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MA Top 30 Professional of the Year: Camille Delaney-McNeil
By Zachary Lewis
December 17, 2021
Youth programming at the Los Angeles Philharmonic received a strong injection of new energy recently, in the form of Camille Delaney-McNeil. Last May, the onetime musician and committed youth music advocate was appointed director of the Judith and Thomas L. Beckmen YOLA Center, the fifth, newest, and now primary facility housing the acclaimed Youth Orchestra Los Angeles, the 14-year-old training ensemble created by LA Phil Music Director Gustavo Dudamel. (The other four YOLA branches are in the Rampart District, Westlake/MacArthur Park, and South and East Los Angeles.)
Delaney-McNeil, who holds a Master’s degree in flute performance from the Peabody Institute, took charge of the Center in June, shortly before it was unveiled to the public. She presides over the Frank Gehry-designed, 25,000-square-foot education and performance space, and oversees the El Sistema-modelled music and academic training program that supports to some 1,300 students in Inglewood, CA, aged 5 to 18.
Before her appointment in L.A., Delaney-McNeil directed the famed OrchKids program at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, which regularly serves some 2,000 students in the city. While there, she launched the OrchKids Green Festival, a celebration of young musicians in West Baltimore.
An inaugural graduate of Sphinx LEAD, a two-year leadership development program, Delaney-McNeil also sits on the board of El Sistema USA. She is a frequent speaker at arts education conferences and on public television and radio.
Said LA Phil President and CEO Chad Smith, “Camille’s commitment to connecting young minds with classical music, her dedication to social change and her experience in creating spaces in which communities can thrive make her the ideal leader for our first dedicated space for YOLA.”
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