BSSCA Senior Accompanies Coldplay at Super Bowl 50

Written by Maggie Smith, Bright Star Schools Communications Associate

Bright Star Secondary Charter Academy (BSSCA) senior Iza Salazar had the amazing opportunity to play violin at Super Bowl 50 this February, alongside Bruno Mars, Beyoncé, and Coldplay.  She has been playing violin for nine years in the Youth Orchestra of LA (YOLA). I caught up with Iza during lunch to ask her about her experience.


Iza Salazar, front right, accompanies Coldplay on the violin at Super Bowl 50.

How were you chosen to play at Super Bowl 50?

Gustavo, the conductor of the LA Philharmonic came to our orchestra about 9 or 10 years ago, and we’ve been working with him ever since. Coldplay contacted Gustavo saying they needed an orchestra to accompany them for the Super Bowl and Gustavo decided he wanted our orchestra to play, so some people came to check us out. I think one of them was the composer of the music. He thought we were great, so they told us we were going to do the show.

Tell me about your experience at Super Bowl 50.

It was amazing. Words cannot describe how amazing of an experience it was. I’m really glad I got this opportunity. Just to hear we’d be performing there was so unbelievable. It’s definitely something I will hold with me for the rest of my life.

Were you nervous?

During the rehearsals, we got to practice with Beyonce, Bruno Mars, and Chris Martin. We actually got to meet Chris Martin! He’s very sweet, and I feel like he really cared about us. He told us ‘We’re all part of the band. It’s not like I’m the famous one and you’re working for me. We’re all working together.” It was scary because these people are famous, and I didn’t want to mess up in front of them. Getting to talk to them was really amazing. They’re just normal people; they’re not just celebrities and they care about other things. Before we went on stage, we got to huddle with all of them and they gave us a little talk. It was really inspiring, and we felt like a community there.

What got you into playing the Violin?

I was in a choir when I was 5 to 7 years old. Our conductor used to take us to watch musicals and plays, and in some of the musicals we saw that there was a pit where the orchestra would play. It was really beautiful to me. I told my mom I wanted to play the violin, and she signed my up for an orchestra named Harmony’s Project. I now play in YOLA, which is based in South Central and consists of 3 different levels of orchestras. I am in the highest level, ESO.

Have you been involved in the music programs at BSSCA?

 Yes. I was a part of the house band, led by Mr. Burgess, from my freshman to my junior year. I was one of the lead singers in the band starting my sophomore year. I was also in Showcase of the Arts, which is coming up again on April 7th, as a back up singer and dancer during my freshman and sophomore years.

What does music mean to you and why is it important to you?

 I’ve always been involved in music. It’s always been something that been a part of my life. I’m still thinking about minoring in music in college, but I want to major in something else. You know how people have that thing that’s their escape? I see it as that, but it’s more than that now. It’s not just about my instrument; it’s about who I am as a person, my friends in the orchestra, and it all comes with being passionate about your music and learning to love it.

We are so proud of Iza’s accomplishments! To get more updates, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our blog.

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