60 years is the diamond anniversary, so we’re spotlighting 6 shining questions with Louisville Youth Orchestra’s Doug Elmore (Conductor) and Melody Welsh-Bucholz (Executive Director)! Congratulations to LYO on 60 seasons, and to Melody on her Feb 10, 2019 LMA Legacy Award!
FFTA supports LYO through the following initiatives: Youth Training Scholarships, Sustaining Impact Grants, Imagine Greater Louisville 2020, ArtsMatch, 5×5/TAG Arts Group
Click here to view LYO’s upcoming concert schedule.
6 Questions with LYO
- Doug Elmore: Music Director/Conductor of 5 years
- Melody Welsh-Bucholz: Executive Director of 34 years
1. What was your first ever instrument?
- Doug: A borrowed half-size cello in fifth grade. I actually wanted to play a bass, but I was too small at the time. I played that cello for 2 years, until I outgrew it. I fell in love with the warmth of the sound of the cello! I really enjoyed it a lot, but I always was itching to play the bass. In 7th grade I got the chance to switch, and I never looked back.
- Melody: A plastic clarinet bought by my parents. I was in the fourth grade. I had that particular instrument until 8th grade. By that point I already knew I wanted to be a musician so I begged for an upgrade and got my first wooden clarinet.
2. When you’re not at LYO, you are…
- Doug: …a jazz bassist in the Louisville area.
- Melody: … at the barn with my horse preparing for my next dressage show or working in my vegetable garden.
3. What piece of music resonates with you the most right now?
- Doug: The score to “On the Waterfront” by Leonard Bernstein. It’s the cornerstone piece for the LYO/LO “Side-by-Side” Concert. It is an ingenious fusion of the two great loves of my musical life-classical orchestral music and jazz… it’s wonderful!
- Melody: The Mozart Clarinet Concerto. I have a student auditioning for several colleges with this work. I auditioned with the same piece when I was preparing for college entrance auditions. It brings back many, many memories.
4. What is your first memory of LYO?
- Doug: I saw a concert [LYO] did back in 1990 or so. I was a very young music teacher and conductor at the time. It was a packed house, and the atmosphere was electric! I was absolutely knocked out by the professionalism and musicality of the students in the orchestra. I remember thinking, “Wow! What a dream it must be to conduct that group!” Having had the experience now, I can say: It is as wonderful as I hoped it would be!
- Melody: I was a freshman at the University of Louisville. I happened to walk in on a rehearsal and was blown away that high school students had that kind of opportunity. I came from a very small Indiana town which had a good band program but there were no orchestras in any school close to me. I was green with envy that students in Louisville had an ensemble of this quality in which to perform.
5. What moment in your career made you feel that you were “in the right place.”
- Doug: There was a concert just last year with the LYO Symphony Orchestra and Repertory Orchestra entitled “Epic Heroes”. The orchestra finished the program with the “William Tell” Overture, and tore the roof off the house! I’ve never been prouder of a group of young musicians. Their level of professionalism was unbelievable. That day, I realized I had become part of something really special.
- Melody: The first time a set of parents took me aside and told me their child’s life had been changed by LYO membership convinced me I was where I needed to be. This particular child was falling behind in school, felt bullied and was on a path of self-abuse until finding a “home” with the LYO. There have been many such situations in my 33 years on this job but it always feels new and exciting when a parent shows such gratitude for us “being there”.
6. Describe LYO with three words.
- Doug: Excellence. Passion. Excitement!
- Melody: Community-minded, Inclusive, First-rate