Meet the Staff
Music Director and Conductor, Symphony Orchestra
(Staff member since 2005)
Jason Seber is concurrently celebrating his ninth season as Music Director of the Louisville Youth Orchestra and his first as the Education and Outreach Conductor of the Louisville Orchestra. During his tenure the Louisville Youth Orchestra membership has grown to nearly 350 young musicians with a larger core orchestra program and the addition of the Horizons program and the Lincoln Elementary Performing Arts School Presto strings program. Under his baton the LYO Symphony Orchestra has performed with many outstanding guest artists including Caroline Goulding, Christopher O’Riley, My Morning Jacket, Conrad Tao, and Jorge Mester. As a result of their collaboration with My Morning Jacket, Mr. Seber and the Symphony Orchestra were featured in the documentary “One Big Holiday”, which was released in May 2011 with the box set of My Morning Jacket’s album Circuital. Mr. Seber also provided string arrangements for some charts on Circuital, which was nominated for the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Alternative Album. A proponent of new music, he has led the
As Education and Outreach Conductor of the Louisville Orchestra, Mr. Seber will conduct all of the Making Music, OrKIDStra, Humanities, Side-by-Side, and Holiday concerts throughout the 2013-14 season. He will also work closely with JCPS teachers and the Louisville Orchestra musicians and staff in designing curriculum guides and education presentations in the schools. Before this year he was a frequent guest conductor of the Louisville Orchestra, leading numerous programs in those same series already mentioned, as well as the Pops series.
Mr. Seber has served as Assistant Conductor of the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra, and the Cleveland Institute of Music Orchestras. In 2008 he led a performance of the Cleveland Pops with Peter Cetera and figure skaters Sasha Cohen, Brian Boitano, and Todd Eldredge that was broadcast nationwide on NBC Christmas Day. Mr. Seber has recently guest conducted the Windsor Symphony, Colorado Symphony, National Symphony, Charleston Symphony, Mansfield Symphony, Denver Young Artists Orchestra, Ashland Regional Ballet, and the Kentucky Center Chamber Players. He has had the pleasure of working with artists such as Shoshana Bean, Michael Cavanaugh, Natalie Dungey, and Joyce Yang.
A strong advocate of music education, Mr. Seber served as Director of Orchestras at the Youth Performing Arts School in Louisville, KY from 2006 to 2013. Under his leadership the YPAS Philharmonia was selected to perform at the Orchestra America National Festival in 2009 and 2013. After submitting an audition CD of the ensemble in the spring of 2013, the Philharmonia was one of three orchestras nationwide to be invited to perform at the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) National Convention in March of 2014. He has also conducted at the Baldwin Wallace String Camp, the Music For All National Symposium, and Sewanee Summer Music Festival.
Mr. Seber earned his MM in orchestral conducting from the Cleveland Institute of Music and a BM in violin and BME from the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music. In addition he spent five summers at the Pierre Monteux School for Conductors and Orchestral Musicians in Maine. He studied conducting with Carl Topilow, Dwight Oltman, and Michael Jinbo and has conducted in masterclasses and workshops with Kenneth Kiesler, Louis Lane, Gustav Meier, Larry Rachleff, David Roberston, and Michael Tilson Thomas.
Frederick C. Speck
Conductor, Repertory Orchestra
(Staff member since 2011)
Frederick C. Speck is a graduate of the University of Louisville where he received a Bachelors degree in Music Education. While there he studied cello with Paul York and conducting with Dr. Frederick Speck. Other former teachers include Julia Preston and Susie Onwood.
He is currently the Orchestra Director at Eastern High School in Louisville and has taught at the middle school and high school levels in Kentucky and Indiana. Prior to his appointment at Eastern he was on the faculty of Lafayette High School/SCAPA in Lexington where he taught orchestra and chamber music and was the orchestra director at West Noble High School in Ligonier Indiana. In addition to his work at Eastern he is pursuing a Masters in Music Education at UofL and is a staff member with the Kentucky Ambassadors of Music. In 2010 Mr. Speck and the Eastern High School Chamber Orchestra performed at the Kentucky Music Educators Association In-Service Conference. He remains an active performer and private teacher.
Conductor, Concert Orchestra
Interim Conductor, Serenade Orchestra
(Staff member since 2000)
Chris Lerner received his bachelor of music degree in violin performance from the University of Louisville. He has been a registered Suzuki violin teacher since 2001 and is proud to have studied under Peter McHugh at the University of Louisville. Chris has benefited from working with fellow conductors Jason Seber and Robert Franz at the Louisville Youth Orchestra.
Over the past twelve years, Mr. Lerner has filled many roles for the Louisville Youth Orchestra: Director of the Presto! Strings Program, Director of Sonatina Strings Program, Conductor of the Serenade Orchestra, and the Conductor of Concert Orchestra. Mr. Lerner was excited to be a part of the fiftieth anniversary of the Louisville Youth Orchestra. Currently, Mr. Lerner started his tenth year as the Director of Strings for the middle and upper school string programs at Louisville Collegiate School. In addition to teaching daily string classes, Mr. Lerner guest-lectures for the ninth and tenth grade History and the Arts course and enjoys being a leader of his middle and upper school rock bands. In 2013 Mr. Lerner received Louisville Collegiate Schools Katherine McCracken Davis Distinguished Teaching Chair. In his spare time Mr. Lerner also enjoys teaching a studio of fifteen violin students aged from five through seventeen years old.
Instructor, LEPAS/LYO Presto! Strings
(Staff member since 2012)
Jennifer Shackleton, a native of Louisville, Kentucky, has been a member of the Louisville Orchestra viola section since 1997. She is a graduate of Oberlin College where she earned her Bachelors of Music Degree as a double major in Viola Performance and Music Education. Ms. Shackleton’s teachers include Jeffrey Irvine, Lynne Ramsey, Karen Ritscher, Christine Rutledge, and Virginia Schneider. She has performed in Master Classes instructed by Heidi Castleman, Michel Tree, Steven Ansell, and Karen Tuttle. For several summers she studied at the renowned music festivals of Aspen, Tanglewood, and Waterloo.
Ms. Shackleton has enjoyed a varied career as a violist performing in a wide variety of ensembles and teaching. She has collaborated in chamber settings with the Kentucky Chamber Players, Ceruti Chamber Players, Highland Chamber Players, Commonwealth String Quartet, University of Louisville Faculty String Trio, Bach Society, and Louisville Master Chorale. She has held teaching positions at the Oberlin College Preparatory Music Department, Kentuckiana Music Institute, Louisville Academy of Music and as an interim viola instructor at the University of Louisville.
Ms. Shackleton has a private studio in Louisville teaching students of all ages in violin and viola. www.jennifershackleton.com Her students are in all levels of the Louisville Youth Orchestra, participate in All-County and All-State Orchestras, receive superior ratings at contest, and past students have gone on to pursue music at the conservatory level. In 2001, she received the “Studio Teacher of the Year” award from KY (ASTA) American String Teachers’ Association with (NSOA) National School Orchestra Association. Ms. Shackleton is a registered Suzuki Teacher with the Suzuki Association of the Americas and is currently completing long-term teacher training in Suzuki Violin books 1-10 with Dr. Timothy Durbin at the University of Louisville. In 2012, she received scholarships from the SAA and ASI to complete Suzuki Teacher Training in Viola books 4 and 5 at the American Suzuki Institute in Stevens Point, WI.
Since 2005, Jennifer has developed a small greenhouse business blending her musical career with her passion for plants. Her business, The Herb Shack www.theherbshack.com, grows a wide variety of potted culinary and medicinal herb plants from around the world and creates herbal sundries that include soaps, salves, and salts. During the summers, you can find her selling her herb plants and herbal sundries at the Douglass Loop Farmers Market.
Coach, Percussion Ensemble
(Staff Member since 2004)
Mark L. Tate received a Bachelor of Music degree in percussion performance from the University of Kentucky as a student of David Davenport. He was the first percussionist to receive a performance degree from this university.
Mark received a Master of Music in Performance and Pedagogy from Washington University in St. Louis, MO. His major teacher was Richard O’Donnell, Principal Percussionist of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. While in St. Louis, he also studied with John Kasica and Tom Stubbs of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. He performed frequently with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, joining them in 2 east coast tours that included performances in Carnegie Hall. He was also a percussionist with the Might Mississippi Concert Band, Gateway Festival Orchestra, Springfield (IL) Symphony, and staff percussionist at the Westport Playhouse. While in St. Louis he taught drums and percussion at Clayton Academy of Music, Drum Headquarters and was a teaching assistant at Washington University.
Mark began performing as a percussionist with the Louisville Orchestra in 1983. He has also performed as percussionist with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra. He is also a percussionist with Louisville Chorus, the Louisville Choral Arts Society and the Derby City Brass Band. Mark also serves as percussionist with Musical Theatre of Louisville and the Broadway Series at the Kentucky Center for the Arts. Mark is a frequent free-lancer with various churches and chamber groups in the Louisville area and is also the drummer for the Dixie Jazz Cats and the Memphis Red Hots, a western swing band.
Mark is the percussion instructor at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, IN, and Georgetown College in Georgetown. He serves as percussion coordinator for the marching bands at both New Washington High School in New Washington, IN and du Pont Manual in Louisville. Mark also teaches concert percussion at Eastern High School in Louisville and both marching and concert percussion at Oldham County High School, in Buckner, KY, Henry County High School in New Castle, KY and Atherton High School in Louisville. In addition he coaches percussion ensemble at Crosby Middle School and the “Junkyard Hawks” at Hite Elementary, both in Louisville. He maintains a full service studio in his home, specializing in concert percussion instruction for students in the area band programs. He services, as the percussion coach/percussion ensemble director for the Louisville Youth Orchestra. And is also the founder of the Louisville Institute of Drumming and creator of the percussion group Stick-Click.
Coach, Horizons Brass
(Staff member since 2011)
James Recktenwald, a native of Louisville, Kentucky, graduated from The Youth Performing Arts School and The University of Louisville where he holds a Bachelor of Music Degree in performance. He studied trumpet with Leon Rapier and Jerome Amend. Mr. Recktenwald completed a Master of Music Degree and a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in trumpet performance at The University of Texas at Austin, studying with Raymond Crisara.
James Recktenwald worked as Instructor of Trumpet at Memphis State University and then as a freelance trumpeter and teacher in Philadelphia. While in Philly, he also studied with several prominent trumpeters including Phil Smith, David Bilger, Frank Kaderabek and Seymour Rosenfeld.
Currently, James holds the Assistant Principal Trumpet position with the Louisville Orchestra and performs in the Louisville Orchestra Brass Quintet. He is the founder and manager of Kentucky Brass, a versatile brass and percussion ensemble, and Symphonic Arts Entertainment, a professional contracting/booking agency that provides a variety of professional ensembles for the Louisville area.
Coach, Horizons Winds
(Staff member since 2011)
Dennis Robinson currently holds the position of Secondary Guidance Counselor for all the students attending the Youth Performing Arts School. Prior to his position as counselor, Mr. Robinson served as Director of Bands at the Youth Performing Arts School in Louisville, Kentucky for fifteen years where his duties include directing the YPAS Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Wind and Percussion Skills Development Classes, and a Chamber Ensemble Class. Mr. Robinson has been involved in music education since 1977 and has been Director of Bands for the North Central Community School System in Ramsey, Indiana, and at Suda East Butler High School, Southern High School, and, duPont Manual High School in Jefferson County, Kentucky. Over his 30 years in music education, Mr. Robinson’s bands have consistently earned distinguished ratings in concert, marching, and solo/ensemble performances.
Mr. Robinson was selected as the Twelfth District High School Music Teacher of the Year in 1989 and 1998. He was the Kentucky Music Educator’s Association State High School Teacher of the Year in 1990 and was awarded the KMEA State Citation for Service Award in 2005. Since then he has been awarded the National Band Association Citation of Excellence and was in line to receive the WHAS ExCel Award. His Wind Ensemble at the Youth Performing Arts School performed at the Kentucky Music Educators Association In-Service Conference on five occasions and was also one of the featured band programs in the 2008 Bands of America National Concert Band Festival that showcases the top music programs in the nation. During the 2009-2010 school year, Mr. Robinson was awarded the Phi Beta Mu Professional Bandmasters Fraternity’s Most Outstanding Kentucky Bandmaster Award.
Mr. Robinson has been a member of the Music Educators National Conference, Kentucky Music Educators Association, Twelfth District Music Educators Association, the National Band Association, Phi Beta Mu International Bandmaster’s Fraternity, Phi Kappa Phi, and Kappa Delta Phi. He has also served as the Twelfth District KMEA Festival Manager for Concert Bands and served as the KMEA Twelfth District President for Three Terms. His former students have gone on to attend the finest Conservatories and University Music Programs throughout the nation and serve as professional musicians across the world in both orchestral and armed services musical organizations. Mr. Robinson received his B.M.Ed. and M.M.Ed. from the University of Louisville School of Music in 1977 and 1980 and was a flute student of Francis Fuge. He has since earned his Rank I in Educational Counseling and Psychology from UofL.
(Staff member since 1985)
Melody Welsh-Buchholz brings a rare combination of talents to the position of Executive Director of the Louisville Youth Orchestra. She is both a professional musician and an accomplished arts administrator. Ms. Welsh-Buchholz holds a Bachelor of Music Education (1977) and a Master of Music (1981 - emphasis in multiple woodwinds). She has had a successful teaching career at St. Francis School and Anchorage School in Louisville and at Clarksville Middle and High School in Clarksville, IN. From 1978 to 1980 Ms. Welsh-Buchholz served as the local KMEA (Kentucky Music Educator's Association) chairperson for the annual Solo/Ensemble and Band/Orchestra Festival. Ms. Welsh-Buchholz currently teaches privately and performs professionally with the Broadway Series and the Louisville Orchestra along with her duties at the Louisville Youth Orchestra. Ms. Welsh-Buchholz has served five terms as a board member for the Youth Orchestra Division of the League of American Orchestras and is the immediate past Chair of the Youth Orchestra Division and ex-officio member of the League of American Orchestras Board.
Ms. Welsh-Buchholz has been on the staff of the LYO since 1985. From 1985-1987 she served as the Wind/Brass Coach and Librarian. From 1987-1990 she served as the Operations Manager. From 1990 to the present she has held the position of Executive Director. During her tenure as Executive Director the Louisville Youth Orchestra's budget has tripled, patron donations have risen by 200%, the orchestra's membership has doubled and the number of ensembles offered within the organization has grown from three to eleven.
Co-Production Manager/Librarian - YPAS location
(Staff member since 2011)
Chris Schmidt is currently a freelance low brass musician and clinician in the Louisville area in addition to his duties with the LYO. He holds a M.M. in Wind Conducting and Tuba Performance from the University of Louisville. Prior to U of L Mr. Schmidt attended Morehead State University and earned two degrees, a Bachelor of Music Education and a Master of Arts in Secondary Education. His teachers in conducting include Dr. Fred Speck and Dr. Richard Miles as well as Dr. Earle Louder, and Mr. John Jones in low brass performance.
Before transitioning to freelance work Mr. Schmidt taught instrumental music for eight years in public school systems. In each of those eight years his concert bands received Distinguished Ratings at the KMEA Concert Band Festivals and his Marching Bands advanced to the KMEA Marching Band Semifinals in three different classes.
Currently Mr. Schmidt teaches as a low brass paraprofessional at several public schools in Jefferson, Oldham, Bullitt, and Hardin counties. He is a brass-teaching specialist for Miles Ahead Music and Gittli Music Studios in Louisville, KY. His private students have achieved positions in the KMEA All State Bands and Orchestra. In 2013 his tuba-euphonium ensemble form Oldham County High School performed at the KMEA State In-Service Conference. This concert included a world premier performance The Overture to Barber of Seville arranged for solo tuba and tuba-euphonium octet with Chris Combest as guest soloist.
Mr. Schmidt also operates his own business out of Mount Washington, KY where he has created marching band show designs and music arrangements for various high school and college band programs. He is an adjudicator for marching band contests and solo/ensemble festivals in KMEA, ISSMA, and Tennessee. Mr. Schmidt is also a member of the Chamber Winds Louisville Concert Band and will perform with the group in December 2013 at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic.
Co-Production Manager/Librarian - St. Matthews location
(Staff member since 2011)
Amy A.E. Noon holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Instrumental Music Education from The University of the Cumberlands and a Master’s in Secondary Education from The University of Southern Indiana. While at Cumberland, she studied flute with David Threlkeld and served as principle flutist for the wind ensemble, and various chamber ensembles. Mrs. Noon was named Cumberland College instrumentalist of the year in 1995. Upon graduation she traveled to Honduras, Central America and taught at El Buen Pastor (The Good Shepherd) Bilingual Episcopal School. While in Central America, she studied Spanish as a second language in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras, which led her to teach at Escuela Internacional Sampedrana, the American Bilingual School in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. During her four year stint in Honduras, she began an Orff instrumental program for the 600 student primary school, directed many all school performances utilizing Orff Instruments, formed and directed a primary school choir and mastered Spanish as a second language.
After returning to the United States in 2001, Mrs. Noon has been actively teaching in public schools in Florida and Kentucky, instructing instrumental music including band and full orchestra as well as many smaller ensembles. Currently, Mrs. Noon is the director of orchestras at Conway Middle School in Louisville, KY. She is an active member of both the Jefferson County Teachers Association and Kentucky Music Educators Association. She maintains a private flute studio and teaches Zumba dance classes to keep fit. Mrs. Noon enjoys working with young people and thrives on the success of her students. As one great philosopher believed “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.”