Meet the Staff

Doug Elmore

Music Director and Conductor, Symphony Orchestra
(Staff member since 2014)

Doug Elmore brings to the podium over thirty years of outstanding musical leadership in the Midwest. He has conducted Youth Orchestra and school orchestra performances across North America and Europe, including performances in New York’s Lincoln Center and

Carnegie Hall. As a conductor, Mr. Elmore’s performances have been described as “Vibrant, stunning, and brilliant”…”Outstanding and amazing”...”Fiery, clean, and still elegant”. Mr. Elmore is entering his 32nd year as Orchestra Director of the Indiana State Champion Floyd Central High School Orchestra and the Highland Hills Middle School Orchestras, instructing 5 orchestras and over 350 students daily.  In addition to his duties with the Floyd County schools, Mr. Elmore recently served as conductor with with the Floyd County Youth Symphony (IN) for 28 years, 24 as Music Director. He has been with the LYO for the past 3 years, directing the Repertory Orchestra. He has led the FCHS and HHMS Orchestras to more than 100 Superior (Gold) ratings over the past 32 years.  During this same time, the FCHS Orchestra has performed at the last twenty-eight ISSMA State Finals Contests (an Indiana State record), earning State Champion honors in 1995 and 2017, and Runner-up honors in 1996, 1998, and 2016.  Orchestras from Floyd Central High School and Highland Hills Middle School have performed at 9 IMEA Conventions over the past 30 years.

An active clinician and guest conductor, Mr. Elmore has served on the staff at the Great Lakes Music Camp, the Kentuckiana Music Festival at University of Louisville, and the “Music for All” camp at Ball State University.  He has conducted All-County and All-Region Orchestras and clinics in Carmel, IN; Louisville, KY; Merrilville, IN; Lexington, KY;  Avon, IN; Chesterton, IN; South Bend, IN; and Salem, OR. In 2017, he conducted the Commonwealth Strings All-State Orchestra for Kentucky, and the Jefferson County (KY) All-County Middle School Orchestra.  He is currently on the faculty of the internationally known Abersold Jazz Workshops and has served on the faculty of Bellarmine University as a jazz bass instructor.  He has served on the faculty of the University of Louisville as the instructor for String Methods class.  He has recently been published (“Making Tone a Priority”) in the Indiana Music Education Association journal.

1986 graduate of DePauw University (IN), Mr. Elmore completed his graduate work in Applied Double Bass at the University of Louisville in 2001. As a performer on the double bass, Mr. Elmore has worked with the Louisville Orchestra, Music Theatre of Louisville, Actor's Theatre of Louisville, Derby Dinner Playhouse, the Jerry Tolson Quartet, the Ron Jones Quartet, the Mike Tracy Trio, the Platters, the Ron Haydn Trio, and the Sarah Stivers Quartet, with whom he currently performs a standing engagement at the historic French Lick Hotel.  From 2007-2016 he performed with the WHAS “Crusade for Children” Telethon as bassist in the studio band.  Mr. Elmore has been featured on cd recordings by University of Louisville faculty members Jerry Tolson and Mike Tracy.

In 2011, he was selected as Floyd Central High School’s “Teacher of the Year”. He was recognized by the American String Teachers Association as Indiana’s High School Orchestra” Teacher of the Year”. He has been awarded an Eli Lilly Endowment "Teacher Creativity Fellowship" which he used to research and write "Megan's Musing", a jazz piece for high school orchestra.  From this beginning, he founded and wrote for "Celtic Fire" an award-winning  jazz, ethnic, bluegrass string group at FCHS.  He has been recognized with a WHAS TV ExCel Award for “Excellence in the Classroom and Educational Leadership”.


Mr. Elmore currently resides in New Albany, IN with his wife of twenty-seven years, April, who teaches science at Highland Hills Middle School.  They are the proud parents of Megan, Ian, and Claire Elmore.

Jason Hougland

Conductor, Repertory Orchestra
(Staff member since 2018)

Jason Hougland brings charismatic leadership, a contagious love for a variety of musical styles, and a great rapport with students to his role at the Louisville Youth Orchestra. Under his direction at Austin High School for eight years, the band program doubled in size while 

maintaining a consistent level of excellence. The concert band and pep band earn superior ratings and regularly place in the top scores of every competition in which they perform.

Mr. Hougland is assistant concert master of the Commonwealth Brass Band and an official bugler at Churchill Downs.  As a bugler, he recently performed for the United States Senate in Washington D.C. He also regularly performs for races, weddings, corporate events, and private events. Mr. Hougland is also an accomplished blues and hard rock guitarist. He has performed in cover bands, worship bands, and an original progressive rock band.

Mr. Hougland earned his Bachelor of Music degree in trumpet performance from Indiana University Southeast, studying under J. Jerome Amend. He earned his Masters of Music in trumpet performance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, studying under Dr. Michael Ewald and Ronald Romm. Mr. Hougland has been a featured soloist with the IU Southeast Concert Band, Commonwealth Brass Band, and the Cincinnati Brass Band. At the University of Illinois, he performed with the UI Wind Symphony (under James Keene) and the UI Symphony Orchestra (under Donald Schleicher), in addition to brass quintets, trumpet ensembles, jazz ensembles, and the UIUC Brass Band.

Christopher Lerner

Conductor, Concert Orchestra
(Staff member since 2000)

Chris Lerner received his bachelor of music degree in violin performance from the University of Louisville, where he was proud to have studied under Peter McHugh.  

He has been a registered Suzuki violin teacher since 2001. Chris has benefited from working with fellow conductors Deanna Tham, Jason Seber, Robert Franz, and Doug Elmore at the Louisville Youth Orchestra.


Over the past eighteen years, Mr. Lerner has filled many roles for the Louisville Youth Orchestra: Director of the Presto! Strings Program, Director of Sonatina Strings Program, Conductor of the Serenade Orchestra, and the Conductor of Concert Orchestra. Mr. Lerner was also excited to be a part of the fiftieth and the current sixtieth anniversary of the Louisville Youth Orchestra. Currently, Mr. Lerner is in his fifteenth year as the Director of Strings for the middle and upper school string programs at Louisville Collegiate School. In addition to teaching daily string classes, Mr. Lerner enjoys arranging classic rock and roll tunes for his middle and upper school classes. He also leads the middle and upper school rock bands.  In 2013, Mr. Lerner received Louisville Collegiate School's Katherine McCracken Davis Distinguished Teaching Chair.  Mr. Lerner has judged large ensemble contests for Jefferson County, Ky and has been invited to judge small and large ensemble contests for Owensboro, Ky this coming year.  For the second time, Mr. Lerner will be conducting one of the All-County high school orchestras this winter, and he has accepted a position to conduct an event next fall for the East Tennessee Orchestra festival in Tennessee.   In his spare time, Mr. Lerner enjoys teaching a studio of twenty violin and viola  students aged five through eighteen years old.


Mr. Lerner currently lives in Louisville with his wife Erin Fry Lerner, his two sons Bobby(8), Stash(6), and daughter Hazel (3 years).

Elise Kotheimer Gambrell 

Conductor, Serenade Orchestra
(Staff member since 2007)

Elise Kotheimer Gambrell received her Bachelor of Music degree in and her Masters of Arts in Teaching Music from the University of Louisville. She participated as a member of the Louisville Youth Orchestra for five years, where she served as concert mistress of the

Repertory Orchestra and assistant concert mistress of the Symphony Orchestra. Mrs. Gambrell won the McDowell Music Teacher’s Competition in 2001, and the McCauley Chamber Music Competition in 1999. She has studied under the guidance of accomplished teachers including Peter McHugh, Patrick Rafferty, Cheri Kelley and Hiroko Driver.

Mrs. Gambrell served as the director of the New Albany High School and Hazelwood Middle School Orchestras for seven years.  Under her direction, the orchestras received gold ratings at the Indiana State School Music Association Organizational Festival every year. Mrs. Gambrell has been with the Louisville Youth Orchestra since 2007 and has held many positions including Co-Production Manager, Presto! Strings Instructor and Serenade Orchestra Conductor. 


Mrs. Gambrell became a certified Suzuki teacher in 2001 and has taught privately for thirteen years.  In November 2011, Mrs. Gambrell served as the conductor for the Jefferson County All-County Concertino Orchestra.


Mrs. Gambrell currently works for the Oldham County Schools Arts Center, where she serves as an itinerant strings teacher.  She teaches beginning strings classes at Goshen Elementary, orchestra classes at North Oldham Middle and High Schools and Junior Orchestra at the Arts Center.


Mrs. Gambrell is a member of the Concentus String Quartet and performs regularly in the Louisville and Lexington area.

Robert Dixon

Instructor, Presto! Strings
(Staff member since 2014)

Robert Dixon earned his bachelors of music education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  Mr. Dixon grew up in Louisville and attended the Youth Performing Arts School where he performed in Carnegie Hall as well as at the Midwest

Clinic.  In his senior year, Mr. Dixon also was one of the winners of the YPAS Concerto Competition, performing the Dragonetti Double Bass concerto with the YPAS Philharmonia.

While in North Carolina, Mr. Dixon worked extensively on elementary string education with Dr. Rebecca Macleod and Mrs. Marta Richardson.  His student teaching was comprised of teaching classes ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade strings at Peeler Open Elementary in Greensboro North Carolina.

Mr. Dixon was a member of the Louisville Youth Orchestra for nine years.  He currently teaches orchestra at Western Middle, The School for the Arts where the program has grown from nine students to fifty in three years.  An avid supporter of elementary string education, Mr. Dixon is looking forward to working with the LYO Presto! Strings class this year.

Mark Tate

Coach, Percussion Ensemble
(Staff Member since 2004)

Mark L. Tate received a Bachelor of Music degree in percussion performance from the University of Kentucky as a student of David Davenport. He was the first percussionist to receive a performance degree from this university.

Mark received a Master of Music in Performance and Pedagogy from Washington University in St. Louis, MO. His major teacher was Richard O’Donnell, Principal Percussionist of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. While in St. Louis, he also studied with John Kasica and Tom Stubbs of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. He performed frequently with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, joining them in two east coast tours that included performances in Carnegie Hall. He was also a percussionist with the Mighty Mississippi Concert Band, Gateway Festival Orchestra, Springfield (IL) Symphony, and staff percussionist at the Westport Playhouse. While in St. Louis he taught drums and percussion at Clayton Academy of Music, Drum Headquarters and was a teaching assistant at Washington University.


Mark began performing as a percussionist with the Louisville Orchestra in 1983. He has also performed as percussionist with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra. He is also a percussionist with Louisville Chorus, the Louisville Choral Arts Society and the Derby City Brass Band. Mark also serves as percussionist with Musical Theatre of Louisville and the Broadway Series at the Kentucky Center for the Arts.


Mark is a frequent free-lancer with various churches and chamber groups in the Louisville area and is also the drummer for the Dixie Jazz Cats and the Memphis Red Hots, a western swing band.Mark is the percussion instructor at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, IN, and Georgetown College in Georgetown. He serves as percussion coordinator for the marching bands at both New Washington High School in New Washington, IN and du Pont Manual in Louisville. Mark also teaches concert percussion at Eastern High School in Louisville and both marching and concert percussion at Oldham County High School, in Buckner, KY, Henry County High School in New Castle, KY and Atherton High School in Louisville. In addition he coaches percussion ensemble at Crosby Middle School and the “Junkyard Hawks” at Hite Elementary, both in Louisville. He maintains a full service studio in his home, specializing in concert percussion instruction for students in the area band programs. He services, as the percussion coach/percussion ensemble director for the Louisville Youth Orchestra. And is also the founder of the Louisville Institute of Drumming and creator of the percussion group Stick-Click.

Katie McDonald

Coach, Horizons Trebles
(Staff member since 2019)


Katie McDonald is currently a graduate student at University of Louisville working on her second degree in flute performance, studying with Kathleen Karr. During her time here, she has performed as principal flutist with the UofL Symphony Orchestra and Wind Symphony.

Katie frequently performs in solo and chamber settings at the University, and she has performed in several places in the Louisville community and Southern Indiana areas as well. These include The Forum retirement community, a community recital at Highland Presbyterian Church, and several other concerts throughout the region.

During her time in Louisville, Katie has performed in masterclasses and lessons with such inspiring flutists like Jim Walker, Valerie Coleman, Ian Clarke, and Carmen Lemoine.

Aside from performing, Katie teaches students from the Kentuckiana region. At UofL, Katie conducts the flute ensemble and has given masterclasses to other students in the flute studio. She also helps organize and manage the annual UofL Flute Day. When she is not in class or rehearsals, Katie is usually at a high school teaching private lessons or teaching from her studio at home.

An adventurer at heart, Katie enjoys taking her two dogs, Polar and Bear, hiking in the many state parks and forests within Indiana and Kentucky in her spare time.

Brandon Bell

Coach, Horizons Single Reed

(Staff Member since 2019)

Brandon Bell is a Louisville based saxophonist and music educator, holding a Bachelor’s of Music in Music Education from Kennesaw State University. Brandon is an active educator in the metro Louisville area, maintaining a private studio of students ranging in

age from 5 to adulthood.  He is also the saxophone instructor at a number of high schools in the Louisville area. Brandon has also performed in a variety of musical settings. He has played saxophone, clarinet, and flute in orchestras, wind ensembles, chamber groups, musical theatre, big bands, jazz combos, gospel groups, and rock bands with artists/ensembles including Little Anthony and the Imperials, Michael Bolton, the Louisville Orchestra, Derby Dinner Playhouse, and the Georgia Symphony Orchestra. Brandon is currently an active freelance musician and can regularly be heard playing with Diamond Empire Band and Zach Longoria Project.

John Little

Coach, Horizons Brass

(Staff Member since 2019)

John Little  received the M.M. , and B.A. degrees from the University of Louisville , studied horn performance at The New School of Music in Philadelphia, Studied hand horn, and Baroque horn performance at Indiana University/Bloomington, and studied liberal arts at Haverford College. Mr. Little enjoys both teaching, and performing,

and maintains a busy schedule of both. In the past he has served as Adjunct Professor of Horn at Centre College, Instructor of horn, and Music Theory at the University of Louisville Community Music Program, horn Instructor at the Settlement Music School of Philadelphia, and gives masterclasses on both the hand horn, and modern horn throughout the country. Mr Little has served as the Band Director for Sacred Heart Schools, and the Jackson Independent School System. Mr. Little is published on the subject of “Teaching the student with Aspergers”. His former students have won positions in the  orchestras of Louisville  Chicago Civic Orchestra, Annapolis Symphony,Santiago(Chile),and Richmond(Va).

In the performance world Mr. Little has been a member of the Starlight Horn Duo for two years, touring, and recording, as well as performing with the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia, Owensboro Symphony, Paducah Philharmonic, Derby Dinner Theater Pit Orchestra, Iroquois Show Pit Orchestra, Three Amigos Hand Horn Trio, and is an active soloist. He has appeared as guest soloist with the Kentuckiana Philharmonic, Jewish Community Center Orchestra, Christian Academy Wind Ensemble, been a featured artist at the conferences of the Kentucky Music Educators Association, Kentucky Music Teachers Association, Southern Indiana Organist Guild, Northeast Horn Workshop (Plattsburgh, New York), and the Ohio University Horn Festival. Mr. Little has recently been placed on the roster of performing artists with the Mozart for Munchkins series in New York, and San Francisco. He may be heard on “Blasts of Brass”, the cd.


David Borman III

Assistant Conductor
(Staff member since 2019)

As an energetic conductor, performer, and teacher, David Borman III  understands that music has the unique power to educate, inspire, and change people. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in orchestral conducting at the University of Louisville, where

he completed his Bachelors degree in 2019. In December of 2018, Borman led the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra under the guidance of Maestro Miguel Harth-Bedoya and in April of 2015, he made his Carnegie Hall debut on Euphonium and Trombone, returning again as a pianist and vocalist in 2018.  As a proponent of community engagement, Borman is an active freelance conductor in the Southern Indiana and Louisville
area performing with groups such as the Redline Theatre, CenterStage, The Kentuckiana Philharmonic, and Providence Theatre. Currently, he serves as the associate conductor for the Louisville Civic Orchestra, an
assistant conductor for the University of Louisville Symphony Orchestra, and an assistant conductor for the Louisville Youth Orchestra.  Borman has studied brass with Clinton McCanless, Dennis Akers, and Scott Cooksey and conducting with Alexandra Enyart, Kimcherie Lloyd, and Jason Hart Raff. He enjoys teaching his private studio of brass, voice, and piano students at Maxwell’s House of Music in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

Melody Welsh-Buchholz

Executive Director
(Staff member since 1985)

Melody Welsh-Buchholz (a native of Vincennes, Indiana) began clarinet lessons in the fourth grade adding saxophone and flute as the years progressed.  She was awarded a seat in the Indiana All-State band for three years and held the position of first chair during her senior year. 

She came to Louisville in 1973 to attend the University of Louisville School of Music graduating with highest honors. She had a successful teaching career at St. Francis School and Anchorage School in Kentucky and at Clarksville Middle and High School in Clarksville, IN.  Ms. Welsh-Buchholz has served as the local KMEA (Kentucky Music Educators Association) chairperson for the annual Solo/Ensemble and Band/Orchestra Festival.  Her tenure with the Louisville Youth Orchestra began in 1985.  Ms. Welsh-Buchholz currently teaches privately and performs professionally with the Broadway Series and the Louisville Orchestra along with her duties at the LYO.

During her tenure as Executive Director the Louisville Youth Orchestra's budget has grown from 40K to 400K, patron donations have risen by 700%, the orchestra's membership has tripled and the number of ensembles offered within the organization has grown from three to eleven.  Performances and collaborative events have increased from four annual concerts to a wide array of classical and pops events, community touring efforts, local/regional/national partnerships, beginning string classes in at-risk schools, small ensemble offerings and chamber music classes.  Ms. Welsh-Buchholz is dedicated to assisting students who have no financial means of joining the LYO and has been instrumental in the development of the LYO scholarship fund.  This fund now totals over 45K per year and supports over 100 financially at-risk children with LYO membership fee waivers and private music lessons annually.


Ms. Welsh-Buchholz served five terms as a board member for the Youth Orchestra Division of the League of American Orchestras, held the position of Chair of the Youth Orchestra Division for three years and was an ex-officio member of the League of American Orchestras Board.  She has also served on the Louisville Jazz Society Board, as the cultural chairperson for the Oldham County Schools, the editor for Upbeat (the newsletter of the League of American Orchestras Youth Orchestra Division), and on the National Diversity Task Force for Minority Orchestral Musicians.


She was awarded a Presentation Academy Tower Award for Women Leaders in Arts and Communication in 2008, a Most Admired Woman in the Arts by Today’s Woman Magazine in 2016 and the Legacy Award from Louisville Music Awards in 2019.


Ms. Welsh-Buchholz is an avid horsewoman - training and actively showing in the English Dressage discipline.  She has earned her bronze medal and has scores toward her silver medal.  She enjoys spending as much time as possible with her Hanoverian mare, Westminster Abbey and her Danish Warmblood gelding, Nestor.


She is also a passionate vegetable gardener and maintains a large garden at her home (Moody Waters Farm) during the summer months.


She lives in Crestwood, KY with her husband (Dr. Dennis Buchholz) and their four cats – Mikey, Mingus, Merlin and Moses, their 1935 Plymouth Coupe,1939 Cadillac LaSalle and five honey-producing bee hives.  Their son - Paul Buchholz - is a documentary filmmaker in Los Angeles.

Emily McCord

Business Manager
(Staff member since 2016)

Mrs. McCord has taught band, trumpet, and general music in the Louisville area since 2004. During her tenure at Newburg Middle School, she built a distinguished, award-winning band program; she also served as the school’s Academic Competition Coordinator, Program

Review Chair, SBDM Vice Chair, and Budget Committee Chair. Her students participated in JCPS All County bands, honors bands at WKU, EKU, and MSU, and KMEA adjudicated performances, as well as winning the Beech Bend Park music festival.


Mrs. McCord started a school music program at Crums Lane Elementary School in 2018. Her students enjoy drum circles, cultural songs and dances, Orff instruments, recorders, ukuleles, and musicals. She has been the Business Manager of the Louisville Youth Orchestra since 2016, has served as the president of KMEA District Twelve, and teaches trumpet and brass sections at area schools.


Mrs. McCord studied trumpet with Dr. Michael Tunnell and Dr. Marshall Scott. She earned a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Western Kentucky University in 2003, and a Master’s in Secondary Education from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2007. She enjoyed performing under the batons of Dr. John Carmichael and Don McMahel, and is a member of the Brass Band of Louisville and the Louisville Civic Orchestra. She lives in Louisville with her husband, Justin, and their children, Jacob and Quinn, and loves working with students of all ages.

Angela Dixon

Co-Administrative Manager/Librarian - YPAS location
(Staff member since 2016)

Angela Dixon teaches Arts and Humanities and directs a children's choir at Coral Ridge Elementary in Fairdale, Kentucky. She currently plays with the Louisville Civic Orchestra, and plays clarinet in churches throughout Louisville. 


Angela received her Bachelors in Music Education from Morehead State University studying clarinet with Dr. Lori Baruth. During that time she worked as a woodwind technician with several local band programs. Her Masters in Teacher Leadership and Technology Education was also earned at Morehead State. While earning this degree, Mrs. Dixon served as a Teaching Graduate Assistant to Dr. June Grice. Also during this time, Angela completed two levels of Kodaly music education training and participated as a clinician in several music education workshops. Angela is published in the Midwest Kodaly Music Educators of America Bulletin.


Amy Noon

Co-Administrative Manager/Librarian - St. Matthews location
(Staff member since 2011)

Amy A.E. Noon holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Instrumental Music Education from The University of the Cumberlands and a Master’s in Secondary Education from The University of Southern Indiana. While at Cumberland, she studied flute

with David Threlkeld and served as principle flutist for the wind ensemble, andvarious chamber ensembles. Upon graduation she traveled to Honduras, Central America and taught at El Buen Pastor (The Good Shepherd) Bilingual Episcopal School. While in Central America, she studied Spanish as a second language and this led her to teach at Escuela Internacional Sampedrana, the American Bilingual School in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. During her four year stint in Honduras, she began an Orff instrumental program for the 600 student primary school, directed many all school performances utilizing Orff Instruments, formed and directed a primary school choir and mastered Spanish as a second language.

Ms. Noon returned to the United States in 2001 and has been actively teaching in public schools in Florida and Kentucky, instructing instrumental music including band, jazz band, string orchestra and full orchestra.  Currently, Ms. Noon is the director of bands at Highland Middle School in Louisville, KY.

Erin Carlyle

Assistant Administrative Manager - YPAS location. 
(Staff member since 2019)


Erin Carlyle is a freshman at the University of Louisville. She recently graduated from Louisville Male High School, and plans to major in Mathematics. Throughout her nine-year performance career, Erin has traveled to multiple cities such as Chicago and St. Louis to perform with her school's orchestra as a violinist. 

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

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