The Highly Anticipated Return of the ROARchestra!

A partnership between The Louisville Zoo and Louisville Orchestra Brings Back The Popular ROARchestra! for a Wild Evening of Music and Wildlife

LOUISVILLE, Ky (May 22, 2024)  – The Louisville Zoo and Louisville Orchestra are thrilled to announce the highly anticipated return of ROARchestra! on July 6 at The Louisville Zoo. Following a 15-year hiatus, this beloved family-friendly event combines the excitement of a visit to the zoo with the soul-stirring sounds of the Louisville Orchestra, creating an unforgettable experience for the whole family.

“Being able to bring back the ROARchestra for this special evening is something we are over the moon about,” said Louisville Zoo Director Dan Maloney. “It is among the top questions our staff receives. This event is loaded with nostalgia and our community have such fond memories of this great event and we hope to help them build even more memories in July with its return! We look forward to a growing partnership with The Louisville Orchestra.”

“We are excited to bring ROARchestra! back to Louisville after 15 years,” said Graham Parker, Chief Executive of the Louisville Orchestra. “This event is a testament to the incredible partnership between the Louisville Orchestra and The Louisville Zoo, offering a truly unique experience that combines the beauty of wildlife with the power of live music.”

Doors open at 7 p.m. allowing guests to explore the Zoo or get settled and the concert, conducted by Teddy Abrams, begins 8:30 p.m. in the Oasis Field under the stars.  Abrams will be joined by guest vocalists Jason Clayborn and Daria Raymore with backup singers Teaira Dunn, CeCe Dunn, Latiana Clayborn. The evening will be a blend of classical masterpieces with soulful pop hits. This unique fusion promises a series of performances that will resonate with audiences of all tastes.

The concert will kick off with Leonard Bernstein’s energetic Three Dance Episodes from On the Town, setting the stage for an unforgettable musical journey. Audiences will then be immersed in the profound depths of Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, a true masterpiece that will captivate and inspire.

Prepare to be moved by the soul-stirring renditions of timeless classics by legendary artists such as Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, and Lionel Richie. The incredible vocalists Jason Clayborn and Daria Raymore, along with Teaira Dunn, CeCe Dunn, and Latiana Clayborn, will take the stage, delivering powerful performances of hits like “Endless Love,” “It’s A Man’s World,” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” Their extraordinary talent will leave you in awe and have you singing along all night long.


Adults $30, Children under 12 $15, Children under 2 Free, Parking included.

Concert goers are welcome to bring their own picnic items and beverages to enjoy during the concert. Adult libations will not be permitted. Concessions will also be available for purchase. This event is expected to sell out and the Zoo and the Orchestra encourage guests to get their tickets early at


In Harmony Tour Continues with $4.3M in State Funding

Louisville Orchestra Secures $4.3 Million in State Funding to Continue “In Harmony – The Commonwealth Tour” for Two More Years
“In Harmony – The Commonwealth Tour of the Louisville Orchestra” to include in-depth residencies, new and returning performances, and expanded community events.

LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 16, 2024) –The Louisville Orchestra, under the visionary leadership of Music Director Teddy Abrams, is thrilled to announce the continuation of “In Harmony – The Commonwealth Tour” through 2024 to 2026, bolstered by a significant $4.3 million funding allocation from the Kentucky State Legislature. This landmark initiative, which began in 2022, has already made a profound impact, reaching over 27,000 Kentuckians across 38 counties through more than 125 events, and is now set to extend its reach further into the heart of Kentucky communities. This funding will enable the orchestra to deepen community engagement and enrich the cultural fabric across urban and rural divides throughout the state.

Senate President Robert Stivers commented, “The remarkable impact of the Louisville Orchestra’s ‘In Harmony’ tour plays a significant role in bridging the rural-urban divide. This initiative extends beyond entertainment; it is a vehicle for education, cultural enrichment, and community cohesion. By supporting the continuation of this tour, we are investing in the cultural wealth of our commonwealth, reinforcing our commitment to enhancing the lives of Kentuckians through the arts. It’s initiatives like these that showcase the Bluegrass’ rich artistic heritage and pave the way for a future where everyone can participate and draw inspiration in the beauty of orchestral music.”

House Speaker David Osborne remarked, “The continued success of ‘In Harmony – The Commonwealth Tour’ represents a unique investment in our state’s culture, improving quality of life and enriching our communities. The Louisville Orchestra’s initiative is a testament to the power of the arts in bringing Kentuckians together and reminding us that we have a great deal to take pride in and celebrate. We are pleased to allocate funding that will not only extend this valuable program but also amplify its reach to more communities, ensuring that every Kentuckian has the opportunity to experience this incredible asset to our Commonwealth.”

A Tour of Unprecedented Scope and Impact

“In Harmony” has redefined the concert experience, bringing the full force of the Orchestra’s talent to diverse settings—from schools to community centers—and illuminating the shared heritage of Kentucky’s communities. The tour, which kicked off in November 2022, has already seen remarkable success hosting 18 free full orchestra performances to over 16,000 attendees. Highlights have included unique collaborations with Kentucky’s own talent, including Grammy Award-winning Michael Cleveland & The Flamekeepers, mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile, and violinist Tessa Lark showcasing both the rich musical heritage of the Commonwealth and the versatile prowess of the Orchestra.

Not only showcasing the full presentation of orchestral performances, “In Harmony” demonstrates a comprehensive and engaging approach to community partnerships through intimate school engagements, master classes, and ensemble performances at community centers and libraries. The tour highlights a remarkable journey of cultural enrichment and education across 53 unique Kentucky zip codes. With a total of 109 events and 10,000 attendees, the tour emphasized educations engagement through 45 services in school and educational institutions. The innovative “Once Upon an Orchestra” program was a hit, presented 35 times in Kentucky libraries blending music with storytelling. Additionally, 29 public and private performances were held across the state connecting with assisted living communities, veteran centers, and public gathering centers. The Orchestra’s commitment to engaging diverse audiences, educational initiatives, and hosting community events has been widely recognized.

“We are thrilled and immensely grateful to be able to continue to impactful work throughout the Commonwealth,” says Sarah Lempke O’Hare, Louisville Orchestra Director of Community Partnerships. “This funding gives us the opportunity to continue engagement work we have uniquely developed with each community while continuing to provide orchestra concerts that offer a place of joy and healing for Kentuckians.”

Community leaders and audience members have expressed their profound appreciation for the tour’s impact. Gwen Johnson, Director of the Hemphill Community Center shared, “Our somewhat forgotten community was encouraged to believe that someone cares enough to bring their talent to us. The concert was a “classical first-even” experience for us in our community.” These testimonials reinforce the significance of the Orchestra’s mission to bring music to diverse audiences.

The Path Ahead: Expanding Horizons

Thanks to the generous support from the Kentucky state legislature, the Louisville Orchestra has received $4.3 million in continued funding secured for 2024–2026. This financial support is crucial in realizing the tour’s objectives and ensuring its continued success.

“With this extraordinary new appropriation from the General Assembly, we can build on what we started and we can expand our reach, our impact and our relationships,” says Graham Parker, Chief Executive of the Louisville Orchestra. “We want to thank the leadership in the General Assembly, specifically President Stivers and Speaker Osbourne, for their unwavering and enthusiastic support for our tours. Without their partnership, none of our dreams would have come true.”

With the continued support of the Kentucky state legislature, the Louisville Orchestra embarks on an ambitious new chapter of the “In Harmony” tour. Under the baton of Teddy Abrams and Resident Conductor Gabriel Lefkowitz, the Louisville Orchestra will introduce in-depth residencies during touring weeks, enhancing community involvement and educational opportunities. These residencies are designed to foster even closer ties with communities, facilitating meaningful interactions and collaborative initiatives. Funding will also allow for the purchase of a mobile stage, breaking down a barrier of access and providing the opportunity to reach even deeper into communities. The tour will continue to showcase local culture and musical heritage with Kentucky-born guest artists and performances scheduled in various regions of Kentucky, to be announced in May.

The focus will be on expanding musical outreach, deepening community connections, and delivering unforgettable experiences. The future tour schedule is thoughtfully crafted to include a mix of new and returning locations, ensuring that the Orchestra’s message of hope, joy, and unity reaches every corner of the Commonwealth. Through these visits, the Orchestra aims to reinforce established connections and forge new ones, celebrating Kentucky’s diverse cultural landscape through music.

Reflecting on the past tours, Music Director Teddy Abrams shared his excitement for the future, stating, “The past two years of touring the Commonwealth of Kentucky have been transformative and affirming for the Louisville Orchestra and for me as an artist. We believe that this work is the core function of a modern cultural institution, and it has become our dream to continue this program far into the future.”

The Louisville Orchestra invites all to be part of this ongoing musical journey. Details on concert dates, community engagement opportunities, and ways to support this vital initiative can be found at Join us as we continue to harness the power of music to foster community cohesion, cultural appreciation, and a unified Kentucky.

Yuja Wang, Teddy Abrams, and The Louisville Orchestra Win First GRAMMY for The American Project

Louisville, KY (February 4, 2024) — The Louisville Orchestra, under the baton of Music Director Teddy Abrams, won the award for “Best Classical Instrumental Solo” at the 2024 GRAMMYs, showcasing their collaboration with world-renowned pianist Yuja Wang on her album The American Project. This landmark achievement was announced at today’s GRAMMY Awards ceremony, marking a significant milestone in the Orchestra’s illustrious history with its first ever GRAMMY win. The American Project was released on Deutsche Grammophon, the oldest and most prestigious classical record label in the world.

The American Project is an ambitious and innovative album that combines the rich musical heritage of America with the virtuosic talent of Yuja Wang, under the creative guidance of composer and conductor Teddy Abrams. This award-winning performance has been praised for its artistic excellence, innovation, and contribution to the classical music landscape. The Piano Concerto at the center of this album was written by Teddy Abrams for his Curtis classmate and close friend, Yuja Wang. Initially intended as a companion piece to Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, the work evolved in scope during the composition process to become a masterpiece in its own right. The Piano Concerto is inspired by multiple musical stylistic sources and offers Yuja a singular virtuosic showcase of her unending talents.

“First, a huge congratulations to the incredible Yuja Wang, who soloed on this extraordinary album and is one of the most talented musicians in the world right now,” Abrams said during the Premiere Ceremony. “A giant congratulations to all of my colleagues at the Louisville Orchestra – an orchestra that is famous for its innovation, for putting out so many albums of living composers since it was founded in 1937. I am so proud of everyone at the orchestra, to the people of Louisville and to everybody that made this all happen. Thank you very, very much.”

Graham Parker, Chief Executive of the Louisville Orchestra, expressed his elation: “We are thrilled to have been a part of the 2024 GRAMMY Awards, and this win is a testament to the hard work, creativity, and passion of our musicians, staff and board. This accolade is a beacon of artistic achievement and recognition on the global stage. We are immensely proud of Teddy Abrams, Yuja Wang, and everyone involved in making The American Project a resounding success.”

The Louisville Orchestra’s Grammy win not only highlights the exceptional talent within the Orchestra but also reinforces its reputation as a leading force in the world of classical music. Starting in the 1940s with the First Edition Records, the Louisville Orchestra is one of the leading commissioners of orchestral new music, with over 500 commissions from such luminaries as Elliot Carter, Chou-Wen Chung, Alberto Ginastera, Witold Lutoslawski, and other 20th century luminaries. The Orchestra’s commitment to innovation, community engagement, and artistic excellence continues to resonate with audiences both locally and internationally.

This GRAMMY Award is a milestone in the Louisville Orchestra’s journey, and it paves the way for future artistic endeavors and collaborations. The Orchestra extends its heartfelt thanks to its supporters, patrons, and the Louisville community for their unwavering support. The commission of the Piano Concerto by Teddy Abrams for Yuja Wang was underwritten by a generous grant from Justus and Elizabeth Schlichting.

Experience your Grammy-winning Louisville Orchestra firsthand!

Get Tickets!

Berko’s December Update! – LOCC Blog

By Alex Berko
December 14, 2023

It’s probably the Midwesterner in me, but I love talking to people. I think that everyone has something to say and a lot of people have great stories to tell.

Over the past several weeks, I have had the privilege to spend time and hear stories from some very special people in Louisville. As part of my community engagement project here, I’ve been going into the J-Town Senior Center and Cochrane Elementary to talk with adults and kids about music and the creative process. We’ve been having a wonderful time and in the middle of January, I will present a new work that we co-created during these sessions.

Two weeks ago, I introduced the everyone to the art of composing. I did so through improvisation. Adlibbing is how I started composing and it’s a large part of how I still write today. In our session, I asked everyone to name a feeling and pair it with an animal. On the piano, I improvised a short piece that told the story of that animal. We got some fun ones: an active puppy, a lazy cat, and a sad butterfly. (The cat and the butterfly met, then they fought, and then the cat got hungry…)

The next stage of the project involved interviews with the kids and adults. The large question that began this whole thing for me was: How do we make sense of the world as we grow up? I devised several smaller questions to help me answer the larger one. Here’s a sample:

What makes you happy?

Who is your favorite person in the whole world?

What do you wonder about?

What do you love about yourself?

What are you grateful for?

What are you sorry for?

What do you believe in?

Last week, I asked these questions to the kids at Cochrane and the adults at the senior center and I recorded their responses. The answers are wonderful, sometimes surprising, and fully honest. I’ve included a very short clip below.


Next week, a string quartet comprised of Louisville Orchestra musicians will join me Cochrane and J-Town Senior Center to show off their instruments and improvise with me at the piano. I am so excited for the seniors and kids to have this time with these stellar musicians and see how we all work together to bring a new piece of music to life.

The final stage is for me to organize the interview footage and weave music throughout. I’ll then bring back what I have created to both the kids and seniors who will give final input before we publicly present the work at J-Town Senior Center on January 23rd.

The Louisville Orchestra Receives Grammy Nomination for Best Classical Instrumental Solo

The Louisville Orchestra is thrilled to announce their nomination for Best Classical Instrumental Solo at the 2024 GRAMMY Awards. The prestigious nomination recognizes their outstanding performance in “The American Project” alongside world-renowned pianist Yuja Wang and conductor Teddy Abrams.

The 66th GRAMMY Awards, also known as the 2024 GRAMMYs, will be held on Sunday, Feb. 4, at the esteemed Arena in Los Angeles. Music enthusiasts around the world can tune in to the live broadcast on the CBS Television Network from 8:00-11:30 PM, ET, or stream it on Paramount+.

The Louisville Orchestra’s remarkable collaboration with Yuja Wang and Teddy Abrams has garnered critical acclaim and now stands as a testament to their exceptional talent and dedication. Their performance in “The American Project” has captivated audiences with its innovative approach and breathtaking artistry.

Final Round Voting for the 2024 GRAMMYs will take place from Dec. 14, 2023, to Jan. 4, 2024. The winners will be announced during Music’s Biggest Night on Feb. 4, adding an extra layer of excitement to the event. The Louisville Orchestra, along with Yuja Wang and Teddy Abrams, eagerly awaits the final results, hoping to bring home the coveted award.

As one of the oldest continuously performing orchestras in the United States, the Louisville Orchestra has a rich history of pushing boundaries and embracing new musical frontiers. This Grammy nomination is a testament to their unwavering commitment to artistic excellence and their ability to captivate audiences with their exceptional performances.

“We are incredibly honored to be nominated for Best Classical Instrumental Solo at the 2024 GRAMMY Awards,” said Teddy Abrams, conductor of the Louisville Orchestra. “This nomination is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our talented musicians, as well as the incredible collaboration with Yuja Wang. We are grateful for the recognition and excited to represent the Louisville Orchestra on such a prestigious platform.”

The Louisville Orchestra continues to inspire and engage audiences through their innovative programming and world-class performances. This Grammy nomination further solidifies their position as a leading force in the classical music industry.

How Can You Help?
We invite you to participate in this exciting journey by supporting the Louisville Orchestra. If you are a Voting Member of the Recording Academy, you have the privilege of casting your vote for the GRAMMY winners. If you are not a Voting Member of the Recording Academy, we encourage you to listen to the album and share your enthusiasm online to show your support!

We are immensely proud of this nomination and grateful for the talent and dedication of our Orchestra, Teddy, and Yuja. Let’s come together to celebrate this achievement and, with your support, turn this nomination into a well-deserved GRAMMY win!

Listen & Share

How To Vote (If you are a Voting Member of the Recording Academy):
1. Visit the official GRAMMY Awards website
2. Log in to your Recording Academy account
3. Navigate to the voting section and vote for the Louisville Orchestra in the relevant categories: 81) Producer Of The Year, Classical &  91) Best Classical Instrumental Solo
4. Note the deadline: The voting period is open from Thursday, Dec. 14, 2023, through Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. Be sure to vote before the deadline to ensure your support counts!


Work-In-Progress: Guitar Sounds – LOCC Blog

By Tanner Porter
December 11, 2023

Here in the LOCC, we’re already preparing for our Creators Corps concerts in May 2024,  which will feature premieres of new works by this year’s cohort. Ahead of the May concerts, the LO has offered us three days of “reading” rehearsals, which will take place in January. For these  “readings,” we’ve been encouraged to bring in works-in-progress, drafts of ideas, and older pieces we’d like to revisit—anything that will be of use to our writing processes and help the orchestra get better acquainted with our compositional voices. From there, we will be able to take what we’ve learned and continue full steam ahead in our writing processes.  

This work-in-progress “reading time” is, in my experience, quite unusual in a  professional orchestral session. Often, when a composer is hired for a commission, the rehearsal period comes just before the premiere of the piece, at which point the music is finalized, and any rehearsal is purely in service of getting the performance ready. Even in many educational institutions, if a student composer is lucky enough to be at a school where they are able to write for the university’s orchestra, there are rarely opportunities to hear incomplete works-in-progress. 

Needless to say, these early “reading” rehearsals are part of what makes the LO Creators  Corps residency unique. It’s a rare chance for the composer, orchestra, and conductor to get into the creative weeds together, to experiment with compositional ideas and orchestration in a still unfinished piece, to try things out that may or may not work, and to have direct conversations with each other in the process. 

The piece I’m writing for May 2024 is intended to be a song cycle, which I’m thrilled to be singing on (more on that soon!). It’s also a piece that will feature an electric guitar. I love the sounds that electric guitar and orchestra can make when mingled, a feeling I was reminded of during a beautiful performance of Lisa Bielawa’s piece “Home” on the LO’s tour earlier this Fall. 

I’m particularly excited about the potential mingling of electric guitar and percussion. For the January readings, I’ve written for Crotales and a few metal percussive instruments to be dipped in water. When you strike a Crotale, cymbal, or other metal instrument and then dip the still vibrating instrument in water, it can create strange, wonderful slides and echoes. I hope to combine this sound world with the e-bow on guitar, which can be used to make similarly haunting slides and effects. 

Orchestration is one of my favorite things. It’s total magic. Combining instruments to create new tonal pallets is one of the great joys of getting to work with the orchestra. I’m so excited to hear what kinds of sounds might emerge when you throw an electric guitar in the mix. During the readings, I look forward to having time with the LO to experiment with musical colors and to see if we can find something that both suits the storytelling of the song cycle and enhances the orchestration of the music. 

Watch as Tanner explores the many sounds of an electric guitar!

Nkeiru’s November Blog Entry – LOCC Blog

By Nkeiru Okoye
November 30, 2023

Blog entry. November

This month’s blog is dedicated to a person who made a recent concert, especially memorable.

He was tall. Standing a couple of feet away, he met my eyes, even with my 6-foot frame in three-inch heels. His silver-gray suit accentuated his hair and commanding presence. Now in his late 60s or early 70s, he’d been handsome in his prime.

“Excuse me,” the man said with a practiced smile intended to charm. Broadening his shoulders, he waited for my attention and approached. His message was important enough to linger while others scurried back into the hall for the second half, I wanted to hear it.

“I want to thank you personally,” he intoned, “for dressing appropriately for this evening’s concert. Many people come dressed as field hands.” His gaze shifted momentarily in the general direction of my companions. Thankfully, they had continued walking. A gray-haired woman stood by his side, ostensibly his wife. She smiled up at him, encouragingly, admiringly, positively beaming.

I blinked a few times. My conservative turtleneck sweater and knee-length vegan leather skirt were cultivated carefully to be neither over nor underdressed. An understated gold ring with multicolored gemstones worn on my index finger completed the ensemble.

While they fit in, my pecan brown complexion and mane of un-straightened tresses stand out at most symphony settings. I’d grown accustomed to the stares, but not insensitive comments. The White man in front of me clearly felt he was complimenting me, possibly elevating me above others of my race – or at least, what he thought of us. Neither he nor his wife understood how insulting he was being. Associating Black people with field hands evoked unwanted imagery of people who looked like me being enslaved.

My mind raced through any number of appropriate responses which would not result in an email of complaint. Smiling slightly, and speaking slowly, careful to enunciate each syllable, I responded.

“I am on staff here with the orchestra.” Identifying myself as one of the resident composers, I asked if he was a season ticket holder.

“Yes…” Spoken emphatically, his answer reflected pride at years of supporting the orchestra as an audience member.

“Wonderful. Then you must have been at the season opener concert. It started with my composition VOICES SHOUTING OUT…?”

The man’s skin reddened just slightly, as recognition set in. He’d seen Teddy Abrams introduce me in the very same auditorium, watched me introduce my music to the community. Eyes downcast, the man stammered

“I-I-I must have missed that one.” We both knew he was lying. He walked away, shoulders slumped.

That evening was full of firsts. Guest conductor JoAnn Falletta chose to end the concert with Ravel’s Bolero. It’s one of my favorite pieces in standard concert repertoire; and my first time seeing it live. I’d initiated the orchestra’s “Concert Buddies” initiative, aimed at engaging the community. Six beautiful Black women of all shades, sizes, and backgrounds accompanied me. For two of them, it was the first time attending an orchestra concert. I took them backstage to meet Maestra Falletta, who took a photo with us.

Despite the magical moments, the man in the gray suit is what I remember most. I want to believe that Bolero was worth the encounter. It is positively mesmerizing.



Louisville Orchestra Audience Conduct Policy

The Louisville Orchestra prioritizes a safe, respectful environment free from harassment or discrimination for everyone involved in our events, including staff, musicians, guest artists, and patrons. Harassment of any kind based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and other characteristics is strictly forbidden. This policy extends to all forms of interaction within our venues and events. Any disruptive behavior impacting the performance or experience of others will not be tolerated. Violators may face removal and prohibition from future events. We aim to foster a welcoming atmosphere and encourage all attendees and participants to embrace these values and help us maintain a positive and enriching environment for the diverse community we serve.

Berko’s November Update! – LOCC Blog

By Alex Berko
November 16, 2023

It is somehow November already! Wild how quickly things have gone and how I’ve settled into a routine with writing, researching for upcoming projects, and taking walks in Cherokee Park and Olmstead Conservancy with my wife and dog.

As we roll into the holidays, we’re nearing closer to the due date for an upcoming piece I am writing for the orchestra’s tour in February. Lately, when I’ve started a new project, I’ll make a playlist on Spotify to build a sort of “sonic landscape” that inspires me. My favorite part of this process is discovering and collecting new sounds and artists. It also turns out that the playlists rarely contain pieces with the same instrumentation as the ensemble for which I’m writing. (For example, if I’m writing a string quartet, I might collect folk or pop songs.) It’s a fun challenge for me to find the pulse in other styles of music that I love and figure out how to integrate them into my instrumental writing.

I’m still discovering what this exact tour piece will be, but I can tell you that folk music is very much at the forefront of my mind: I was very inspired by Chris Thile’s performance, and my playlist so far has some Punch Brothers and Nickel Creek in it. I’m also jamming to Pete Seeger, Aubrie Haynie, Sufjan Stevens, and Béla Fleck.

Here’s a link to the playlist if you want to check it out!

I also sent Gabe Lefkowitz a message letting him know that I was interested in learning more about fiddle playing and him and I are meeting this week to go over some of those tropes. I’m planning on recording him, putting that recording into Logic (the software I use to compose) and building some ideas from there. I love this collaborative way of working and I’m very grateful that I can be so close to the orchestra so that this type of writing can happen!

More soon,


Daffodils and Garden Beds – LOCC Blog

By Tanner Porter
November 13, 2023

One of the amazing aspects of getting to be a Creator in Residence with the Louisville Orchestra Creators Corps is that the LO provides the composers with housing for the year, so that we can live full-time in Louisville during our residency. Having rented small city apartments most of my adult life, I was absolutely thrilled when I moved to Louisville and saw that the residence I’d be living in had a yard, complete with garden beds in the back.

It’s safe to say that I’m a huge plant person. I love taking care of my houseplants, exchanging cuttings with other plant-enthusiasts, and gifting little propagations to my friends. Seeing the garden beds, I immediately set out to learn about what Fall veggies I could plant, and settled on a variety of lettuces, kale, carrots, radishes, and several kinds of bulbs for the Spring. I haven’t had too many chances to grow veggies in recent years, as none of the small apartments I’ve lived in had accessible outdoor space. (Anything beyond potted, windowsill herbs felt beyond me!)

But here in Louisville, I have the chance to grow a vegetable garden…and make a few mistakes along the way. Namely, I learned that first frosts can happen sooner than the internet says they will, and that I should have invested in warm coverings for my seedlings earlier on. The initial round of lettuces were stunted by a quicker-than-anticipated cold snap, but I still got some delicious arugula sprouts of it. Better luck next time!

Having grown up in Southern California, I was especially excited about being able to plant bulbs. When I was a kid, my Mom grew a number of bulbs in pots (mostly Narcissus), and we always had to put them in the refrigerator for that synthetic “cold snap.” Here in Kentucky, you can just plant bulbs right in the ground and let nature do its thing! Woohoo!

I decided to plant Hyacinth, Crocus, and Daffodil bulbs. The thing I find loveliest about this is that the flowers will come back next year, after my residency is over, and hopefully bloom for whichever Creator is living here at that time.

Because this is such a new program, my cohort and I have role of helping the orchestra shape the Creators Corps initiative; what we learn this year will go forward into helping plan the program for next season. Last year’s cohort left us with the gifts of their advice, kindness and support. I hope to pass these sentiments forward to the next group—and maybe a few Daffodils as well. Here’s hoping the bulbs bloom this Spring, and in Springs to come!


PBS NewsHour – Beyond The Canvas: Spotlight on Teddy Abrams and the Louisville Orchestra’s In Harmony Tour

Released October, 27, 2023

In a world where classical music and traditional arts organizations face numerous challenges, the Louisville Orchestra is leading a transformative journey, guided by our visionary music director and conductor, Teddy Abrams. Recently featured on PBS NewsHour’s “Beyond The Canvas,” we’re thrilled to share with you our commitment to redefining the intersection of music and public service.

The Power of Music and Community:
Teddy Abrams, an inspiring force behind the Louisville Orchestra, has a unique perspective on the transformative power of music. For him, it’s about building relationships and forging human connections through the universal language of music. Teddy’s philosophy centers on meeting people where they feel comfortable, whether it’s in their hometown, community center, or school. This unwavering commitment to community engagement and public service lies at the heart of The Louisville Orchestra’s mission, and it resonates with all of us.

A Man on a Mission:
Beyond being a part-time pianist and a full-time music director, Teddy Abrams is a civic leader with a profound dedication to using music to bring people together. He defines his role as a public service in Louisville, and this commitment shines through in his numerous initiatives. Teddy’s passion for music and community engagement is rooted in his early days in California’s Bay Area, where he embarked on his musical journey under the mentorship of renowned conductor Michael Thompson Thomas. Today, he’s not only reinvigorating the Louisville Orchestra and our commitment to the Louisville community, but also renewing our commitment to new music evident in one of our most ambitious endeavors, the In Harmony Commonwealth Tour. This two-year tour of Kentucky intends to spread the joy of music to 40 towns across the state. The excitement of these performances is palpable, and it’s a testament to the orchestra’s commitment to artistic leadership and Teddy’s dedication and vision.

Bridging Divides:
Teddy’s impact extends beyond music as he works tirelessly to bridge the rural-urban divide that plagues many communities. His efforts have garnered support from individuals like Republican Senator Robert Stivers, who recognizes the importance of fostering unity and bridging gaps.

Megan Casper says “You get out in the world, you understand more fully how it’s not that people are lucky to come hear you play. It’s that you are part of the stewardship of the community and of your art. That’s just as important as how well you play.” Brian T. echoed Megan’s sentiment, saying, “I have neighbors who have never been to a concert. There is an energy that is kind of infectious. It is exciting. It forces you to recalibrate your whole perspective on what we are doing in a good way.” Their words reflect the profound impact of The Louisville Orchestra’s mission.

A Model for the Future:
Our mission is a testament to the transformative power of music and community engagement. While we acknowledge the enormity of the challenges, we believe that we must step up and use our skills and talents to make a difference. We are proud to be part of this movement, and we invite you to join us on this inspiring journey.

At the Louisville Orchestra, Teddy Abrams is leading the way in reimagining classical music’s role in society. Our commitment to community engagement, public service, and fostering human connections through music serves as a beacon of hope in an ever-changing world. Together, we can create a harmonious and connected future through the power of music.