The LYO, founded in 1958, provides an extraordinary musical experience for young people from grade school through age 21. The LYO is made up of four orchestras, an elementary string program, and various ensembles in which students advance according to their own musical progression and interests. There are over 350 musicians from 101 schools and 17 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.

Job Postings:

As the LYO prepares for its 62nd Season, please note employment opportunities and open positions.

From the Executive Director:

It has been several weeks since momentous circumstances forced the cancellation of the last six weeks of the LYO’s 61st season.  While our youth arts world momentarily stopped in its tracks the LYO immediately began focusing on how to address these unprecedented times and find a way to continue to offer great opportunities in the future.


The LYO staff is deep into the process of building our 62nd season.  There are countless unknowns as we progress through the planning with each day bringing new information to light. We are; however, confident we will be able to offer a quality program to our youth members, youth audience and community.  Will our season look different?  Absolutely.  Will some activities be presented in a different way?  Undoubtedly.  But there are two things you can count on from the Louisville Youth Orchestra.


One - We have our eyes laser-focused on our mission statement of “providing a musical experience of the highest quality for all dedicated young musicians and to provide artful and meaningful education programs for audiences throughout our diverse communities regardless of race, creed, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or economic circumstances.”


Two – We will make sure you and your family are safe every step of the way.  Our board and staff are currently working on guidelines to ensure that all distancing recommendations and Healthy at Work rules are followed for the security and protection of our members, parents, staff and audience.

Our first order of business was to create a safe and effective means of allowing our membership to audition.  This mission has been accomplished!  The new audition system is live!  It entails an easy three step system.  First - Fill out your application.  Second - Pay your audition fee.  Third (and this is the exciting part!) - VIDEO your audition and send it to us at your earliest convenience!  As long as these steps are taken care of by the deadline date your audition is complete for our 62nd season!  If, for any reason, you are in a position of not being able to participate in this manner we will still schedule you for a live audition in late August with proper social distancing rules in place.

We have several contingency plans in place for both rehearsals and performances as move toward the beginning of our season – all of which will allow our members and audience to still enjoy positive and high-quality educational experiences.  Many performance locations have already been secured, and I am delighted to let you know that Christian Howes, Grammy Award winning jazz violinist, has agreed to be with us in March of 2021!  We are thrilled that Mr. Howes made sure to make time for the LYO after cancellation of our gala weekend with him in March of 2020


I can assure you that the LYO team made up of dedicated staff and board is looking at every possible option to ensure a quality experience for you.  The road ahead becomes just a little clearer with each passing day.

So……..Come Grow With Us!

Melody Welsh-Buchholz

Executive Director

TWO great opportunities for you to enjoy arts and culture from home this summer.

Please enjoy this book of activities for all ages, including activities from the LYO and 27 others. For an even more robust experience, sign up for your 2020 Virtual Cultural Pass at your local library branch and get EXCLUSIVE access to the activities, demos, videos, projects and more from 61 arts and cultural organizations in our region.”

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Congratulations to Our Graduating Seniors

Andrew Armes

Symphony     Oboe     1 year in LYO

Murray State     Veterinary Science, Minor in Music

Bryan Back

Symphony     Viola     9 years in LYO

Vanderbilt University     Viola Performance

Christina Black

Symphony     Cello     1 year in LYO

Franklin College     Music and Exercise Science, Minoring in Psychology

Asher Blackburn

Symphony     Violin     7 years in LYO

Cleveland Institute of Music     Violin Performance

Ben Bunting

Symphony     Tuba     1 year in LYO

University of Louisville     Music performance

Nicholas Castelluzzo

Symphony     Violin     9 years in LYO

University of Kentucky     Computer Engineering, Minor in Violin Performance

Nadia Cho

Symphony     Oboe     5 years in LYO

University of Louisville     Oboe Performance

Christina Devers

Repertory     Flute     4 years in LYO

Diamond Edwards

Repertory     Flute     1 year in LYO

Morehead State University     Music Education

Devin Engleking

Repertory     Euphonium     1 year in LYO

Indiana State University     Business Management

Gwendolyn Gray

Symphony     Violin     6 years in LYO

Westminster College     Biochemistry, Minoring in Music 

Faith Greenwell

Percussion Ensemble/Symphony     Percussion     5 years in LYO

University of Louisville     Political Science

Saadiq Harrison

Repertory     Bass     1 year in LYO

Fullsail University     Computer Animation / Computer Science

Allison Hebdon

Symphony     Oboe     5 years in LYO

Vanderbilt University     Electrical Engineering

Tyler Jackson

Single Reed Ensemble     Clarinet     3 years in LYO

Vincennes University     Music and Nutrition and Dietetics

Lillie Kang

Symphony     Flute     6 years in LYO

Washington University     International and Area Studies - Development

Anetta Kendall

Symphony     Trumpet     6 years in LYO

University of Louisville     Music Performance

Zahra Khan

Repertory     Violin     5 years in LYO

Columbia University     Chemical Engineering

Elliott Lonnemann

Symphony     Violin     2 years in LYO

Bellarmine University     Biology

William Middleton

Symphony     Trombone     1 year in LYO

University of Kentucky     Music Performance

Abigail Morrison

Repertory     Clarinet     2 years in LYO

Northern Kentucky University     Music Education

Alphonso Nichols IV

Symphony     Flute     7 years in LYO

George Mason University     Computer Game Design 

Cade O'Kelly-Ruckman

Symphony     Oboe     2 years in LYO

University of Louisville     Oboe Performance

Yizhen Quan

Symphony     Violin     6 years in LYO

Vanderbilt University     Neuroscience

Kyle Roemer

Percussion Ensemble/Symphony     Percussion     5 years in LYO

University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music     Music Performance

Adria Shields

Percussion Ensemble/Symphony     Percussion     1 year in LYO

University of Kentucky     Music Performance

Spencer Shina

Percussion Ensemble/Symphony     Percussion     5 years in LYO

University of Louisville     Finance

Junseo Shin

Symphony     Violin     1 year in LYO

University of Louisville     Physics

Matthew Staton

Symphony     Bass     3 years in LYO

University of Louisville     Music Education

Conner Taylor

Symphony     Symphony     7 years in LYO

University of Kentucky     Music Performance, Finance

Wesley Vaugn

Symphony     Tuba     1 year in LYO

University of Louisville     Music Performance

Olivia Vincent

Repertory     Violin     4 years in LYO 

Indiana State University     Occupational Therapy

Erica Wood

Symphony     Flute     2 years in LYO

Ball State University     Music Performance

RESOURCES for ensembles

Christian Howes Masterclass

Unfortunately, the Christian Howes Masterclass scheduled for March 14 had to be cancelled.  This was a major disappointment for both our members and many community musicians who had registered for the class.  Fortunately, Mr. Howe has agreed to provide some of his educational videos that he developed for string players and teachers.  We appreciate both his artistry and his generosity in making making these available:

His Done For You Video Lessons were created in response to school closings and activity cancellations like ours.

  • Watch the video on your computer, tablet, TV monitor, or phone, as long as you can get substantial volume

  • Set your phone to record on video OR Voice memo

  • Turn on his video on your computer, press record on your recording device, and play along to the video.


Symphony Orchestra

Doug Elmore, Conductor

The Berlin Philharmonic, one of the world's truly great orchestras, has a streaming service called Digital Concert Hall. They have decided to temporarily make it FREE since they have had to cancel concerts. There are hundreds of outstanding performances which you can stream at absolutely no cost or obligation. There is a March 31 sign up deadline and the link is The Berliner Philharmoniker’s Digital Concert Hall .


I did some exploring on YouTube and found some amazing listening experiences:


Wynton Marsalis, trumpet; and Mark O'Connor, fiddle- 

Best "Boil 'em Cabbage Down" ever!

Sweet Georgia Brown

New York Philharmonic Cellos

J.S. Bach’s Suite No. 1 for Unaccompanied Cello in G major

The Philadellphia Orchestra

Beethoven Symphonies 5 & 6


Two Set Violin with Hilary Hahn (coolest violin video EVER!!!!!

Paganini Caprice 24

London Symphony Orchestra / Leonard Bernstein

Igor Stravinsky / The Rite of Spring (my favorite piece of all time)


Concert Orchestra

Chris Lerner, Conductor

Many cultural organizations have been cancelling their performances out of concern for public health and safety. However, many arts organizations are using this opportunity to live stream their performances from otherwise empty venues. WKAR Public Media from Michigan State University is maintaining a list of both live and archived performances as a way to connect and enjoy musical artistry while we face the constraints of Covid19.  Follow the WKAR list.  Also be sure to check out Alex Ross' List of Live Streams.

You may also want to see an incredible YouTube video of Yo Yo Ma playing the J.S. Bach Prelude from Suite 1 for Solo Cello.

For some fun, you won't want to miss Peter Schickele's "P.D.Q. Bach":  Orchestra X plays Beethoven -- and Beethoven loses.  Beethoven's Fifth Symphony like you never heard it before.


Percussion Ensemble

Mark Tate, Coach

  1. Go to YouTube and listen to live performance of the pieces that everyone was preparing to play on the March 23rd concert:
         Festive Overture                  Dmitri Shostakovich
         Hary Janos                          Zoltan Kodaly
         Carmina Burana                  Carl Orff
         "Estancia" Ballet Suite          Alberto Ginastera

  2. Listen to and find YouTube Performances of the Beatles, Styx and Santana
    This was going to be your music for the April 26th concert

  3. Watch the "more cowbell" Sketch from SNL 2003
    which we where going to incorporate into the April concert.

  4. Go to RowLoff and Vic Firth Websites to get on line practice material and videos.

  5. Use suggested percussion audition material on LYO website to practice and prepare for next year's audition.

  6.  If you need copies or any other Music , contact Mark Tate for curbside delivery.

  7. Keep LYO as a viable  part of your daily routine and continued music education.



Horizons Brass Ensemble

John Little, Coach

Our Routine while we are apart:

  1. Watch the Breathing Gym video part one on you tube, and do part of it at least.  Read about the Breathing Gym Clinic here.

  2. Set a daily improvement goal. Subdivision with perfection is a good goal, as is keeping your concentration for the whole piece.

  3. Listen to the Air from Water Music with the Canadian Brass on YouTube, then buzz it on the mouthpiece (aim for perfection), play with the recording.  How did you do?

  4. Let's stay in a routine, as they go first in time off. If we all practice at 3:00 pm each day it will be like having the ensemble togeher!!

  5. Once a week send me a recording of this piece.


Here are some great groups to listen to: The Canadian Brass, Empire Brass, Apollo Brass, Chicago, Blood Sweat and Tears.


I'm thinking of all of you, and your families. Be good to each other, and I will see you soon!


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.  See more ways to help on the Be a Patron page.  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 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.

LOUISVILLE YOUTH ORCHESTRA    P.O.Box 997     Louisville, KY 40201-0997     (502) 896-1851   

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