We are the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (ICYOLA), the largest majority African American orchestra in the country.
Founded in 2009, ICYOLA is a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that transforms the lives and minds of young people in Inner City Los Angeles through high quality music education. It teaches inner city youth the great music of the world, and provides opportunities for them to perform that music in the most magnificent settings of our community. It prepares its members for advanced study and high caliber success in music and otherwise, and instills the ancillary benefits that music instruction provides: problem solving skills, critical thinking, self-reliance, self-confidence, self-discipline, and the crystallization and pursuit of meaningful purpose.
ICYOLA offers three programs: the ICYOLA Orchestra Program; the ICYOLA Academy; and the Los Angeles Orchestra Fellowship. Through the ICYOLA Orchestra Program, we present an annual Concert Season that features both the standard orchestral repertoire and contemporary music that resounds within the community that ICYOLA serves. Through our ICYOLA Academy, we teach students at Los Angeles Unified School District elementary schools how to play an instrument. Through the Los Angeles Orchestra Fellowship, we train emerging professionals to take and win auditions with American orchestras.
ICYOLA is a member of the League of American Orchestras, and is a national leader in the effort to assure diversity in the arts.