January 15, 2021 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Venice High School’s Super Bowl Superstar

8:44am

By Melanie Camp

Venice High School has its own Super Bowl superstar. 14-year old Axel, is part of Gustavo Dudamel’s Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA), on Super Bowl Sunday he was kicking it onstage with Coldplay, rocking out on his viola.

“It was unbelievable. When I was up there it didn’t even feel like I was playing in front of millions of people. It just felt like I was in my own little world. My brain kind of filtered out all the people in the background and it was like I was playing by myself. It was a really nice experience,” Axel said.

Venice High School's Super Bowl Superstar Axel with Principal Dr. Oryla Wiedoeft
Axel at school with Principal Dr Oryla Wiedoeft, Ed.D.

The road to the Super Bowl for Axel, began with an NDA. “One day I came into practice and the administrator pulled me aside and asked me to sign a non-disclosure form. Once I was done with that she told me I was going to be playing with Coldplay at the Super Bowl,” he explained.

Rehearsals began in December and continued right up until two days before the game. While Coldplay was the overall favorite for Axel, he says the dance off between Bruno Mars and Beyonce was a definite highlight, as was the police escort to the stadium, “they were stopping any traffic that came too close to our bus,” Axel said of his rockstar experience.

Axel has been playing in YOLA for six years after his parents enrolled him in the program, “one day they just brought me to the program and were like, ‘OK, have fun.’” Axel says he was confused at first and nervous, as he had no idea what the program was.

The YOLA program is made possible by the LA Philharmonic and its community partners, who provide free instruments, intensive music training, and academic support to students from underserved neighborhoods, empowering them to become vital citizens, leaders, and agents of change.

Before YOLA, Axel had never picked up an instrument or even showed any particular talent with music. Even now he says he has to work hard to play well, “it sometimes comes easily but most of the time I need to work really hard to figure things out.”

Venice High School's Super Bowl Superstar YOLA Welcome Home Paradet
YOLA Welcome Home Parade after the Super Bowl

For Axel life after the Super Bowl will continue to include YOLA, as well as seeing him focus on achieving his goal of becoming an engineer. “I’ve always loved music, not just orchestra but rock music as well, but I’ve never thought of making a career out of it. I’ve always thought of following a career in engineering,” he said. Adding that he will always have music in his life, “I have one private teacher, Richard Elegino, he plays for the LA Phil and his friend is a doctor and he plays the Viola.”

YOLA has challenged Axel in ways he never imagined, “I’ve performed many times in the Walt Disney Concert Hall and I really love performing there. I love the musical experience. Not many peo- ple know what it’s like getting prepared for a concert. The time and preparation, and being on stage, even though I’m scared to be onstage. Many times I’ve performed alone on stage and it’s nerve-wracking but being able to communicate to people while not talking is one of my strong points.”

Axel’s YOLA commitment is eight hours a week of after school practice, however this jumps to 18 hours a week over the summer, “I’ve learned how to manage things out of school but to still have a balance of the two,” he said.

Yo! Venice - Venice High School's Super Bowl Superstar
Performing onstage at the Super Bowl with Coldplay Image: Twitter

The challenge of overcoming stage fright and putting in the hard work to learn difficult musical pieces has taught Axel the importance of always giving things a go, “give it a try, it never hurts to try. I feel like a lot of times when I fail, I earn experience from it and it helps me in the future to know what my mistake was and how I can get better,” he said.

The main thing Axel has learnt from music, and he says it is something he will take into his engineering career, is “you do have to work really hard to get to the final product.”

Related Posts

Illegal Marina del Rey Boat Charters

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

The issue of illegal charters brought up at recent County meeting By Toi Creel Officials recently discussed the issue of...

Edify TV: The Westside’s Best Pies

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Here are some of the best pies on the Westside ahead of National Pie Day on January 23. Learn more...

LAPD Arrests Shoreline Crips Gang Member on Suspicion of Murder In Oakwood Park: YO! Venice Show – January, 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * LAPD Arrests Shoreline Crips Gang Member on Suspicion of Murder In...

Popular Coffee Shop Adding New Westside Storefront

January 14, 2021

January 14, 2021

Westside Food Scene January 14, 2021 By Kerry Slater 65-Year-Old Santa Monica Bakery on Verge of Shutting Down  A beloved...

Venice Homeless Encampment Fire Spreads to Boardwalk Building

January 13, 2021

January 13, 2021

Over 100 firefighters respond to Ocean Front Walk fire Tuesday morning By Sam Catanzaro Over 100 firefighters responded this week...

One Hospitalized in Marina del Rey Fire

January 11, 2021

January 11, 2021

Fire breaks out Monday morning at MDR apartment complex By Sam Catanzaro One person was injured in a Monday morning...

Edify TV: Over 1,700 Units Proposed for Westside Neighborhood

January 10, 2021

January 10, 2021

Over 1,700 apartment units are planned for a few block radius in a Westside neighborhood. Learn more in this video...

City Planning Approves Venice Boardwalk Apartment Development

January 8, 2021

January 8, 2021

Los Angeles Planning Department advances nine-unit development By Toi Creel The Los Angeles Planning Department has signed off on a...

RV Along Penmar Golf Course Destroyed in Fire

January 7, 2021

January 7, 2021

Vehicle catches fire earlier this week Another RV went up in flames in Venice recently, the second such fire to...

When Will Outdoor Dining Resume in LA County?

January 7, 2021

January 7, 2021

Appeals court upholds LA County’s outdoor dining ban By Sam Catanzaro A recent court ruling upholding Los Angeles County’s outdoor...

Longtime Venice Italian Restaurant Forced to Close

January 6, 2021

January 6, 2021

After 28 year run, Venice’s C&O Trattoria closing By Toi Creel A Venice restaurant that has been around for nearly...