The Day the Music Died

Music Education, a staple of  the Los Angeles Unified School District curriculum that inspired tens of thousands of students to pursue a career in the performing arts, died yesterday after a long battle with financial anemia. It was 159 years old. It’s the beginning of an obituary that almost had to be written this year […]

YOLA at HOLA

Located in the Rampart District, YOLA at HOLA (Heart of Los Angeles) serves hundreds of students with intensive after-school orchestral instruction five days a week. Classes include music creativity, singing and solfège, ensemble rehearsals, and an hour of academic tutoring daily. This holistic approach fosters a sense of community and provides the students with the […]

YOLA at EXPO Center

The YOLA program at EXPO Center, part of Exposition Park in South L.A., has grown to include three orchestras, a preschool program, mentorship, group lessons, chamber music and parent ensembles. The program serves hundreds of students who attend four days each week. In addition, students perform annually at Walt Disney Concert Hall and have appeared […]

Dudamel: Kids are Pros

“Music is a fundamental human right.” -Gustavo Dudamel Gustavo Dudamel made music education one of his top priorities as LA Philharmonic music director. Even before he assumed the post here, he spent time with the LA Phil’s Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) students at Expo Center south of downtown. And his first official downbeat as […]

Music Saves Lives

Perception of the potential of music education dramatically changed with the ascension of Gustavo Dudamel to international prominence in the early 2000s. At age 23, Dudamel won the prestigious International Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition in Bamberg, Germany. His podium prowess had the likes of conductors Esa-Pekka Salonen (LA Phil), Sir Simon Rattle (Berlin Philharmonic), Claudio […]

Hear Them Play

As arts educators in the United States look toward the Venezuelan example of El Sistema for inspiration about what is possible, the Los Angeles Philharmonic has created one possible solution. The LA Phil’s Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) program reaches 1,000 kids annually. And as KUSC’s Brian Lauritzen found out, that’s just the beginning.