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Miguel Guendolay has been a part of YOLA at HOLA for the past three years and he was recently given the opportunity to audition for a chance to travel to Tokyo. The LA Phil conducted the auditions to fill 15 spots with YOLA musicians who will travel with the LA Phil when they begin their Asian tour in March. The auditions were competitive and rigorous. In addition to playing their instruments, the students submitted essays and interviewed with YOLA and LA Phil staff. Miguel was thrilled and honored to be one of four HOLA students and the only trumpet player chosen. He is very excited for the opportunity, although he does feel a little pressure being the only trumpet player. To prepare for the trip, Miguel will be taking additional private lessons with a member of the LA Phil.

Miguel first started playing trumpet on and off in 7th grade. At that time, he didn’t take it too seriously, but over the years, things changed. He had come to HOLA as a young boy, but took some time off when he was having some trouble in school. He came back for a visit a couple of years back and after spending some time with the YOLA at HOLA staff, he knew he had come home. Now, he is practicing at HOLA four days a week, in addition to playing in bands with his friends in his spare time.

Miguel has learned a lot through YOLA at HOLA, saying “YOLA has made me a better musician and a better person. With YOLA I have developed a better tone, and also the belief that music can take me anywhere – literally and figuratively speaking. When I pick up my trumpet, I feel a connection unlike any other; a connection that keeps me grounded and prevents me from doing bad things and getting into trouble. Music is my life, soul, and the world.”

As a senior, Miguel is also preparing to head to college. He hopes to be admitted into a music program at a local college and major in music and history, with the goal of being a famous trumpet player or a music teacher.


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