Music in Motion at the 2019 Rose Parade

At the Rose Parade, the bands have to march five miles. The 12 orchestra musicians from YOLA, by contrast, got to glide through Pasadena atop Kaiser Permanente’s Rose Parade float.

The float, which was decorated by more than 500 volunteers from Kaiser Permanente and their families, represented the LA Phil’s two iconic venues. Walt Disney Concert Hall’s curved steel walls were replicated in silvery tree leave. The Hollywood Bowl’s white shell? It was made of coconut chips.

The orchestra also included 10 members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and five Kaiser medical professionals, all led by LA Phil Assistant Conductor Paolo Bortolameolli.

Fryda Brito, a YOLA at EXPO Center flutist and float rider, said of the experience: “Music brings everyone together, and I’m happy that people watching the parade and on TV will experience music and what we do every day.”

Though students didn’t perform live, a recording of the finale from Stravinsky’s Firebird was played as fireworks were set off over the re-creation of the Bowl’s bandshell.

LA Phil Education Project Manager Fabian Fuertes accompanied YOLA's students on the float. "Having the unique opportunity of being able to ride on a gorgeous float in the Rose Parade with LA Phil musicians, YOLA musicians, and Kaiser Permanente physicians will be a memory that I cherish for the rest of my life," Fuertes said. "It was a chilly morning, but that couldn't compare to the warmth of cheerful audience members along the parade route yelling: 'We love you LA Phil and Kaiser!' 'Yeah, YOLA!' and 'Happy New Year, LA Phil -- Play for us!' It was truly euphoric."

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