We are the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (ICYOLA), the largest majority African American orchestra in America. 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.


We play throughout South Los Angeles’ church community and at venues like The Getty Center, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Staples Center, and the Microsoft Theater.


ICYOLA is busy preparing for its 2019-2020 concert season! Please check back soon for performance information.

Play With Us

ICYOLA welcomes young musicians of all skill levels. There are no auditions; no tuition; no competition for seats; advanced players mentor less skilled players; mentor-artists rehearse and perform with us, accelerating the learning process for all; every player performs and plays what they can because being immersed in this way also promotes growth.

Young musicians interested in joining the orchestra are welcome to sit in on a rehearsal to learn more about us. Rehearsals take place on each Sunday at 6:30 p.m. at Knox Presbyterian Church, Los Angeles located at 5840 La Tijera Blvd. Please let us know you will be attending prior to rehearsal time by sending an email to info@icyola.org. Instruments should be brought along if possible.

Feel free to contact us to learn more about how you can become part of our orchestra.