Instrument of Change

Michael Hudson-Medina ’00 co-founded the Boyle Heights Youth Orchestra to share his knowledge and passion for music with children who might never have had the opportunity to pick up an instrument.

Boyle Heights is just five miles from the Walt Disney Concert Hall, but many inner-city families have never seen this epicenter of the arts. Michael Hudson-Medina ’00 co-founded the Boyle Heights Youth Orchestra to share his knowledge and passion for music with children who might never have had the opportunity to pick up an instrument. For the past year, Michael has worked to improve the quality of music education and provide inner-city families the opportunity to go and listen to the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra.

With a sense of urgency to start the project, Michael did not spend time fundraising. Instead, he donated his money and “a great labor of love” to get the youth orchestra started. He knew donations and support would come later. His success in starting the project became what he emphatically refers to as the best year of his life.

Michael believes that opening children’s eyes to the world of classical arts, dance and musical theatre prevents them from picking up a gun, joining gangs and using drugs. While he strives to bring a world of arts to one neighborhood, he also spreads a message that he attributes to his Chapman education.

“The mission of Chapman to create global citizens really holds true,” he says, “because we contribute globally and we belong and we can feel at home everywhere in the world.”

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