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In the fall of 2007, the LA Phil and its community partners launched Youth Orchestra Los Angeles, a music program for 80 students in South L.A.

YOLA currently serves more than 1,200 young musicians across four sites, providing them with free instruments, intensive music instruction (up to 18 hours per week), academic support, and leadership training. The program began as an adaptation of Venezuela’s revolutionary El Sistema music education program, but it is now an innovative model in its own right, guiding students and teachers from nearly 100 music programs around the country.

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“To share music with children — who might not otherwise have access to it — is to share beauty, to share a different way of being. It can change their definition of what is possible for themselves.”

Gustavo Dudamel
Music & Artistic Director, Walt and Lilly Disney Chair, Los Angeles Philharmonic


YOLA Sites and Partners

YOLA currently comprises four sites across Los Angeles. Though all are guided by a unified philosophy and mission, each site is designed differently to serve the specific needs of its community.

YOLA’s every success — from its local impact to its national influence — is built on a foundation of partnership. Through YOLA, community partners, peer program partners, and philanthropic partners come together to serve a common goal: putting the transformative power of music-making into the hands of young people who would not otherwise have access to it.

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From left to right: Frank Gehry, Liliana Morales, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Gustavo Dudamel, Thomas L. Beckmen, Judith Beckmen, Moses Aubrey, Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts

Beckmen YOLA Center at Inglewood

The Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen YOLA Center at Inglewood marks the next step in YOLA's evolution: a space of its own. The Frank Gehry-designed Center will expand YOLA's impact locally and influence nationally, while providing much-needed creative space and resources to its surrounding community.

Student recruitment will begin Winter 2019.

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Support YOLA at Inglewood


YOLA at EXPO Center

Location: South L.A.
Established: 2007
Ages: 6-18
Students: 320
Hours per week: 12-18
Number of orchestras: 3

The YOLA at EXPO Center program, within Exposition Park in South L.A., has grown to include three orchestras, mentorship, group lessons, chamber music, and parent programs.

YOLA at EXPO Center is a partnership of the LA Phil, Harmony Project, and the EXPO Center, a City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks facility.



Location: Rampart District
Established: 2010
Ages: 8-18
Students: 250
Hours per week: 15
Number of orchestras: 2



YOLA at HOLA (Heart of Los Angeles) classes include music creativity, singing and solfège, ensemble rehearsals, and an hour of academic tutoring daily. This holistic approach fosters a sense of community and provides the students with the opportunity to take advantage of HOLA’s exceptional programs and resources.

YOLA at HOLA is a partnership between the LA Phil and Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA).

In Our Community

Music gave me a life I never imagined I would have, and it made me realize that where I came from had nothing to do with where I can go.” - Marcela, YOLA, Class of 2014

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YOLA at Torres

Location: East L.A.
Established: 2014
Ages: 8-17
Students: 180
Hours per week: 12-15
Number of orchestras: 2



Nestled on the campus of Esteban E. Torres High School, a performing arts magnet school in East L.A., YOLA at Torres offers students the opportunity to thrive in an intensive, nurturing musical environment, receiving up to 15 hours of musical instruction and academic tutoring per week.

YOLA at Torres receives logistics and infrastructure support from the East L.A. Performing Arts Magnet and Beyond the Bell.

YOLA at Camino Nuevo

Location: Westlake/MacArthur Park
Established: 2017
Ages: 5-11
Students: 500
Hours per week: 10

YOLA at Camino Nuevo is the first in-school YOLA model, allowing the LA Phil to bring rigorous music education into the school day and extend it after school. Currently serving students in grades K-5, the program will grow to serve students through 12th grade at the Kayne Siart and Miramar campuses of Camino Nuevo Charter Academy.