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 About the LYO  

Founded in 1958, the Louisville Youth Orchestra (LYO) is a nonprofit organization that offers an engaging and enriching instrumental ensemble experience to nurture a lifelong love of music. The LYO currently serves over 250 students from 16 counties throughout Kentucky and southern Indiana. In Jefferson County alone, our students represent 30 ZIP codes. We love creating community among young musicians and bringing them together based on a shared desire to learn and perform exciting instrumental music.

We invite you to watch our videos below or check out recent season highlights. Read bios about our 15 highly talented artistic and administrative staff. Learn more about auditions and join the LYO! 


The mission of the LYO is to fuel the passion and growth of young musicians through extraordinary musical experiences.

 GUIDING Values 

The LYO is an inclusive and affirming organization that works to lift up all members of its diverse community. Learn more about LYO guiding values and equity-driven goals here.


There are ensembles to fit all levels of preparation from beginner to advanced. Each orchestra and ensemble is led by its own highly qualified conductor.

Symphony Orchestra – the most advanced full orchestra of the LYO

Repertory Orchestra – intermediate to advanced full orchestra 

Concert Orchestra – intermediate string orchestra 

Serenade Orchestra – entry-level string orchestra

Horizons Ensembles – developing brass and woodwind ensembles

Percussion Ensemble – students of varying abilities can participate in percussion ensemble; advanced students may also place into the percussion sections of Symphony and Repertory Orchestras

Master Artists Chamber Players – chamber music opportunities for advanced students of the LYO, led by performing artists from NouLou Chamber Players.


Eligibility and Auditions
Membership in the LYO is open to young musicians through 20 years old. 
All members must audition each year prior to placement. Entry is based on proficiency rather than age. Learn more about auditions here

Members are expected to participate in their school instrumental music programs and take private music lessons. LYO offers need-based scholarships to assist with
the cost of private music lessons.

Rehearsals for our 8 ensembles take place on Sunday afternoons at the St Matthews Pavilion and the Youth Performing Arts School. 


The membership fee for 2022-2023 is $550 total. Generous scholarships are available to assist with the cost of membership and awarded on the basis of need. There is also a $100 discount for each additional participating member within a family.

 Other LYO Programs 

The Louisville Youth Orchestra also provides weekly beginner strings classes in two Title I elementary schools. These Presto Strings classes are designed to break down barriers to strings training at an early age through completely free classes and the use of a free instrument. Learn more here. 

We invite you to join the 250+ LYO students from around the region who are learning new music and making new friends in the LYO. 

We would love to welcome you to the LYO this year!

Please also check out the videos below and reach out to with any questions.

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LYO 2019 Promo Video_FINAL-Graded v2
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