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An intensive summer learning program and top-tier ensemble, the YOLA National Festival is an opportunity for young musicians from Sistema-inspired programs and programs similarly invested in youth and community development through music.

2020 applications are now open! Find application link and materials below.

Musicians convene each summer in Southern California for a two-week period of learning and performance with world-renowned conductors and artist mentors. Participation is free—travel, lodging, meals, and programming are provided to students at no cost. The 2020 program will feature two ensembles: the Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra.

The festival’s ultimate aim is to create a civically-minded community of young musicians from diverse regions across the country, while developing a model for excellence that will positively shape progressive music education nationwide.

To learn more about eligibility and the application process, read below or email YOLA@laphil.org.

 

Application Information & Timeline

The application involves three core components: a musical audition, a personal statement, and a recommendation from a program manager or teacher. Once you have created your login and started your 2020 application, we suggest you download the application checklist below, begin practicing your required excerpts, and start thinking about your personal statement. If you have any questions, please email YOLA@laphil.org

Start Your Application

 

Application Timeline

December 6, 2019

Audition repertoire posted

February 3, 2020

Applications close

February 10, 2020

Recommendations due

March 2, 2020

Notifications distributed to applicants

YOLA National Institute (YNI) applications open to select musicians of the YOLA National Symphony Orchestra

March 16, 2020

YNI Applications close

April 1, 2020

YNI Notifications distributed to applicants

June 30 – July 12, 2020

YOLA National Festival


Additional YOLA National Institute dates to be determined. Check back soon for further updates!

Eligibility Requirements

Young musicians applying for the YOLA National Festival must meet the program requirements and age requirements in order to participate. For full details about program eligibility, please download our Eligibility PDF. All students must be enrolled in a music program that is directly inspired by El Sistema, or is similarly invested in youth empowerment. While each program operates differently, there are basic tenets which this Festival aims to support. Additionally, musicians must meet the age requirements for each orchestra.  

All applicants should only submit one application, with one set of excerpts.

Symphony Orchestra

High school musicians between the ages 14-18 may apply to the 100-member Symphony Orchestra. This is a highly competitive ensemble, open to the most advanced players from Sistema-inspired and aligned programs from across the country. Excerpts for the Chamber Orchestra can be found on our Audition Requirements page. Applicants who are 14 years old and apply to the Symphony Orchestra will automatically be considered for the Chamber Orchestra.

Chamber Orchestra

Musicians aged 12-14 are eligible for the Chamber Orchestra. Musicians who are 14 years old can either apply for the Symphony Orchestra, and be considered for both orchestras, or choose to apply only for the Chamber Orchestra. Excerpts for the Chamber Orchestra can be found on our Audition Requirements page.

 

NEW THIS YEAR!

Expanded Chamber Orchestra & YOLA National Institute

Formerly a string orchestra, this year’s Chamber Orchestra program offers wind and brass musicians the opportunity to become part of a national orchestra of musicians from across the country.

This year, select musicians of the YOLA National Symphony Orchestra will be eligible to apply to the YOLA National Institute's second cohort! The program aims to support young musicians interested in pursuing a career in music, offering the opportunity to learn from artists, creative projects, and each other. Check back for further information! 

Locations

Check back soon for more information about special performances, rehearsals, and venues!

Los Angeles, CA Walt Disney Concert Hall

Conductors

Gustavo Dudamel Music & Artistic Director, Los Angeles Philharmonic
Soo Han Chamber Orchestra Conductor, Director of Orchestral Activities, Baldwin Wallace Conservatory

Faculty

Jennifer Grim Flute, University of Miami, Incoming Associate Professor of Flute
Claire Brazeau Oboe, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Principal Oboe, CSU Long Beach, Bob Cole Conservatory of Music, Oboe Faculty
Mariam Adam Clarinet, Chineke Orchestra and Chamber Ensemble - Principal Clarinet, International Soloist and Musician
Lecolion Washington Bassoon, Community Music Center of Boston, Executive Director
Annie Bosler Horn, Los Angeles Freelance Musician, Cal State Northridge and Pasadena City College, Professor of Horn, Author of College Prep for Musicians
Burt Mason Metropolitan Opera, Associate Musician, Chamber Orchestra of New York, Principal Trombone, Juilliard Music Advancement Program, Trombone and Low Brass
Herbert SmithTrumpet, Rochester Symphony Orchestra, Third Trumpet, Rochester Institute of Technology, Adjunct Professor, Director of RIT Jazz Ensembles
Mariesther Alvarez Violin, Boston String Academy, Director, Longy School of Music of Bard College, Faculty
Simon Bernardini Violin, Berliner Philharmoniker
Benjamin Hoffman Violin, Redlands Symphony, Principal Second Violin, Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, Violin
Cosima Luther Violin, YOLA at EXPO, Violin Teaching Artist
Lauren Rausch Violin, John Hopkins Peabody Preparatory, Director, Young People's String Program & Coordinator, Tuned-In Program
Tiffany Rice Violin, The Windsor School, Boston, MA, Director of Performing Arts and Music Faculty
James Woomert Violin, Atholton High School, Columbia, MD, Director of Orchestras, & Howard County Gifted and Talented Youth Orchestra, Co-Director
Mellasenah Edwards Violin, Baltimore School for the Arts, Music Department Head
Amber Archibald-Sešek Viola, Sesek String Studio, Viola Faculty, Seattle Pacific University, Professor of Viola
Chris Jenkins Viola, Oberlin Conservatory, Associate Dean and Liason to the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Troy Stuart Cello, John Hopkins Peabody Preparatory, Cello & Chamber Music Faculty
Terrence Thornhill Cello, Paterson Music Project, NJ, Teaching Artist, Northern New Jersey Youth Orchestra, Assistant Conductor
David Connor Bass, Houston Symphony Orchestra - Community Embedded Musician
Ruben Hernandez Percussion, San Diego Youth Symphony, OPUS, Teaching Artist

Top FAQs

For a full list of FAQ’s, please see the FAQ document linked in the above Student Application Materials section. 

What is the YOLA National Festival?

What is the history of YOLA National?