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 online.
The March 15 LYO Concert, "American Masters", will feature the Symphony Orchestra performing music by two of America's greatest orchestral writers: Leonard Bernstein - "Overture to Candide," and Aaron Copland - "Buckaroo Holiday" from Rodeo, in addition to the Kentucky Premier of Scott Routenberg's Concerto for Jazz Violin and Orchestra with guest artist Christian Howes who is among the top jazz violinists in the country.
The Repertory Orchestra will perform works from the early, middle, and late romantic period featuring the music of Beethoven, Massenet, and Elgar.
The concert will also feature our two Concerto Competition winners: Asher Blackburn and Meg Martin, both remarkable violinists.
March is LYO's busiest month. All members are engaged in activities throughout our community.
Six Important Activities
March 14 -
Retirement Home Tour (Homes TBA)
Serenade & Master Chamber Players
March 14 -
Christian Howes Master Class
Youth Performing Arts School (YPAS)
March 15 -
American Masters Concert
& guest artist Christian Howes
March 18 -
School Tour (Locations TBA)
March 22 -
Classical Concert IV
at Highland Hills Middle School
Concert, Serenade, Horizons, Percussion Ensemble,
Master Chamber Players, and
March 23 -
Georgia Chaffe School
Brown Theater, March 15, 4:00
2019-2020 season highlights
Gheens Great Expectations Concert at Whitney Hall on February 5
This year's Gheens Concert featured the Louisville Orchestra, the Louisville Youth Orchestra's Symphony Orchestra, and the 2020 Gheens Artist Clayton Stephenson, piano. The program opened with Beethoven's First Piano Concerto with Clayton Stephenson and the remarkable musicians of the Louisville Orchestra. The LYO Symphony Orchestra then joined the LO for a side-by-side performance of Dvorak's Carnival Overture and Borodin's Polovtsian Dances from Prince Igor. The combined orchestra of more than 120 musicians gave an exhilarating performance that concluded with a thunderous, standing ovation. Doug Elmore, LYO Music Director, conducted the entire concert.
The Gheens Concert provides an important educational experience for the young LYO musicians and we are grateful for the nurturing support of the Louisville Orchestra musicians. The concert was free to the public.
The concert was presented by Kentucky Performing Arts and Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA), in partnership with the Louisville Orchestra and the Louisville Youth Orchestra, with generous support from The Gheens Foundation, with additional support from Kentucky Music Educators Association, Classical 90.5 WUOL and from Dr. Laman Gray and Juliet Cooper Gray.
Cinema Stocking Stuffers Pops Concert at YPAS on December 15
The Repertory, Concert, and Serenade Orchestras presented a Pops Concert for the Holidays.
Featuring three of LYO's amazing Horizons ensembles: Single Reed, Treble, and Brass
Plus the LYO Percussion Ensemble. More than 180 talented young musicians!
Photos: Yenny Ho, LUZ-OM Photography
The Power of One middle school concert at Brown Theater on November 25
More than 1,000 middle school students from throughout the region attended LYO's annual middle school concert at the historic Brown Theater. This free concert is made possible through the support of individual patrons who remember the importance of "Making Music" concerts when they were young. Teachers were given program notes in advance to explain this musical tribute to people throughout history who have taken a heroic stand and changed the world. Music on the program depicts their passion, commitment, and principles:
Compositions included Maid of Orleans overture (Tchaikovsky), Creatures of Prometheus overture (Beethhoven), Lyric for Strings (George Walker) and El Cid (James Massenet).
Sea Changes at the Brown Theater on Sunday, November 24, 2019
Sea Change was a Classical Concert featuring all four of the LYO orchestras. The excerpts below are taken from each orchstra's program. The program featured music inspired by significant transformations of social and personal norms. Composers included Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Sibelius, Walker, and Massenet.
The Symphony Orchestra also performed portions of the program at the LYO Middle School Concert, The Power of One, at the Brown Theater on Monday, November 25.
Doug Elmore, Conductor, Symphony Orchestra
Suite from El Cid
--- Jules Massenet
Christopher Lerner, Conductor, Concert Orchestra
--- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Musical Menangerie concert at Highland Hills Middle School on November 10
The Serenade Orchestra and all three Horizons Ensembles performed for an enthusiastic audience.
Serenade Orchestra, Elise Kotheimer Gambrell, Conductor, Serenade Orchestra
Katie McDonald, Coach
John Little, Coach
Single Reed Ensemble
Brandon Bell, Coach
Photos: Yenny Ho, LUZ-OM Photography
The Violins of Hope is a collection of more than 50 restored instruments played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust.
The LYO Symphony strings joined members of the NouLou Chamber Players honoring these legendary instruments and the people who cherished them.
It was a stirring program to a full house with a thunderous standing ovation.
Adagio for Strings (Samuel Barber)
Octet featuring members of the LYO Symphony Strings and NouLou Chamber Players.
Praeludium, Op.12a (Victor Kohn)
Uv'tzeil K'nofecho (Grunfeld/Zikmund Schul)
These two pieces were written by prisoners in the Terezin concentration camp. Unfortunately there is little information about the composers and neither survived their imprisonment. Doug Elmore, LYO Music Director, arranged each so that they can be appreciated today.
Theme from Schindler's List (John Williams)
John Williams' score for Schlinder's List represented a dramatic shift in his compositional style and earned the 1994 Academy Award for Best Original Score.
Learn more about Violins of Hope at https://violinsofhopelou.com/
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.