The Los Angeles Youth Orchestra will perform “Lift Every Voice and Sing” at Super Bowl LVI
The Los Angeles Youth Orchestra, or YOLA, will perform at Super Bowl LVI in Southern California.
A group of 20 YOLA musicians, including high school students and a few YOLA alumni, will be part of the ensemble. The group will perform “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, conducted by Thomas Wilkins. The band will perform alongside gospel duo, MARY MARY.
“Being a part of this and being here in Inglewood and being a part of the Superbowl is so special on so many levels. I explode with excitement every day. I’m so thrilled that we can be a part of this historic moment. The fact that our young people perform the anthem Lift Every Voice and Sing which has such meaning in the community and in this country is special,” said Camille Delaney-Mcneil, Director of the Beckmen YOLA Center.
Students like Steve Corvera, a high school student playing the clarinet, are also thrilled.
“Part of me is still processing it. Part of me still can’t believe it. I wake up every morning, look in the mirror and feel like I’m going to the Super Bowl,” Corvera said.
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Corvera started participating in YOLA in third year and will now represent South Central in the Super Bowl.
“I grew up in South Central Los Angeles and when people think of South Central Los Angeles, they don’t think of the biggest things. They think of a lot of stereotypes. They think of a lot of negativity and j want to be able to represent my community and say that we have a lot of magic because what we do is magic, it’s amazing. It’s something we can do and show everyone that “There’s a lot of talent where we come from and I think it’s amazing that we can do that and I just feel like playing the Superbowl is going to be huge,” Corvera said.
Corvera said YOLA had a positive impact on his life.
“I didn’t really have many friends growing up. I didn’t feel like I was part of a group of friends and felt out of place often. But when I joined YOLA , I felt like I had found my place. [YOLA] means hope. There’s light at the end of the tunnel because I feel like where I’m from, and in my part of town, you don’t have a lot of people pushing you and telling you, you can do it, you can be better, you have people who will always try to put you down or feel like you can never be enough. Every time I’m here [YOLA]I feel like somebody and I can do it,” Corvera said.
Corvera is going to CAL State LA to study biology and plans to go to medical school.
Rachel Kivi, a high school student who plays the flute, is also looking forward to performing at the Superbowl.
“I’m really excited because I always watch the Superbowl. It’s one of the few sporting events that I watch and it will be like a dream come true to experience it all,” Kivi said.
Kivi joined YOLA in her fourth year and said she also hoped to inspire more young people. She will go to university to study psychology and wants to become a therapist and music producer.
“A lot of kids who look like me, they don’t always know they have opportunities like this. When you go to the LA Phil, there’s not a lot of people who look like me and just know you have the opportunity to get there and be in this place and share music, it’s a beautiful thing to see and it’s inspiring,” Kivi said.
YOLA alumnus Moses Aubrey will also perform. He was part of YOLA, then attended Los Angeles City College before transferring to UCLA. He studied musical interpretation and took courses in musical education. He is now back with YOLA.
“It was really great to reconnect and it was really great not only to pay it forward but to see the development of some of the young students that are here. Performing at the Superbowl will be a dream come true, but it’s just going to be a wild, crazy, amazing experience,” Aubrey said.
YOLA, inspired by Gustavo Dudamel’s own training as a young musician, and the LA Phil and its partners provide free instruments, intensive musical training and academic support to more than 1,500 young musicians aged 6-18. There are five locations in South Los Angeles, the Rampart neighborhood, Westlake/MacArthur Park, East Los Angeles and Inglewood.
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