Venice High School Student Performs at Superbowl

Melissa Mateo, Editor in Chief

Freshman Axel Hernandez shared the Super Bowl stage with Coldplay, Beyonce and Bruno Mars. He accompanied the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles (YOLA) with his viola, as they sang and played music with the superstars for a world-wide TV audience.

During a YOLA rehearsal, Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin showed up to tell them that the string section of the orchestra, that Hernandez was part of would be performing at the Super Bowl.

Hernandez attended the all-expenses paid trip to Salinas, meeting Coldplay and rehearsing with Bruno Mars and Beyonce.

“I felt very nervous going on the field, but once I was up on the stage it felt like I was in my own little world, where the rest of the world disappeared,” said Hernandez when asked how he felt performing in front of so many people.

After the tears of joy that came at the end of the performance they celebrated by going to a bowling alley, according to Hernandez.

Hernandez says that the opportunity Coldplay gave him to be able to perform at the Super Bowl made him have so much more “respect towards them and their art.”

Hernandez and the orchestra had pizza with the band and watched a magician that the band hired.

Hernandez has orchestra rehearsals every week, eight hours a week and continues to shine in his schoolwork.

Hernandez became a member of the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles orchestra in third grade after his parent signed him up without telling him.

Before trying out for the highest program of the YOLA, Hernandez was a member of the musicianship orchestra, which is where all beginners start.

The YOLA program provided him with free instruments and music lessons. After attempting to play the clarinet and flute and failing, he picked up the viola and discovered his passion.

“ I didn’t know what a viola was until Ingrid (his sister) told me it was an instrument the size of a violin but with a deeper, richer sound. Then I got interested,” he said. Six years later he became a member of the highest program called EXPO Symphony orchestra, which is the orchestra that performed with Coldplay.

Hernandez hopes to continue playing the viola because it is one of his greatest passions.