Skip to page content
  • LAPA
  • May. 17, 2013
  • The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, in partnership with the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) and Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, will establish YOLA at LACHSA, the third site of Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA) – the LA Phil’s initiative to provide access to free, high quality instrumental and orchestral education in order to promote youth development. Supervisor Molina is making a significant contribution to LACHSA in order to establish the LA Phil’s Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA) at LACHSA, which is in her district.  

    Deborah Borda, President and CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, stated, “We’ve been eager to expand YOLA east of downtown. We are enormously appreciative that Supervisor Molina’s gift allows that to happen in a way that can insure YOLA’s sustainability and growth over time. YOLA is built upon Gustavo Dudamel’s vision that music is a fundamental right for all, and this expansion furthers this goal and our mission.”

    Gustavo Dudamel’s Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA) program was launched in 2007 inspired by Venezuela’s revolutionary El Sistema. Through YOLA, the LA Phil and its community partners, in safe, after-school settings, provide free instruments, intensive music training, and academic support to students from underserved neighborhoods, enabling students to become vital citizens, leaders, and agents of change. YOLA also offers engaging programs for parents that help build a sense of community, and support children’s learning.

    “I’ve been so impressed by the depth of commitment the LA Phil and Gustavo Dudamel have to developing young musicians and community through YOLA,” says Supervisor Gloria Molina. “I wanted to make sure that kids in my district had an opportunity to be a part of this special program, and to develop the skills that might help them one day attend LACHSA themselves.”

    L.A. County High School for the Arts (LACHSA), the region’s premier public arts high school, is entering a new era for arts education with a new $31 million facility, marking a milestone in public arts education. Thanks to the allocation of state bond funding, LACHSA, previously integrated on the campus of Cal State L.A., now has its own building with 21 classrooms, “black box” theatre and outdoor stage area. This building will be the new home of YOLA at LACHSA. LACHSA is operated by the Los Angeles County Office of Education in partnership with Cal State L.A.

    George Simpson, LACHSA Principal, said, "I am so thrilled YOLA at LACHSA will be a reality! With this partnership, LACHSA can more fully realize its vision as an arts school for everyone in Los Angeles County."

    For more information about YOLA, please visit
    For more information about LACHSA, please visit


    Since Fall of 2007, YOLA has grown to serve over 550 students, ages 6-17, in South L.A. and the Rampart District. YOLA partners share costs and program management responsibilities. The YOLA initiative currently consists of two programs: YOLA at EXPO and YOLA at HOLA.

    Part of Exposition Park in South L.A., YOLA at EXPO has grown to include three orchestras, mentorship, group lessons, chamber music, and parent ensembles. The program serves hundreds of students who attend four days each week. In addition, students perform annually at Walt Disney Concert Hall and have appeared multiple times on the iconic stage of the Hollywood Bowl. YOLA at EXPO is a partnership of the LA Phil, Harmony Project, and EXPO Center, a City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks facility.

    YOLA at Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA), located in the Rampart District, serves hundreds of students with intensive after-school orchestral instruction five days a week. Classes include music creativity, singing and solfège, ensemble rehearsals, and 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).

    As of January 2013, YOLA is engaged in two new initiatives: USC Brain and Creativity Institute’s 5-year longitudinal brain study to track brain, emotional and social development in students participating in intensive music study, providing insight into the “musical mind”; and a Masters of Arts in Teaching Music through Bard College and Longy School of Music launched in the Rampart District at YOLA at HOLA, allowing musicians with a desire to respond to today’s educational needs, and who aspire to participate in the growing El Sistema movement in the U.S., to earn a teaching degree and credential.




  • Contact:

    Sophie Jefferies,, 213.972.3422
    Lisa Bellamore,, 213.972.3689
    Margo Minecki, Los Angeles County Office of Education, 562.500.5184
    Photos: 213.972.3034