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Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) | Our New Pulse

Updated: Sep 7, 2022

Dear Members and Supporters:

The Gay Freedom Band of Los Angeles (GFBLA) Board of Directors (Board) has the great pleasure of announcing our new rehearsal and performance home.

Dating back to pre-COVID-19 pandemic, the Board has been on a long journey to find a new venue that is more acoustically ideal to facilitate effective and productive rehearsals. “Paramount to a rehearsal environment’s success is that the space be conducive to discriminating listening, so that nuances of intonation, articulation, and other musical intricacies can be heard by the musicians and conductor” (Ryherd, 2008)[1]. Moreover, the Board also wanted to find an organization to explore a long-term partnership where our mission, vision, core values, and goals are aligned with theirs within the Los Angeles community.

Like many nonprofit, arts, cultural, and musical organizations, the pandemic has presented numerous challenges. One could use the common proverbial phrase, “When life give you lemons, make lemonade,” to express how GFBLA has been able to remain steadfast, resilient, and creative to welcome optimism, positivity, and a can-do attitude in the face of adversity or misfortune. The current situation at the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles (FCCLA) has certain unknowns and uncertainties regarding our rehearsal and performance accommodation. With timely serendipity on our side, the Board has capitalized on forming a new relationship that has blossomed quickly into a potential long-term, strategic, and synergistic partnership.

It is said that the percussion is the heartbeat of band. Similarly, the Board is thrilled to announce that GFBLA has found our new pulse with the Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA). HOLA’s mission is to “provide underserved youth with free, exceptional programs in academics, arts and athletics within a nurturing environment, empowering them to develop their potential, pursue their education and strengthen their communities”[2]. Music is the core component of HOLA since its inception, with its first formal arts program beginning in 1993[3]. HOLA partnered with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2010 to launch the Youth Orchestra LA (YOLA), which is the second site of Gustavo Dudamel’s signature program. Through rounds of recent discussions, Tony Brown, Chief Executive Officer of HOLA, has agreed that there is an opportunity for the two organizations to continue exploring various ways to deepen the partnership and further develop our continued visioning for our shared vision and mission. HOLA has also welcomed GFBLA to our new home at HOLA for our weekly Tuesday rehearsals and planned performances. HOLA has a 24,000-square-foot facility, Arts & Recreation Center (ARC) with the state- of-the-art Performance Pavilion, that was innovatively built using “modified shipping containers as ‘building blocks’ to create an extremely energy and cost-efficient structure” (HOLA, 2021)[4].

The Board, Artistic Directors, and Staff have been busy working behind the scenes to plan for the move to HOLA. The time is now!

With bountiful opportunities,

GFBLA Board of Directors

[1] Ryherd, Erica (2008). Acoustic design of music rehearsal rooms. Physics Today, 61(8), 68. [2] Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) (2021). Who is HOLA? [3] Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) (2021). Music. [4] Heart of Los Angeles (HOLA) (2021). Our new Arts & Recreation Center.

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