About Us

Founded in 2009, the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (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 and literacy 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 the world. It prepares its members for advanced study and high caliber success in music, literacy and academics. It is open to talented young people aged 10-35 who play or wish to play an orchestral instrument.

To cultivate musical expression as a vehicle for personal development, and to bring to fruition the full musical and academic potential of young inner city residents of Los Angeles.

ICYOLA offers three programs:  the ICYOLA Orchestra Program, the ICYOLA Academy, and the Los Angeles Orchestra Fellowship.

The ICYOLA Orchestra presents a regular concert season each year that features both the standard orchestral repertoire and contemporary music that resounds within the community that ICYOLA serves, and that culminates each year with a Season Finale Concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. This orchestra boasts approximately 130 members aged 10 and above.

The ICYOLA Academy is our teaching program through which we teach music and literacy enhancement on the campuses Los Angeles Unified District Elementary Schools, and in the Winter, Spring and Summer, we offer Camps at various locations throughout Greater Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Orchestra Fellowship is a unique partnership between one of the world’s leading chamber orchestras, the country’s largest African-American-majority youth orchestra, and a university with one of the country’s top music programs.

The West Coast’s first comprehensive orchestral fellowship program for top-tier string musicians from underrepresented communities, The LA Orchestra Fellowship is a two-year orchestra intensive for musicians on violin, viola, and cello. Fellows will be mentored in chamber and orchestral performance and gain invaluable experience while training and playing alongside LACO musicians, faculty at USC Thornton, and guest artists.

Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and USC Thornton School of Music invite applications for The LA Orchestra Fellowship inaugural class of 2020.

The Los Angeles Orchestra Fellowship is made possible by funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

To teach youngsters in Los Angeles the great music of the world, provide opportunities for them to perform that music in some of the greatest settings of the world, and prepare them for opportunities to play in major American orchestras.

To learn and perform the great orchestral literature of the world, and equip minority youth, especially African-American and Latino youth, with the tools needed to join major American orchestras; and to present those young people to those orchestras as candidates for employment.

Accomplishment • Pride • Camaraderie • Confidence • Respect