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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.

Dear LYO Parents, Members and Instructors,

The first rehearsal of the Louisville Youth Orchestra is Sunday, September 20 – AND IT IS IN-PERSON!  Rumors are circulating that arts groups in Metro-Louisville are or will be going dark for the season.  While in some cases this may be happening – IT IS NOT THE CASE FOR THE LYO!

After five months of careful, concise planning we are ready to launch our 62nd season.  Our year will be a mix of in-person and on-line activities, new rehearsal locations and video-taped performances.

Our Re-Opening Plan has been filed with the Governor’s Health and Safety Committee and includes social-distancing, pristine conditions and additional support staff to keep all members safe.

Our Serenade and Concert Orchestras will have a new rehearsal home at DanceLouisville (8023 Catherine Lane, Louisville, KY  40222) – a dedicated space with extremely low traffic for enhanced safety.  Our Repertory, Symphony and Horizons Ensembles will be located at the St. Matthews Pavilion (4121 Shelbyville Road, Louisville, KY  40207) and enjoy no less than six large rooms in which to spread out, stay safe and make great music.

Until concert halls re-open and audiences are welcomed back, we will be video-taping our performances in quality settings in order for parents and audience members to have a record of the event.

In addition, for a small fee, our members have the option of signing up for Music Theory and Music History classes.  These ten-week courses will add much to the existing educational value of our organization.

Members will also enjoy FREE twice-monthly, on-line masterclasses with nationally renowned artists from major symphony orchestras and many with acclaimed solo careers.

So……what are you waiting for?  It’s time to register for your on-line audition and become a part of this great musical family.

Go to and follow the instructions.  We’ve made it easier than ever to join!

Come Grow With Us!

Melody Welsh-Buchholz
Executive Director
Louisville Youth Orchestra 




Preview of 2020-21 Season

Classical Series


Great Struggles, Great Triumphs

Sunday, November 15, 2020

4:00 pm

Location TBA


A Little Song and Dance

Sunday, November 22, 2020

4:00 pm

Location TBA


American Masters

Sunday, March 7, 2021

4:00 pm

Brown Theater

(with guest artist, Christian Howes)

(Grammy Award winning jazz violinist)


Old and New Friends

Sunday March 14 or March 21, 2021

4:00 pm

Location TBA

Pops Series


Mistletoe, Merriment and Miracles

Sunday, December 13, 2020

4:00 pm

Location TBA


And They’re Off!

Sunday, April 25, 2021

4:00 pm

Iroquois Amphitheater



Discovery Series

From Many, One

Monday, March 8, 2021

10:30 am

Brown Theater                     

Come Grow With Us!

We understand audiences are thinking carefully about future performance ticket purchases.  The LYO wants you to know that as we navigate this difficult period the safety of our students, parents, audience and staff is uppermost in our minds.  We will be confirming locations with the utmost care.


Music is a pathway which kindles our passions, expands our curiosity and links us to our community, world and each other.  The LYO has chosen to highlight each of our concerts with a least one minority composer in an effort to bring us all closer together during our 62nd consecutive season. 


We can’t wait to see you back at our exceptional Louisville Youth Orchestra performances offered by our phenomenal student artists.  We look ahead to brighter days filled with great music, fun and time spent with those who bring you joy.  We will be adding concert locations and additional particulars about our events as the days move forward.  We also have a plan in place to video our performances should circumstances dictate that concerts halls be closed.  You will have the opportunity to hear and see these fantastic youth musicians even if not live.  Please check back for more details

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.”

Bookgraphicflippage (2).jpg

RESOURCES for ensembles



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.  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 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.

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