Yesterday was a 28-30 hour day for most of the young musicians of YOLA. It started like any normal Tuesday–Karen, a 16-year-old YOLA cellist told me she got up early like she always does and drove her brother to school–but then things changed in a hurry. At Walt Disney Concert Hall, the YOLA musicians were feted with an official proclamation from LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.
The proclamation reads: “On your selection as a member of the Los Angeles tour to Asia, and in recognition of your outstanding hard work and dedication to excellence, you are hereby highly commended by the Board of Supervisors, County Los Angeles.”
Mayor Eric Garcetti also sent each of the students a letter:
Congratulations on being selected to represent Los Angeles and perform with the newly formed Japanese youth orchestra in collaboration with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the famed El Sistema program. This opportunity to represent the City of Los Angeles and Youth Orchestra Los Angeles is a testament to your hard work and dedication. I send my best wishes for a memorable trip and continued success.
Eric Garcetti, Mayor”
With political kudos (and, of course, their instruments) in hand, the students headed for LAX and their 12-hour flight to Tokyo’s Narita Airport. Naturally, upon landing in Tokyo, they were euphoric, delirious, and more than a little wiped out.
You see mostly the euphoria in this photo, but on tomorrow’s Postcard from Japan (8a, 1p, and 5:58p on Classical KUSC), I’ll tell you how the students are dealing with jet lag…and the language barrier as they prepare to meet the young Japanese musicians of El Sistema later today.
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