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  • WDCH
  • LA Phil Introduces YOLA National Programs
  • Jun. 27, 2019
  • Three New Programs – YOLA National Festival, YOLA National Institute
    and YOLA National Symposium – Launch in July 2019

    United Airlines is the official airline of the LA Phil’s Learning Initiatives

    Los Angeles, CA (June 27, 2019) – The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association introduces YOLA National, comprised of three new programs – YOLA National Festival, YOLA National institute, and YOLA National Symposium – launching in July 2019. The programs stem from the LA Phil’s YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles) program, Gustavo Dudamel's signature initiative through which the LA Phil and community partners provide free instruments, intensive music training, and academic support to over 1,200 students from underserved neighborhoods.

    The YOLA National programs bring together those across the country who believe that music education has a powerful role to play in youth and community development. Designed to respond to the changing needs of the field, YOLA National offers an ever-growing number of opportunities for young musicians, teaching artists, program administrators, and other stakeholders to learn from and create community with one another. Through this work, the LA Phil aims to empower young people from populations that have been historically excluded from intensive music training and foster a dialogue among practitioners that will help shape the future of the field.

    YOLA National Festival

    An intensive summer learning program and top-tier ensemble, the YOLA National Festival is an opportunity for students from programs inspired by El Sistema and programs similarly invested in youth and community development through music.

    This year, YOLA National Festival musicians are comprised of 143 students ages 12 to 18 from 53 programs across 37 cities and 23 states. From July 16 to 28, the musicians will convene in Southern California for a two-week period of learning and performance with world-renowned conductors and artist mentors. Participation is free – travel, lodging, meals, and programming are provided to students at no cost. The 2019 program will feature two ensembles: the Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra.

    This year, musicians will work with American conductor Roderick Cox, winner of the 2018 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award from the U.S. Solti Foundation. Roderick Cox was named the Minnesota Orchestra’s Associate Conductor from September 2016 to July 2018 following a year as the ensemble’s Assistant Conductor. Previously, he served for two years as Assistant Conductor of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra.

    The Festival will culminate in a performance conducted by Gustavo Dudamel and Roderick Cox at Walt Disney Concert Hall on July 26.

    The Festival’s ultimate aim is to create a civic-minded community of young musicians from diverse regions across the country, while developing a model for excellence that will positively shape progressive music education nationwide.

    The 2019 YOLA National Festival roster can be found here.


    YOLA National Institute

    Open to select musicians from the 2019 YOLA National Symphony Orchestra, the YOLA National Institute offers in-depth training to young musicians interested in pursuing a career in music. The program includes additional activities during the 2019 YOLA National Festival in July and ongoing support over the course of the 2019/20 academic year. Program activities include mentorship, private instruction, chamber music coaching, travel opportunities, and financial support for college applications. Selected fellows will work together as a cohort to explore career pathways in music and be paired with artist-mentors as they navigate the college application process or their first year of college. Working in collaboration with their home programs, the Institute aims to supplement students’ musical experience at home and at the YOLA National Festival. All program expenses, including travel, room, and board, are covered. 

    The Institute’s inaugural class of fellows will perform with the LA Phil at the Hollywood Bowl in a performance led by Gustavo Dudamel on July 18 and will join the LA Phil’s 2019 Tour to Edinburgh, Scotland, from July 31 to August 5, 2019, immediately following the completion of the YOLA National Festival. Fellows will perform at the Edinburgh International Festival and collaborate with students from Sistema Scotland – Big Noise Raploch.

    The 2019 YOLA National Institute roster can be found here.


    YOLA National Symposium

    From July 24 to 27, the YOLA National Symposium will bring together educators, administrators, advocates, and other key stakeholders in Sistema-inspired programs and programs similarly invested in youth and community development through music education. The theme of the symposium is “Empowering Youth, Building Community.”

    Over the course of the symposium, participants from around the world share best practices, network with their peers, and explore the challenges and opportunities of empowering young people and communities through music.

    This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Bettina Love, an award-winning author and Associate Professor of Educational Theory & Practice at the University of Georgia. Dr. Love is one of the field’s most esteemed educational researchers in the area of hip hop education. Her research focuses on the ways in which urban youth negotiate hip hop music and culture to form social, cultural, and political identities to create new and sustaining ways of thinking about urban education and intersectional social justice. Her work is also concerned with how teachers and schools working with parents and communities can build communal, civically engaged schools rooted in intersectional social justice for the goal of equitable classrooms.

    The symposium will culminate in a performance of the YOLA National Symphony Orchestra at Walt Disney Concert Hall on July 26.

    More information about the YOLA National programs can be found at:


    About the Los Angeles Philharmonic
    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under the vibrant leadership of Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, presents an inspiring array of music from all genres – orchestral, chamber, and Baroque music, organ and celebrity recitals, new music, jazz, world music, and pop – at two of L.A.’s iconic venues, Walt Disney Concert Hall ( and the Hollywood Bowl ( The LA Phil’s season at Walt Disney Concert Hall extends from September to June and throughout the summer at the Hollywood Bowl. With the preeminent Los Angeles Philharmonic at the foundation of its offerings, the LA Phil aims to enrich and transform lives through music, with a robust mix of artistic, learning, and community programs.

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