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  • Los Angeles Philharmonic Announces Newest Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) Site: YOLA at Camino Nuevo
  • Oct. 22, 2018
  • Los Angeles Philharmonic Announces Newest Youth
    Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) Site: YOLA at Camino Nuevo

    Fourth Site of LA Phil’s Signature Free Music Education Program
    Introduces First In-School YOLA Model

    Serves as Site of a New Five-Year Research Study by the Brain and
    Creativity Institute at University of Southern California


    YOLA at Camino Nuevo musicians | Photo credit: Paul Cressey

    Los Angeles, CA (October 22, 2018) – The Los Angeles Philharmonic announces YOLA at Camino Nuevo, the fourth site of LA Phil Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel’s Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) program, through which the LA Phil and its community partners provide free, high-quality music training and academic support to over 1200 students from vulnerable communities. YOLA at Camino Nuevo serves hundreds of students in the Westlake/MacArthur Park area of Los Angeles and is home to the first in-school YOLA model, democratizing access to a rigorous sequential music-education-through-the-school environment, with additional music enrichment in after-school hours. Currently serving students in grades K-5, YOLA at Camino Nuevo will, over time, serve students in grades K-12 at the Kayne Siart campus and Miramar campus of Camino Nuevo Charter Academy.

    YOLA at Camino Nuevo is also the site of a five-year research study by the Brain and Creativity Institute (BCI) at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences. Titled Music Education and Human Development, the study is aimed at investigating the effects of music training on the emotional, cognitive, social, and neural development of children. This research – led by Drs. Antonio Damasio and Hanna Damasio, directors of the Brain and Creativity Institute and the Dana and David Dornsife Cognitive Neuroimaging Center at USC, and project director Dr. Assal Habibi, assistant research professor of psychology at the Brain and Creativity Institute – offers the possibility of assessing the impact of musical training on human development, from childhood to adolescence, and answering a critical question: what is the role and place of music education in school curricula? Through rigorous research, evaluation, and documentation, YOLA at Camino Nuevo will serve as an advocacy project communicating the benefits of a K-12 music education, and as a learning laboratory and model for school districts interested in developing a progressive, sequential music education program for their students. The study is made possible by a generous grant from GRoW @ Annenberg – a philanthropic initiative led by Gregory Annenberg Weingarten, a vice president and director of the Annenberg Foundation – and by the continued collaboration and support of the LA Phil.

    The new study extends the Brain and Creativity Institute’s prior efforts to examine child development and music education. Results obtained to date from a study launched in 2012 and carried out in collaboration with the LA Phil and YOLA at Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA), suggest that after two to three years of music training, six- to seven-year-old children show enhanced mental and behavioral skills. Their level of brain maturation is also shown to be higher than in a comparable group of children who did not receive music training.

    The launch of YOLA at Camino Nuevo is part of the LA Phil’s Centennial initiatives aimed at doubling the number of YOLA students by 2021. In addition, in East Los Angeles, what began in 2014 as YOLA at LACHSA in partnership with the L.A. County Office of Education and with support from Supervisor Hilda L. Solis, is continuing this school year at East L.A. Performing Arts Magnet at Torres High School. Now known as YOLA at Torres, the program establishes a long-term relationship with LAUSD and Beyond the Bell, and allows more students in East L.A. to be served by the program.

    Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA)
    Through Gustavo Dudamel’s Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) program – inspired by Venezuela’s revolutionary El Sistema – the LA Phil and its community partners provide free instruments, intensive music training, and academic support to over 1200 students from vulnerable communities, empowering them to become vital citizens, leaders, and agents of change. YOLA provides each student, from the ages of 6 to 18, with a strong musical and social foundation through participation in 12-15 hours of programming each week. 

    With YOLA sites in South L.A., the Rampart District, Westlake/MacArthur Park, and East L.A., YOLA engages students from more than 200 schools in L.A. County. Music study is complemented by leadership development opportunities, parent workshops, and performances. YOLA’s young musicians have performed on great stages all over the world, including the LA Phil’s two iconic venues, the Hollywood Bowl and Walt Disney Concert Hall; in many other locations throughout Southern California; on national and international television broadcasts; and alongside the greatest artists. 

    On August 15, the Los Angeles Philharmonic unveiled the architectural design by Gehry Partners, LLC, for its new Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen YOLA Center @ Inglewood: YOLA’s first permanent, purpose-built facility.

    For more information, please visit

    Camino Nuevo Charter Academy
    Camino Nuevo Charter Academy is a community of high-performing charter public schools that utilizes a comprehensive approach to prepare students from preschool through high school for success in college and in life. CNCA students reside in some of the most underserved areas of central Los Angeles, including the communities of MacArthur Park, Koreatown, Pico-Union, and Echo Park. Learn more at


  • Contact:

    Sophie Jefferies,, 213.972.3422 
    Lydia Fong,, 213.972.3689 
    Photos: 213.972.3034