Student Handbook

2019-20 - 61st Anniversary Season

P.O. Box 997
Louisville, Kentucky 40201-0997
(502) 896-1851


The LYO business office is located in the St. Matthews Pavilion at 4121 Shelbyville Rd, 2nd Floor.  Rehearsals take place at the Youth Performing Arts School, the St. Matthews Pavilion, Byck and Roosevelt Perry Elementary Schools.


It shall be the purpose of the Louisville Youth Orchestra to provide a musical experience of the highest quality for all dedicated young musicians and to provide artful and meaningful education programs for young audiences throughout our diverse communities regardless of race, creed, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or economic circumstances.


The LYO invites all young musicians up to age 21 to audition.

  • Membership for any LYO ensemble shall be decided via audition.  Playing ability and balance of instrumentation are the determining factors in selection of members. Membership is not automatically renewed.

  • LYO members are required to participate in their school instrumental music program (orchestra or band).  Home-schooled and students who attend schools that do not have a school band or orchestra are exempt..

  • All members are required to take private music lessons.

Member Rules & Responsibilities

  • It is the player’s responsibility to have their music folder with them at all rehearsals and performances.

  • Horizons, Serenade and Concert Orchestra members are expected to bring a wire stand to all rehearsals.

  • Members are required to have a pencil at all times.

  • Proper behavior is expected.

  • Attendance will be taken IN YOUR REHEARSAL ROOM precisely at the start of any published rehearsal or performance time.  IF YOU ARE NOT IN YOUR SEAT AND READY TO PLAY YOU WILL BE COUNTED ABSENT!  If you are late for ANY REASON you must check in with your Co-Manager as soon as you enter the rehearsal or performance building. Not checking in with the Co-Manager means you will be counted absent.

  • E-MAIL (DO NOT CALL!) your Co-Manager at least ONE WEEK in advance of any known future absence.  For day-of rehearsal emergencies or illness E-MAIL (DO NOT CALL!) your Production Manager no later than 11 am.

  • Check the LYO website and your personal e-maill frequently for scheduling changes and updates.

  • No refreshments in rehearsal rooms or concert halls.

  • No member is allowed to leave the area during breaks.

  • Music in the LYO folder is the responsibility of the player.  Players must report missing music to the librarian immediately and will be charged for lost copies.

  • No electronic devices during rehearsal except those used for tuning.

  • Concert dress is expected to be worn at all dress rehearsals.

  • All fees associated with the LYO are NON-REFUNDABLE.


Parent/Guardian Rules and Responsibilities

Parents/Guardians are expected to be on-site for member pickup at the end of rehearsals/performances.  Members left waiting at rehearsal/performance sites cost the LYO extra custodial fees and are imposing upon LYO staff members’ time.  Parents/Guardians who pick up members late will be charged $2.00 per late minute.  Members who have not paid this assessment will not be admitted to the next rehearsal.

Attendance Policy

In keeping with the purpose of the LYO to provide a quality musical experience, it is the belief of the staff that ALL students are responsible to their colleagues, their conductor, themselves, and ultimately to the music itself.  Therefore, as a member of LYO, it is the responsibility of each and every member to:

A.  attend all rehearsals and performances

B.  be in their seats at the start of rehearsal time

C.  have practiced and prepared the music between each rehearsal

D.  report absences in a timely manner

As a member of LYO, you are making a serious commitment to your orchestra/ensemble.  The ensemble’s success is heavily dependent on regular attendance from EVERYONE.  When you miss a rehearsal, not only are you missing out on important musical details that you can’t obtain by individual practice, but you are also creating a void in the ensemble that cannot be filled in any way.  It doesn’t matter if you’re absent from LYO because you’re sick, have an academic competition, on a school trip, or on vacation.  If you’re not there, you’re not there.  We do; however, understand that other important events/commitments on Sunday afternoons are going to occasionally happen.  Therefore, we expect that each member will use their judgment wisely and honor their obligation to the LYO when making important decisions about other activities.  With that in mind, the following guidelines will be enforced:

  1. Every LYO member is permitted a maximum of FOUR (4) ABSENCES per season.  Once a member obtains their FIFTH absence, no matter what the reason, they will lose their membership without a refund.  Mandatory school band/orchestra performances (as opposed to elected volunteer activities such as school musicals, pep band or non-required trips) which conflict with Sunday LYO rehearsals (with the exception of an LYO dress rehearsal) will NOT count toward your four absences.*  The required school performance absence form must be turned in to your Co-Manager at least ONE week in advance for this exemption to be honored.  These performances must be on the same instrument you play in LYO.

  2. * If a member has at least one excused school performance absence, the maximum total number of absences they can have for the entire LYO season is FIVE (5).  After five, that member will lose their membership without a refund.

  3. Every LYO member is allowed a maximum of TWO (2) ABSENCES per November and March Classical Concert cycles.  Each member is allowed a maximum of ONE (1) ABSENCE for the December and April Pops Concert cycles. If you exceed those limits, you will not be permitted to play in that particular concert.  You will still be able to participate in the remainder of the season.

  4. THE DRESS REHEARSAL FOR ANY CONCERT IS 100% MANDATORY.  There will be no exceptions to this rule - don’t ask for one.

  5. Known absences must be reported to your Production Manager at least ONE week in advance via E-MAIL.  Day-of emergencies or illness should be reported to your Co-Manager via E-MAIL no later than 11 am on the day of the missed rehearsal.

  6. Two tardies count as one absence.  A tardy means you are not in your seat by the official written start time of your rehearsal.  Leaving rehearsal early is counted as a tardy.  You need to commit to a full three hour rehearsal in order to maintain a good attendance record.  An absence, tardy or early departure will still go on your record even if you inform your director of your circumstances.


It is obviously our hope that each of our members can participate in all of the concerts.  If for some reason, however, you know that you will not be able to adhere to Policy #3 or #4 for a particular concert, please let us know as early as possible, so that we can make other arrangements to cover your part if necessary.

Tours and Associated Costs

The LYO occasionally plans tours/retreats/educational activities for its members.  Members involved will be assessed additional fees above the usual membership fees during these years.  Limited scholarships may be offered for those members in need of assistance.

Percussion Ensemble Rules

All percussionists are required to assist with the moving of percussion equipment to and from concert locations.  Any member who does not actively participate may be dismissed from the LYO at the discretion of the Music Director and/or Percussion Ensemble Conductor.  Percussionists are required to have their personal folder with them at all rehearsals and performances.

Concert Dress

The following dress code is required for concerts.  Any attire which detracts from the music is considered unacceptable and is not professional.  Deviation from the following dress code WILL result in a player not being allowed to participate in a given performance.  Decisions in this regard are at the discretion of the LYO staff.  No perfume, cologne or aftershave during rehearsals/performances.

Formal Dress (Concert Black) - All Orchestras:
Students may wear black short/long sleeved blouses or collared dress shirts, with black dress pants or skirts. Skirts must be at least knee length when seated, and blouses should be to the collarbone. All students must wear black closed-toe dress shoes with black socks or hosiery. Socks or hosiery should extend coverage to the bottom of the pants or skirt when seated.  No clothing with slits, holes, cutouts, or revealing attire will be permitted. No excessive jewelry or visually distracting accessories. Attire will be checked by staff at dress rehearsal. Students will be required to correct any violations before being allowed to take the stage for performance.

Informal Dress - All Orchestras:
Designated LYO T-shirt (black) and jeans. No shorts or flip-flops!


Staff Directory

Executive Director

Melody Welsh-Buchholz /

Music Director/Symphony Orch Conductor:

Doug Elmore /

Repertory Orchestra Conductor

Jason Hougland /

Concert Orchestra Conductor

Chris Lerner: /

Serenade Orchestra Conductor

Elise Kotheimer Gambrell /

Percussion Ensemble Conductor

Mark Tate /

Horizons Ensemble Conductors:

Brandon Bell (Single Reed) /
John Little (Brass) 
Katie McDonald (Treble):


Business Manager

Emily McCord /

Co-Music Librarian/Co-Manager (St. Matthews) for CO/Ser/Perc Ens

Amy Noon /

1-859-797-2239 (Emergency Use Only!)

Co-MusicLibrarian/Co-Manager for (YPAS) for Sym/Rep/Horizons

Angela Dixon /

1-502-552-5642 (Emergency Use Only!)

Presto! Strings Instructor

Robert Dixon /

Assistant Production Manager

Erin Carlyle / 

Master Artist Chamber Players Manager

Laura De St. Croix /



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

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