Youth Orchestra

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The EXPO Center Youth Orchestra is an ensemble from South Los Angeles with a focus on excellence, community, and creativity. It is the first project of Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA), the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s initiative, supported by a network of stakeholders, to provide access to exceptional instrumental and orchestral education in order to promote youth development.

The EXPO Youth Orchestra is developed through a partnership of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, The Harmony Project, and the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. The program and the musical instruments are free to all participating students as long as they uphold their contract to take care of the instrument, practice, and attend lessons and orchestra rehearsals. Participating students live within a 5-mile radius of the EXPO Center and represent public, charter, and private schools in South Los Angeles.

Since being established in 2007, the program has grown to include three orchestras, after school enrichment program, mentorship, group lessons, and chamber music. The instruments offered are violin, viola, cello, bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, French horn, and percussion. Students are required to attend classes and rehearsals four days a week throughout the year. Two annual performances take place within the South Los Angeles community. In addition, students perform annually at the Walt Disney Concert Hall and have appeared multiple times on the iconic stage of the Hollywood Bowl. Students have also had the opportunity to work with Gustavo Dudamel, Marin Alsop, and Sir Simon Rattle, as well as share the stage with Stevie Wonder and Juanes. In March 2013, 10 students were selected to travel to London to perform in an open rehearsal with an orchestra made up of youth from London conducted by Gustavo Dudamel.

YouTube Videos from most Recent Performances

YOLA: Seeing the World Beautifully Through Classical Music

YOLA Stories: Dameon Williams

Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) at Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show

at Disney Concert Hall - April 2013

Juanes at EXPO- August 2012

Simon Bolivar Orchestra and YOLA at Cathedral-January 2012

YOLA EXPO Chamber Orchestra at WDCH
with Sir Simon Rattle
-May 5, 2012

Gustavo and EXPO Chamber Orchestra- October 2011

New Chamber Orchestra performance at Colburn- August 2011
Article: Feature Story -
Southwest Spirit Magazine

 (March 2013 issue)

Click HERE to read story PDF