT faculty including Los Angeles Philharmonic musicians and leading scholars in music and education.  MAT Students also spend time getting to know YOLA programming through a hands-on practicum.  At the culmination of their first week of study, this new crop of MAT students will join 70 YOLA students as they travel to Santa Barbara to collaborate with other El Sistema programs.

We celebrate this group at the start of what is sure to be a challenging and exciting year!  To learn more about this group of students, visit the biography page.

To learn more about the MAT in Music, visit the Take a Stand Website.


YOLA in the Press

Opera MagazineInstruments of Change

LA TimesReview: Hollywood Bowl opens with Patti Austin, John Legend, Steven Tyler & Joe Perry

LA Times
Darren Criss of 'Glee': the story of his success

LA TimesLegend, Austin, Tyler and Perry join Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame

KTLAAerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry Receive Hollywood Bowl Honor

LA Weekly SlideshowsThe Hollywood Bowl's Star-Studded Opening Night 2013

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


Student Spotlight


Name: Maggie
Age: 11
Instrument: Viola
With YOLA Since:
Congratulations on playing Opening Night at the Hollywood Bowl! What did it feel like to be the only student in the Orchestra who had never played there before? Everybody was calling me “newbie.” And they said I was going to like it. And I said, “no…I might not like it.” And they ended up saying, “we told you so.” Before we played, I felt all nervous. I thought I was going to mess up where we accelerando. I mess up if I think about it too much. But when I was on the stage, I just enjoyed the music and stopped worrying about it.
Who was your favorite of the other performers at Hollywood Bowl Opening Night? The rock guys — Steven Tyler and Joe Perry at the end. I’d never heard them before, but I thought they were pretty awesome.  It was kind of funny how they were into the music.  And they showed how they actually felt the music. I play like that sometimes.  I feel the music the most when it’s the really fast parts.
Why do you like playing the viola? It’s not that high and not that low. It’s just medium. And that’s how I like it.


Name: Corina
Age: 16
Instrument: French horn
With YOLA Since:
How many times have you played at the Hollywood Bowl? This year's Opening Night was my third time.
What did it feel like to play the opening solo on Stravinsky's Firebird finale? Playing the solo from the Firebird Suite was amazing. It was like an adrenaline rush for me. I was nervous but really excited about going on stage. I felt that as a horn player playing the solo was my time to shine and make YOLA look awesome and let the audience be amazed and stunned by young musicians. After the solo was finished I smiled and everybody saw that on the screens, which was pretty hilarious.


Stakeholder Spotlight


On Wednesday, May 29th, 2013, the Incredible Children’s Art Network (iCAN) Music Program traveled to Pasadena to join the VYMA Music Project at Longfellow Elementary School for a day of collaboration and performance. Based on the El Sistema concept of Seminario, this was a special opportunity for teaching artists and students from independent nucleos to gather for an intensive and inspirational learning experience. Almost 110 elementary school students came together to work as one harmonious orchestra. That evening, the event culminated in a joint performance, where students showcased the works mastered earlier that day. 

This was the third consecutive year that iCAN and VYMA have brought students and teaching artists together. The large-scale coordination can be a quite a challenge, but each time, staff, family members, and musicians rejoice in the excitement of joint performance and the explosive learning of the day. This year, we wanted to share that learning even more extensively through documentation of the planning process and of the day itself. Lessons were codified, planning notes taken, and video cameras recorded the teaching and music-making. It is with great pride that iCAN and VYMA unveil a virtual "Seminario in a Box" where some of these materials can be explored. iCan and VYMA hope that teachers, administrators, and musicians alike find it useful and inspiring! 

To learn more about VYMA, please contact Samvel Chilingarian, www.VYMA.org
To learn more about iCAN, please contact Adam Johnston, www.icansbc.org

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 Orchestras’ Getty Education and Community Engagement Grants Program.


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