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.

Open Positions - Executive Director

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.

Recent Events

And They're Off!

Floyd Central High School, Sunday, April 25 at 4:00



The Louisville Youth Orchestra culminated its 62nd consecutive season with a live, in-person performance at Floyd Central High School located at 6575 Old Vincennes Road, Georgtown, IN on Sunday, April 25.  This event showcased all of our ensembles - Renaissance Orchestra, Camerata Strings, Esprit Strings, Wind Ensemble, Brass Ensemble and Percussion Ensemble - presenting an array of popular, fun-filled works.  The concert - aptly named And They're Off! - honored our graduating seniors as they begin the next chapter of their lives and Melody Welsh-Buchholz as she prepares for retirement after 35 years of service as our Executive Director.

Special presentations were made to our graduating Seniors and to Melody Welsh Buchholz who is retiring after 35 years as as Executive Director.

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All LYO ensembles performed to a capacity audience.  This was the first (and only) live audience of the season due to the covid pandemic.

American Masters

Marriott East, March 7, 2021

The LYO's second Classical Concert this season was packed with extraordinary music and talent.  It's unfortunate that such a magnificent concert could not have a live audience audience due to COVID-19 restrictions.  Fortunately, however, a DVD video recording was available.

The Camerata String Orchestra, Chris Lerner, conductor, presented Vivaldi's Concerto No. 2 and featured Meg Martin, violin soloist who was a winner in this season's LYO Concerto Competition.

The Espirit String Orchestra, Robert Dixon, conductor, presented 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, presented 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. 

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Meg Martin, violin

Click for biography

The Renaissance Orchestra also presented 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 also performed as soloist in Scott Routenberg's Blue Reel movement from the Concerto for Jazz Violin and Orchestra.

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Olivia Hodge, violin

Click for biography

The Renaissance Orchestra also performed 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 concluded with Morton Gould's American Salute, the irresistible melody to When Johnny Comes Marching Home, conducted by Ian Elmore, staff conductor.

Click here for a printable copy of the entire concert program.

You can order a video recording of this concert through May 15.  The cost is $25 and only preordered copies will be available.  Click here or on the DVD symbol on the left to order your copy with any major credit card.

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Old and New Friends

Marriott East, March 14, 2021

On the following Sunday a second Classical Concert was presented featuring LYO's extraordinary instrumental ensembles, listed alphabetically below.  These performances are included on the same DVD with those from the American Masters concert on March 7.


The Brass Ensemble conducted by John Little played three cherished pieces:  the Brahms Hungarian Dance No.5, Handel's "Air" from Water Music, and Prince of Denmark's March by Jeremiah Clark.

The Percussion Ensemble, conducted by Mark Tate, played six selections beginning with Shostakovich's Festive Overture and Two Movements from Hary Janos by Zoltan Kodaly.  They also performed two Spanish dances:  Villanesca by Enrique Granados and Miller's Dance by Manuel DeFalla.  The ensemble also performed engaging selections from Carmina Burana.by Carl Orff.  (All of the aforementioned pieces were arranged by Mark Tate.)  They concluded with the stirring Dance of the Tumblers from The snow Maiden by Rimsky-Korsakov.

The Wind Ensemble, conducted by Brandon Bell, performed three challenging works:  Bach's Two Part Invention #4, Ravel's Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte, and Scherzo for Three Saxophones by Arthur Frachenpohl (arranged by Brandon Bell).

Click here for a printable copy of the entire concert program.

Season Highlights

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.

Harmony ($250-$499)

Jessica Caballero *

Swapna & Manoj Chandran +

Michelle Cull +

J Scott Carothers Living Trust


Kevin & Ellie Pots +

Jothi & Jayaram Ravinshankar

Russell Saunders

Melanie Vittitow

Melody ($100-$249)
Amy Beth Inc.

Joe Blitkzo

John Buchino
Sharon David

Nancy Drye

Gene P. Gardner

GE Foundation

June Hampe

Hathaway & Clark Funeral Home

Rodney Henderson

Emily Liu

Rebecca Maddox
Pamela Mullins

Nick & Susan Nicholson

Renaissance Charitable Foundation
Bruce & Marcia Roth
Milan & Carol Savkovich

Raymond & Jessica Schaff

Christy Elaine Schneider *

Mr. & Mrs. Peter Tanguay

Jeanne Vuturo
Camille Wagner

Symphony ($10,000 +)
Parent Network
The Cory Foundation

Concerto ($5,000-$9,999)
Ed Klein

Fanfare ($1,000-$4,999)
JCPS Employees *
Evelyn Loerhlein & Sidney King

Paul & Judy Shoemaker
Melody Welsh & Dennis Buchholz

Rhapsody ($500-$999)


Megan Renwick & Norm Epley

Brent & Glenda Garrett

Jan Hunter
Ben Keeton
Kroger Merchant Program

Janet Leon +

Scott T. Meyer

John McCall
Medical News

Northrop Equine

Republic Bank
Ty and Mary Richardson +

Susan J Herlin Charitable Fund

The Bouchard Family +
Vessels-Conrad Charitable Gift Fund

Prelude (up to $99)
Carolyn Altstadt

Robert & Jan Gray

Marie Haley

Cindy Jacobs

Reed & Janice Martin

Jeff McCaffrey *

Linda Ratti
Kristina Richards *


In-Kind Services
Louisville Ballet

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:

The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, provides operating support to the Louisville Youth Orchestra with state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts..

The Louisville Youth Orchestra is made possible in part with the support from the generous donors to the Fund For The Arts.

The League of American Orchestras is dedicated to helping orchestras meet the challenges of the 21st century.