LA Phil Blog

YOLA Tour Diary, Part 1

YOLA Tour Diary, Part 1

From March 12 to March 17th, 10 high school-aged YOLA students travelled to London to take part in music workshops, participate in panels and presentations at the Future Play symposium, meet peer musicians from the UK, and perform in an open rehearsal with Gustavo Dudamel and young musicians from around London.  While the international travel was a major event on its own, the trip was also significant for bringing together students from each of YOLA’s two sites—YOLA at EXPO in South LA, a partnership of LA Phil, Harmony Project, and the EXPO Center (a City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks facility), and YOLA at HOLA in Rampart District, a partnership of LA Phil and Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA).

Somehow, despite a jam-packed schedule, the students managed to document their trip in journal entries.

DAY 1 – March 12, 2013

Major Events: The long flight from LAX to Heathrow


YOLA students and chaperones just moments before loading into vans and driving to Los Angeles International Airport.

( r. back row: Laura, Paloma, Malonie, Bruce, Christine, Stephen. Middle row: Samantha, Rodas, Abdiel, Miguel, Isaac, Jacob. Front row: Edson, Raymond.)

Samantha: I am currently on the plane.  I got a window seat!  We just got on so I’m not that bored yet.  There is a baby crying… We’re flying above mountains, which is pretty cool because I’ve never been to the mountains.

Laura: I love how the airplane is so big and it has a screen for each person and different movies, games, etc. to do while on the plane.

Samantha: The flight went really well.  I loved looking out the window during the night.  I never thought I’d ever be that close to the clouds.


DAY 2 – March 13, 2013

Major Events: Arriving in London, getting a sense of the city, and first snow.


Rodas, Abdiel, Raymond and Isaac crowd into a London phone booth

Samantha: We just got back from a walk around London and eating dinner.  Dinner was so good!  Afterwards we walked around, going to the bridge and to a church nearby.  The sight was AMAZING! I love London!  It’s so beautiful and I love their accent too.  The architecture is so insane and extremely impressive.

Laura: The buildings in London are built completely differently.  Here, they’re mostly made of brick.  In LA, they’re made of wood and concrete because of the earthquakes.  So far, I think that the city is gorgeous and full of so much history. I think this city is worth waiting 10 hours on the plane for.

Isaac: I was wondering what my parents meant when they said London was a “cosmopolitan city.”  They obviously meant amazing with so many different European cultures.  The people here seem really nice, when they’re not in a hurry.”

Laura: I’m so excited to meet the kids who we are playing with.  I can’t wait for our concert…I still can’t believe we’re in London.

Samantha: Today I saw snow for the first time.  I liked how it slowly fell onto our heads. It’s insane to think that just yesterday we were in LA.


Laura, Samantha and Malonie stay warm as snow falls over London

Raymond: I am thrilled to be in London.  It is a great accomplishment and I am proud of it. Very cold. My nose was frozen cold.  It snowed right before we left to dinner.  It was neat that we saw snow falling in London.  I am very grateful that I have all my chaperones, the LA Phil, HOLA and all of our supporters that made it possible for us to get here.

Samantha: The hardest part about today was watching out for the cars!  Well, I’m getting sleepy and tomorrow we have a full day ahead of us.  Wish us luck!

Tune back in tomorrow for the YOLA Tour Diary, Part 2.