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Inner City Orchestra Highlights LA Youth Talent


The Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles highlights the talents of minority young people in neighborhoods often seen as plagued with crime and violence. The young musicians are using their music to send a message.

Most members of this orchestra are African American or Hispanic. They play American standards, pop and classical music. Violinist Miles Davis Hall says it lets him indulge his passion for all genres, including jazz.

“Having this ability and defying stereotypes, I think, that's something that I love to be a part of," said Hall.

These musicians, including violinist Amber Daughtry, have performed at LA's Disney Concert Hall and at major events in Los Angeles and Washington DC, where they share their love of music.

“To me, it feels like I'm just soaring, and it has me wrapped up in it," said Daughtry.

Bass player Daquan Robinson says the orchestra has changed in the six years since it started.

“To see how it has grown from nine to 80-plus was mind-blowing," said Robinson.

Founding conductor Charles Dickerson says the orchestra is open to anyone between the ages of 10 and 25 who has a "basic understanding" of their instrument. The orchestra, he says, is one way to get the world to listen.

“Just like any kids in any other community who are striving to make a statement that they are important too, and that their community is important," said Dickerson.

The men's chorus is rehearsing for a special performance to highlight the deaths of young black men at the hands of police in separate incidents around the United States.

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