The Biggest Day in YOLA (and LA Phil) History

For the past 11 years, the LA Phil has helped foster YOLA's growth from rehearsals for 80 children in South LA to today's robust program that serves 1,200 students across four orchestra sites. In that time, the LA Phil as an institution has been profoundly shaped by the students of YOLA.

Their importance was on full display during Celebrate LA! – the kick-off of the LA Phil's Centennial season in September. On September 30th, nearly 700 YOLA students participated in the LA Phil's massive, free street festival connecting Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, and every neighborhood in between.  

Here is a quick rundown of a few of YOLA's performances throughout the day:

* More than 400 YOLA students poured onto Grand Avenue in front of Walt Disney Concert Hall, where Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel led them in a performance that kicked off a day of 2,000 performers, 8 stages, and 120 hours of music.

* At the other end of the route, a jazz ensemble and YOLA at EXPO wind quintet performed at the Monique and Jonathan Kagan Patio at the Hollywood Bowl.

* In MacArthur Park's Levitt Pavilion, a YOLA at HOLA cello ensemble and chamber strings performed music by Mozart and Pérez Prado, following by a side-by-side concert with YOLA and LA Phil musicians, led by violinist Mitchell Newman.

* Nearly 50 students from YOLA at EXPO performed at the "Melrose" Hub -- in front of the iconic Paramount Studios gates.

* Finally, 85 YOLA students from the "YOLA Super Orchestra" took to the Hollywood Bowl main stage to perform Marquez's Conga del Fuego in front of 18,000 fans, during LA Phil 100 at the Bowl -- the day's free capstone concert.

YOLA at EXPO violinist Liliana Morales, who shared a stand with LA Phil Concertmaster Martin Chalifour, was no stranger to the Bowl's stage. She performed with Gustavo Dudamel there 10 years before at İBienvenido Gustavo! – his first concert as music director – when she was eight years old.

“Even as a child, I could feel his energy and passion for music while rehearsing with him," she wrote in an essay for the LA Phil's Centennial publication Past/Forward: The LA Phil at 100. "He encouraged us not to think of music as notes on a page, but as a story. He managed to captivate the imagination of everyone in the room. Together, we told a story through music.”

The LA Phil is incredibly grateful to YOLA's hardworking, committed students who are continuing this institution and this community's story every day.

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