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Youth Orchestra Los Angeles

Youth Orchestra Los Angeles (YOLA) provides young people, ages five through eighteen, with free instruments, intensive music instruction, and opportunities to perform on stages in their communities and around the world. The work of YOLA is focused in two areas: Local programs, which directly serve communities across Los Angeles, and national programs which provide opportunities for young musicians, teaching artists, program administrators, and other stakeholders to learn from and create community with one another.

Performance Times

Saturday November 18th, 5:30PM

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California Festival: YOLA Institute Concert


MAD LIBS, 2022

Program Notes

A YOLA Institute ensemble will premiere Mad Libs by composer Nina Shekhar on Nov 18 open to an audience of family and friends. As a co-commission with New Music USA as part of Amplifying Voices, Nina’s piece was written for the opening of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Beckmen YOLA Center in the 2021-22 season. A graduate of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Composer Fellowship Program, Nina explores the intersection of identity, vulnerability, love, and laughter to create bold and intensely personal works.

Mad Libs for youth ensemble draws off the popular word game to allow students to create their own musical narratives. The piece consists of short stories and musical settings that contain “blanks.” The students fill in the story blanks with words of their choosing, then come up with sounds that represent those chosen words. The musical arrangements include corresponding "blank" noteheads, in which the students can fill them in by playing their designated sound they chose. This framework serves as an identity metaphor in which kids can insert themselves into these stories and choose to center any kind of character, and it guides students through the creative process to learn how to compose a piece themselves.