YOLA Students at Summer Programs Across the Country

Summer is no idle time for YOLA and its students. The program’s orchestra sites remain active with summer sessions, while more than 150 students traveled to rustic Idyllwild for the fourth iteration of YOLA Summer Camp. Additionally, this year 15 students attended prestigious summer music programs at Interlochen Arts Camp in northern Michigan and Tanglewood Music Center in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts.

“Overnight summer programs are a rite of passage for teenage musicians,” YOLA Project Manager Angelica Cortez said. A graduate herself of Interlochen and a Los Angeles native, Cortez recognizes that “intensive programs, away from the distractions of everyday life, are incredibly meaningful for them.”  

Closer to home, YOLA hosted its own summer institute at Buckhorn Camp in Idyllwild, CA, 110 miles east of Los Angeles. Up in the San Jacinto Mountains, away from the distractions of school or family, students could relax and concentrate on chamber music. Working in groups of three to six, they received focused attention daily from YOLA teaching artists.

This year 10 YOLA alumni, on break from colleges and conservatories, stayed in the cabins with the campers, led leadership-building games, planned activities, and helped students practice.

When campers first arrived, one alumni mentor immediately led them up to an overlook at Buckhorn Camp known as Inspiration Point. “I remembered from when I was a student at YOLA Camp, how important it was to look out from there. When you realize that all you can see in any direction is trees, that’s when it clicks that you’re somewhere very different and very special.”

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