Student Handbook

2016-17 Season

P.O. Box 997
Louisville, Kentucky 40201-0997
(502) 896-1851

The LYO business office is located in the St. Matthews Pavilion at 4121 Shelbyville Rd, 2nd Floor.  Rehearsals take place at the Youth Performing Arts School, the St. Matthews Pavilion and Lincoln Performing Arts School.


It shall be the purpose of the Louisville Youth Orchestra to provide a musical experience of the highest quality for all dedicated young musicians and to provide artful and meaningful education programs for young audiences throughout our diverse communities regardless of race, creed, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or economic circumstances.  The LYO is a member of the Fund for the Arts and League of American Orchestras.


The LYO invites all young musicians up to age 21 to audition.

  • Membership for any LYO ensemble shall be decided via audition.  Playing ability and balance of instrumentation are the determining factors in selection of members. Membership is not automatically renewed.
  • LYO members are required to participate in their school instrumental music program (orchestra or band).  Home-schooled and students who attend schools that do not have a school band or orchestra are exempt..
  • All members are required to take private music lessons.

Member Rules & Responsibilities

  • It is the player’s responsibility to take their music folder home to practice and to bring the music folder to every rehearsal/performance.
  • Members are required to have a pencil at all times.
  • Proper behavior is expected.
  • Members are required to sign in at the Production Manager’s desk at every rehearsal.  E-MAIL (no calls!) your Production Manager at least ONE WEEK in advance of any known future absence.  For day-of rehearsal emergencies or illness E-MAIL (no calls!) your Production Manager no later than 11 am.
  • Check the LYO website and your personal e-mail frequently for scheduling changes and updates.
  • No refreshments in rehearsal rooms or concert halls.
  • No member is allowed to leave the area during breaks.
  • All music in the LYO folder is the responsibility of the player.  Players must report missing music to the librarian immediately and will be charged for lost copies.
  • No electronic devices during rehearsal.

Parent/Guardian Rules and Responsibilities

Parents/Guardians are expected to be on-site for pickup of members at the end of rehearsals/performances.  Members left waiting at rehearsal/performance sites cost the LYO extra custodial fees and are imposing upon LYO staff members’ time.  Parents/Guardians who pick up members late will be charged $2.00 per late minute.  Members who have not paid this assessment will not be admitted to the next rehearsal.

Attendance Policy

In keeping with the purpose of the LYO to provide a quality musical experience, it is the belief of the staff that ALL students are responsible to their colleagues, their conductor, themselves, and ultimately to the music itself.  Therefore, as a member of LYO, it is the responsibility of each and every member to:

A.  attend all rehearsals and performances

B.  be in their seats at the start of rehearsal time

C.  have practiced and prepared the music between each rehearsal

D.  report absences in a timely manner

As a member of LYO, you are making a serious commitment to your orchestra/ensemble.  The ensemble’s success is heavily dependent on regular attendance from EVERYONE.  When you miss a rehearsal, not only are you missing out on important musical details that you can’t obtain by individual practice, but you are also creating a void in the ensemble that cannot be filled in any way.

It doesn’t matter if you’re absent from LYO because you’re sick, have an academic competition, on a school trip, or on vacation.  If you’re not there, you’re not there.  We do; however, also understand that other important events/commitments on Sunday afternoons are going to happen on occasion.  Therefore, we expect that each member will use their judgment wisely and honor their commitment to the LYO when making important decisions about other activities.

With that in mind, the following guidelines will be enforced:

  1. Every LYO member is permitted a maximum of FOUR (4) ABSENCES per season.  Once a member obtains their FIFTH absence, no matter what the reason, they will lose their membership without a refund.  Mandatory school band/orchestra performances (as opposed to elected volunteer activities such as school musicals or pep band) which conflict with Sunday LYO rehearsals (with the exception of an LYO dress rehearsal) will NOT count toward your four absences.*  The required school performance absence form must be turned in to your Production Manager at least ONE week in advance for this exemption to be honored.  These performances must be on the same instrument you play in LYO.
  2. * If a member has at least one excused school performance absence, the maximum total number of absences they can have for the entire LYO season is FIVE (5).  After five, that member will lose their membership without a refund.
  3. Every LYO member is allowed a maximum of TWO (2) ABSENCES per November, December, and March concert cycles.  Each member is allowed a maximum of ONE (1) ABSENCE for the December and May Pops Concert cycles. If you exceed those limits, you will not be permitted to play in that particular concert.  You will still be able to participate in the remainder of the season.
  4. THE DRESS REHEARSAL FOR ANY CONCERT IS 100% MANDATORY FOR ALL MEMBERS.  There will be no exceptions to this rule - don’t ask for one.
  5. Known absences must be reported to your Production Manager at least ONE week in advance via E-MAIL.  Day-of emergencies or illness should be reported to your Production Manager via E-MAIL no later than 11 am on the day of the missed rehearsal.
  6. Two tardies count as one absence.  A tardy means you are not in your seat by the offical written start time of your rehearsal.

It is obviously our hope that each of our members can participate in all of the concerts.  If for some reason, however, you know that you will not be able to adhere to Policy #3 or #4 for a particular concert, please let us know as early as possible, so that we can make other arrangements to cover your part if necessary.

Tours and Associated Costs

The LYO occasionally plans tours for its members.  Members involved will be assessed additional tour fees above the usual membership fees during these years.  Limited scholarships may be offered for those members in need of assistance.

Percussion Ensemble Rules

All percussionists are required to assist with the moving of percussion equipment to and from concert locations.  Any percussionist who does not actively participate may be dismissed from the LYO at the discretion of the Music Director and/or Percussion Ensemble Conductor.

Concert Dress

In order to provide a professional and uniform appearance, the following dress code is required for concerts.  Any attire which detracts from the music is considered unacceptable.  Deviation from the following dress code WILL result in a player not being allowed to participate in a given performance.  Decisions in this regard are at the discretion of the LYO staff.  No perfume, cologne or aftershave during rehearsals or performances.

Formal Dress - All Orchestras

Boys: Black pants, long sleeve black shirt, black socks, black dress shoes.

Girls: Black dress/black skirt (at least knee length when sitting) or long black dress pants, black short or long-sleeved blouse (to collarbone), black hose, black dress shoes.

No skirts with slits or revealing attire.  No glittery jewelry/excessive bling!  You will have to remove these items for the duration of the performance.

Informal Dress - All Orchestras

Boys/Girls: Designated LYO T-shirt (black) and jeans.

No shorts!  No flip-flops!


All fees associated with the LYO are NON-REFUNDABLE.

Staff Directory

Executive Director:

Melody Welsh-Buchholz:

Music Director/Symphony Orch Conductor:

Deanna Tham:

Repertory Orchestra Conductor:

Doug Elmore:

Concert Orchestra Conductor:

Chris Lerner:

Serenade Orchestra Conductor:

Elise Kotheimer Gambrell:

Percussion Ensemble Coach:

Mark Tate:

Horizons Ensemble Coaches:

Don Gottlieb (flute):

James Rectenwald (brass):

Business Manager:

Emily McCord:

Co-Music Librarian/Co-Prod Manager for Sym/Rep/Horizons

Amy Noon:

1-859-797-2239 (Emergency Use Only!)

Co-MusicLibrarian/Co-Prod Manager for CO/Ser/Perc Ens

Angela Dixon:

1-502-552-5642 (Emergency Use Only!)

Presto!Strings Instructor

Robert Dixon:

Assistant Conductor

Alex Enyart: