The Ensemble seeks to connect and inform all people who are committed to ensemble music education for youth empowerment and social change.
News & Resources
The YOLA National Festival has extended the audition window for its July 2021 orchestral training program. The new deadline is March 6 (originally March 1). Open to students from all Sistema-inspired programs, students ages 12–18 are encouraged to apply for one of the two ensembles: the Symphony Orchestra (ages 14–18) or the Chamber Orchestra (ages 12–14).
The YOLA National Festival has opened its audition portal for its July 2021 orchestral training program. Open to students from all Sistema-inspired programs; students ages 12–18 are encouraged to apply for one of the two ensembles, the Symphony Orchestra (ages 14–18) or the Chamber Orchestra (ages 12–14). The intensive experience is tentatively scheduled to take place in person in Southern California, but an official update on in-person vs. virtual programming options will be shared no later than April 1. Applications are due March 1 and recommendation letters are due March 8.
Tricia Tunstall, Executive Editor, The Ensemble Newsletters
For close to a decade, the month of July has meant national Sistema gatherings hosted by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and this year was no different—except that it was extremely different, because it was all virtual: YOLA National at Home.
YOLA National at Home, this year’s online version of the annual YOLA National Festival and Symposium, offers keynotes (Thomas Wilkins and Gustavo Dudamel), community and artist conversations, teaching tools, and project-based learning opportunities for youth and adults. Students, educators, and artists are invited into these interactive experiences, held 3–4 times per week over Zoom and YouTube Live from July 10–31. Register for updates here. YOLA is also partnering with Project 440 to provide musicians of the YOLA National Festival Orchestras with a six-week virtual program on using art as a vehicle for positive change and how to prepare for college or conservatory.
News and Notes from the Archives
Gerdlie Jean Louis, student, Kids4Harmony | 18 Degrees, in Pittsfield, MA, U.S.A.
Since last July, I have had the distinct pleasure of participating in the inaugural cohort of the YOLA National Institute (YNI). YNI, an initiative launched last year by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, is an in-depth training program for young musicians interested in pursuing a career in the field of music. It consists of selected members of the YOLA National Symphony Orchestra, an audition-only ensemble that is the first nationwide El Sistema orchestra in the United States and that performs every summer at the YOLA National Festival.
The application deadline for the YOLA National Festival has been extended until February 17. To apply to the Symphony Orchestra or the Chamber Orchestra, or for more information, click here. The two-week intensive of learning, rehearsal and performance with world-renowned conductors and artist mentors is free. Travel, lodging, meals and programming are provided to students at no cost. Send questions to: YOLA@laphil.org.
Applications are now open for the YOLA National Festival. The 2020 Festival will feature a Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra, which now expands to woodwind, brass, and percussion musicians age 12-14. Application deadline is February 3, 2020. Click here for more information on audition requirements.
Dr. Bettina Love, the author and cultural philosopher whose riveting keynote speech kicked off last week’s YOLA National Symposium in Los Angeles, teaches her education students at the University of Georgia a course called “Black and Brown Excellence.”
Terrence Thornhill, YOLA National Cello Faculty; Teaching Artist, Paterson Music Project
The U.S. El Sistema movement came together in Los Angeles last week for the YOLA National Festival and Symposium. Two Festival ensembles of students chosen from Sistema programs across the country spent an intense week rehearsing and performing together, while the Symposium brought program leaders and teaching artists together for dialogue.