The Watts-Willowbrook Music Academy was established in 2010 as a project of the Scholarship Audition Performance Preparatory Academy (SAPPA). The structure of the Conservatory was developed by Billy Mitchell, SAPPA executive director, Dr. Charles Dickerson, founder and director of the Inner-City Youth Orchestra (ICYOLA), and Les Jones, former executive director of the WWBGC.

The Watts-Willowbrook Music Academy program is part of the cultural arts strategy that creates opportunities for children who are challenged everyday by their urban environment.

Our programs are FREE to the public, allowing us to provide music lessons to youngsters who cannot afford private instruction. We develop our music workshops in areas where there are no music programs!

The Watts-Willowbrook Music Academy was inspired by “El Sistema” the world-renowned music outreach and education program in Venezuela, and is currently a member of El Sistema USA. Participants attend one hour classes after school, twice a week. They learn to read music and play symphonic string instruments (violin, viola, cello and bass). Our program prepares youngsters to participate in a first class youth orchestra made up of youngsters from the South Central LA and the Watts/Compton communities: the Watts-Willowbrook Youth Orchestra. (WWYO)