The LYO, founded in 1958, provides an extraordinary musical experience for young people from grade school through age 21. This season the LYO is made up of three orchestras and various ensembles in which students advance according to their own musical progression and interests. There are musicians from diverse schools and counties in the Louisville & Southern Indiana metro area.
Musicians are required to participate in their school instrumental music programs and must take private music instruction. Financial scholarships for instruction are available and awarded based on need. Performance opportunities provide a wide range of meaningful experiences from September through May each year. Potential members, families, patrons, media, and others can view the LYO's current video and Season Highlights for 2019-20.
The LYO is currently seeking applications for its Executive Director position. Please see the Open Positions page for information. The deadline for applications is April 30, 2021.
Letter from Melody
We are drawing ever closer to the end of a tumultuous and challenging 62nd season of the Louisville Youth Orchestra. I would like to take the opportunity to thank each of you, your private teachers and band/orchestra instructors for keeping faith in this great organization. All of you have done everything within your power to make it a successful and gratifying experience while facing extraordinary circumstances. There is light at the end of the tunnel and; hopefully, a good deal of normalcy will return as the organization transitions into its 63rd consecutive season.
I am also writing you today to let you know that I am embarking upon my next transitional phase as well. After three and a half decades with the LYO I will be stepping down as Executive Director at the end of this season. A full and rich retirement beckons me with equestrian pursuits, tending to a large vegetable garden, cooking classes, devouring unread books lining my shelves, agility training with my canine friend and, when circumstances allow, traveling far and wide with my husband.It has been a joyous and richly fulfilling 35 years for me.
I estimate that I have witnessed over 350 performances, met and relished relationships with over 5,000 parents and students, worked with incredible and dedicated staff members and enjoyed the unwavering support of the LYO board. I consider myself incredibly lucky to have had the good fortune of a wonderful career for so, so long.
My hope is that - although this message today reaches but a few of the countless individuals with which I have had the good fortune to encounter - somehow, someway all with whom I have worked over the years hear of my deep appreciation. Few individuals in life can count themselves as lucky as I do today.
Melody's first day as
I cherish this organization and know without doubt that it will provide the exceptional, high quality experience for which it is known for decades to come.
Executive Director, LYO
Marriott East, March 7, 2021
The Camerata String Orchestra, Chris Lerner, conductor, will present Vivaldi's Concerto No. 2 and will feature Meg Martin, violin soloist who was a winner in this season's LYO Concerto Competition.
The Espirit String Orchestra, Robert Dixon, conductor, will present the First Movement of Dvorák's Symphony No. 9 and Gm2 (Greensleeves Millennium 2), a composition by Shirl Jae Atwell, Louisville Composer and an LYO conductor very early in her remarkable career.
The Renaissance Orchestra, Doug Elmore, conductor, will present John Williams' "Krypton Fanfare" from Superman, arranged by Ian Elmore, performed by The Renaissance Brass and conducted by David F. Borman III, LYO's University of Louisville Graduate Conducting Assistant.
The LYO's second Classical Concert this season is packed with extraordinary music and talent. It's unfortunate that such a magnificent concert cannot have a live audience audience due to COVID-19 restrictions. Fortunately, however, a DVD video recording will be available.
Meg Martin, violin
The Renaissance Orchestra will also present Thelonious Monk's 'Round Midnight featuring The Renaissance Strings, Christian Howes, violin, Michael Hyman, drumset, and Joshua Lowery, piano. We are extremely pleased to welcome Christian Howes who is well known for his stunning talent as a jazz violinist and his commitment to music education. He will also perform as soloist in Scott Routenberg's Blue Reel movement from the Concerto for Jazz Violin and Orchestra.
Olivia Hodge, violin
The Renaissance Orchestra will also perform the first movement of the Brahms Concerto for Violin and Orchestra featuring Olivia Hodge, violin, who was a winner in this season's LYO Concerto Competition.
The concert will conclude with Morton Gould's American Salute, the irresistible melody to When Johnny Comes Marching Home, conducted by Ian Elmore, staff conductor.
Own your own copy of this fantastic concert. Order now to receive your DVD shortly after the performance. You must order in advance since there will be no general sales of the DVD. The cost is $25 and all major credit cards are accepted. Click here or on the DVD logo to the left.
An extraordinary season during a difficult time
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the LYO to cancel the final months of our 2019-20 season and now requires us to follow thoughtful, effective, and compliant plans for the 2020-21 season. Our utmost priority is always to ensure the health and safety of our young musicians, audiences and staff. Our detailed operating guidelines are publicly available on our website under Playing Safe.
We continue to focus on supporting the LYO mission of providing 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. In order to be successful we have been challenged to find new and different ways to audition, rehearse, and perform. This season we are providing a mix of in-person and on-line activities, new rehearsal locations and video-recorded performances.
Until concert halls are reopened and audiences can be invited back we are video recording all classical concerts and providing DVDs for sale. This is proving to be a valuable experience for our young musicians and they have performed admirably.
The following are excerpts from our concerts this season. You will notice specialized masks that were developed for various instruments, wind and brass instruments are fitted with bell covers, there is increased distancing for some instrumental sections, and a rented performance venue provided ample ventilation:
Espirit String Orchestra / 12/13/2020
Frosty's Caribbean Holiday
Steve Nelson & Jack Rollins / .arr. Ralph Ford
Camerata String Orchestra / 12/13/2020
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer
Johnny Marks / arr. Erick Morales
Percussion Ensemble / 12/13/2020
YO! Christmas Tree
arr. Chris Crockarell
Brass Ensemble / 12/13/2020
Angels We Have Heard on High
arr. Victor Lopez
Wind Ensemble / 12/13/2020
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Traditional English Carol / arr. Jeremy Corcoran
Renaissance Orchestra / November 12, 2020
Fra Diavolo - Overture / David Auber
Camerata Orchestra / November 12, 2020
Playful Pizzacato / Benjamin Britton
Thanks for Your Support
Online contributions are greatly appreciated. You can charge a gift of any amount to most bank cards or to PayPal. Click the Donate button to begin a secure transaction. If you prefer, you can also set up a monthly recurring donation charged to PayPal. See more ways to help on the Be a Patron page. Please designate any preference in how your donation is acknowledged.
The Louisville Youth Orchestra has met the Better Business Bureau’s 20 Standards for Charity Accountability and is a BBB Accredited Charity. Click here to view the LYO’s full charity report.
The Louisville Youth Orchestra thanks the following individuals, foundations and corporations for their support of our 62nd season.
Jessica Caballero *
Swapna & Manoj Chandran +
Michelle Cull +
J Scott Carothers Living Trust
Kevin & Ellie Pots +
Jothi & Jayaram Ravinshankar
Amy Beth Inc.
Gene P. Gardner
Hathaway & Clark Funeral Home
Nick & Susan Nicholson
Renaissance Charitable Foundation
Bruce & Marcia Roth
Milan & Carol Savkovich
Raymond & Jessica Schaff
Christy Elaine Schneider *
Mr. & Mrs. Peter Tanguay
Symphony ($10,000 +)
The Cory Foundation
JCPS Employees *
Evelyn Loerhlein & Sidney King
Paul & Judy Shoemaker
Melody Welsh & Dennis Buchholz
Megan Renwick & Norm Epley
Brent & Glenda Garrett
Kroger Merchant Program
Janet Leon +
Scott T. Meyer
Ty and Mary Richardson +
Susan J Herlin Charitable Fund
The Bouchard Family +
Vessels-Conrad Charitable Gift Fund
Prelude (up to $99)
Robert & Jan Gray
Reed & Janice Martin
Jeff McCaffrey *
Kristina Richards *
Fund for the Arts Partnership Gift *
Family Sponsorship Gift +
The LYO depends on the generosity of patrons to make programming possible. We are grateful to all private contributors as well as the following agencies for helping to make this season successful: