Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles opens its first school headquarters

Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles opens its first school headquarters

The Los Angeles Youth Orchestra (YOLA, for its acronym in English) premiered today its fourth "satellite" headquarters in Los Angeles and the first that operates within a community school.

The charter school (concerted) Camino Nuevo, located in a sector with a large Hispanic population in the northwest of the city, will offer free music lessons and other benefits to its students and the community.

The director of Camino Nuevo, Ana Ponce, today welcomed "the first model of YOLA that works within a school" and expressed her pleasure in hosting the youth orchestra, benefitting many children and young people of low income.

The programs that YOLA will develop on campus include high-quality music instruction after school hours, several days a week, and additional practices on Saturdays, as well as participation in tours and other musical events.

YOLA is a project started in Los Angeles in 2007 by the famous Venezuelan musician Gustavo Dudamel, musical and artistic director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic (LA Phil).

The proposal is a reflection of his own personal experience when Dudamel was part of El Sistema, a musical education program of his country, very popular and founded in 1975 by educator, musician and activist José Antonio Abreu.

"When I was little, in Venezuela, I joined El Sistema and I learned first hand that music has the power to change people's lives, now LA Phil is doing just that through YOLA," the musician said.

Dudamel spoke today with the students and parents and explained the scope of the project, which currently has four "satellite" sites in Los Angeles, including the one inaugurated today.

As explained by the Venezuelan director in statements sent to Efe, YOLA "is an inspirational project, it is not just an orchestra, it is not just a music school, it is a place of hope and inspiration".

YOLA's future headquarters was designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry and is scheduled to begin construction in 2019 in the city of Inglewood, southwest of Los Angeles.

The program currently benefits more than 1,200 students from low-income areas with a majority of Hispanic residents, such as South LA, Rampart District, Westlake / MacArthur Park and East LA, as reported today at the meeting, which also included Simon Woods , executive director of LA Phil.


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