by Edward Romero

Youth Orchestras of San Antonio’s most advanced ensemble, the YOSA Philharmonic, embarked on its ninth international triennial trip last month.  This year’s tour took place in London and promised to be a transformative experience for the 60 young musicians who embarked on the trip.

Enroute to their destination, the musical troubadours took advantage of a layover at George Bush International Airport in Houston and instigated a Pop-Up Orchestra to kick off the tour.   The video below reflects their spontaneous performance, which has become somewhat of a YOSA signature.

What’s a Pop-Up Orchestra?  It’s a spontaneous musical happening, and it can happen anytime, anywhere.

But that was just a warm-up for the five dozen young musicians who played concerts at a variety of British venues during their stay–from the grand St. George’s Hall in Liverpool, a converted modern arts center in Cardiff, to one of London¹s oldest Gothic buildings, Southwark Cathedral.  While touring, YOSA musicians visited Windsor, Oxford, Coventry, Warwick, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Chester, Bath, and Stonehenge.   A Facebook favorite, a cover of The Beatles’ “Come Together,”  occurred at both Penny Lane and at Strawberry Fields in Liverpool.

YOSA musicians at Stone Hedge

You can find videos, photos, and more on YOSA’s Facebook page and their Twitter feed.

For a first person account of the YOSA’s trip, check out their collective blog  written by YOSA musicians on their London Tour experience.  And to experience   YOSA Pop-Up Orchestra’s live performances yourself, consider tickets to their July 14 show, “Stop. And Feel the Music” this Saturday.  Tickets are available at and proceeds benefit the young musicians of YOSA.

Edward Romero is President of Red Collar Media.  He has done work for Youth Orchestra San Antonio.  Connect with Romero on Twitter @RedCollarMedia or on Facebook.

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Carolina Canizales

Carolina Carnizales, a former Rivard Report intern, graduated with honors from UTSA and now works in Washington D.C. in the national DREAM movement.