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Camille Delaney-McNeil named new director of YOLA Center at Inglewood

Camille Delaney-McNeil. (304526)
Camille Delaney-McNeil. Credit: Baltimore Symphony OrchKids

The Board of Directors and Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel have announced the appointment of Camille Delaney-McNeil as the Director of its new Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen YOLA Center at Inglewood (BYC), which will open in August and welcome its first class of local Inglewood students this fall.

Recruited through an extensive national search, Delaney-McNeil comes to the Los Angeles Philharmonic from OrchKids, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra program where she held the position of director of programs.

Reporting to Elsje Kibler-Vermaas, vice president, Learning, Delaney-McNeil will be responsible for developing the long-term vision for the Center and YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles), and the venue facility operations of the new center. She will assume her position on June 28.

The BYC is the second Los Angeles Philharmonic building by Gehry, and represents a milestone in the evolution of the now 14-year-old YOLA program that was created by Los Angeles Philharmonic Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel.

The BYC is the first dedicated space for the YOLA program and will draw students from Inglewood and environs. Its purpose-built design will significantly enhance the LA Phil’s learning programs by providing a space where YOLA musicians from dispersed program sites can work together. The BYC also provides the program with a performance space and will be equipped to support a variety of distanced learning and professional development opportunities for local and international students, educators, and administrators.

The mission of YOLA and the BYC is to help build a sense of belonging and bridge communities and cultures. The BYC will support all existing YOLA programs located in South LA, the Rampart District, Westlake/MacArthur Park, and East LA, as well as the YOLA National Symposium and Festival. During its first year of operation, the LA Phil will be engaging with various constituencies within the Inglewood community to begin to plan the long-term vision for the Center as a creative laboratory, learning hub, community center, and a lively, welcoming place for all.

“Now more than ever, arts institutions must be a part of the communities that surround them,” Dudamel said. “It is only through that connection and mutual understanding that we will be able to create meaningful, sustainable change and to truly come together in our shared mission of providing youth with access to music and education. Camille has a strong skill set and unparalleled experience that she is bringing to share with us in Los Angeles, and I cannot wait to work with her and our entire YOLA family as we enter this exciting new chapter in Inglewood.”

Delaney-McNeil is a fierce advocate for social change through music as well as a classically trained singer and flutist. After receiving her Bachelor of Music from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Master of Music from the Peabody Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Camille began her journey of advocating for youth in music with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra OrchKids program. While there, she held the position of Director of Programs, serving close to 2,000 Baltimore City students.

In addition to her many contributions to the artistic and strategic development of OrchKids, she also curated and created the OrchKids Green Festival to celebrate and spotlight West Baltimore as a cultural hub for young musicians as well as coordinating a large-scale neighborhood beautification project for three successive years.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be embarking on this journey and, particularly, for the opportunity YOLA has to serve the community and youth of Inglewood,” Delaney McNeil said. “Representation is so vital and is the key to any successful venture of this nature. In welcoming and making space for students from Inglewood, we are expanding and elevating their important voices and the voices within our youth community.”