The purpose of the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras is to provide, in cooperation with public and private schools, equitable access to the highest quality musical opportunities and to foster a life-long love of music for dedicated young musicians. CKYO enriches the lives of its student members through a dynamic curriculum focused on the development of musical excellence at all levels of experience, and seeks out strategic partnerships to ensure its responsiveness to the needs of its community.
CKYO has provided 69 consecutive years of concerts for the community and consists of six orchestras; the Symphony Orchestra with 90 members; the Concert Orchestra with 80 members; the Repertory Orchestra with 75 members; the Preparatory Strings Orchestra with 55 members; the Jazz Arts Orchestra with 18 members; and the Jazz Repertory Orchestra with 15 members. In addition to its orchestras, CKYO provides opportunities for performance in chamber music ensembles and concerto performance opportunities for its outstanding young artists. CKYO also provides various outreach initiatives: Friends in Music, a peer mentoring program for Middle School students; North Limestone MusicWorks, an El Sistema-inspired program that meets daily for students in Lexington’s Northside, and CKYO in the Schools, a program which takes the ensembles into public schools in surrounding counties for educational initiatives and performances.
CKYO is very active in community outreach and awareness activities. Our Music Director makes a deliberate effort to visit most of the middle and high schools in Fayette County at least once a year. CKYO also has established the Friends in Music program which provides after school instruction and free, private instrumental lessons to students who attend Title I schools. In support of other local art efforts and in cooperation with the community, CKYO performs an annual Teen Arts Concert highlighting other students from various arts organizations to perform with the orchestra. CKYO also reaches out to both urban and rural schools through our multiple annual free run-out concerts in Central Kentucky, called CKYO in the Schools. Run-out concerts include instrument demonstrations and live performances of orchestral pieces by our orchestras with the goal of increasing interest in music and participation in school music programs.
CKYO has been serving Central
Kentucky’s young musicians and their families for almost 7 decades. While the spirit of our organization is as strong as
it has ever been so is our desire to continue to improve, deepen, and expand
our offerings to our students and our community; and we cannot move forward on
many of these projects without further financial support in place.
CKYO’s commitment to the community has become a substantial philosophical and financial commitment of our organization. Friends in Music is an afterschool program designed to provide instruction and mentoring from our advanced students for orchestral students in Title I middle schools through group and private lessons. Our CKYO in the Schools program takes our orchestras on ‘run-out’ concerts throughout the surrounding counties. These concerts serve to expose public school students to live orchestral music at no cost to the school system.
CKYO is excited to have formed the first El Sistema-inspired nucleo in the state of Kentucky: North Limestone MusicWorks. We are proud to join the national and international community of El Sistema programs and equally proud of the work being done right here in Lexington. Now in its fourth year, MusicWorks continues to grow, evolve, and gain recognition. At CKYO we try to connect deeply with our community through collaboration. Collaboration is not simply about joining forces, but about creating art and experiences that would not have been possible otherwise. Over the last few seasons we have collaborated with organizations like the Lexington Philharmonic, Chamber Music Festival of Lexington, Kentucky Bach Choir, Youth Arts Council, Bluegrass Youth Ballet, Lexington Ballet, and University of Kentucky Opera Theatre. These are enriching projects for our students and essential to continuing the spirit of musical excellence and joy that is at the core of our purpose and mission.
I truly believe that the strength of CKYO is the diversity of interests and backgrounds represented by our students. We have young people who wish to pursue careers in music; we have those who have other professional goals but can’t imagine their lives without music; and we have those who have made strong friendships that they wish to foster every week at rehearsal. CKYO is not a single-minded entity. I believe that this diversity makes our progress towards our group goals of musical excellence and fostering a passion for music that much more meaningful.
We are currently
celebrating the 69th season of the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras and I’m
excited to serve as President of the CKYO Board of Directors for this 2016-2017
One of my favorite quotes is “The only thing constant in life is change.” And my, how CKYO has changed over the years! We are today a much more diverse orchestra than ever before, reaching more members of our community than in years past, specifically through our Friends in Music and MusicWorks programs which provide intensive musical training in Title I schools across our community. I am so proud that CKYO can give that opportunity to more people now than ever before.
We want make sure we can continue to positively impact the youth in our community. In an effort to keep these musical opportunities as accessible as possible, the tuition paid by our students covers less than 50% of the costs associated with their programs. CKYO is heavily reliant on your donations, sponsorships, and fundraising efforts, and it is imperative that we continue to grow our sponsorship and fundraising results so that we can honor CKYO’s enduring mission to provide equitable access to the highest quality musical opportunities for the youth of Central Kentucky.
While we are proud of the success our community programs have had over the past few years, I am still continually amazed at the success our six performing ensembles are also achieving. Their artistic level continues to rise and there are moments during concerts that it is almost impossible to believe the students playing these large, important works of orchestra repertoire are still in middle and high school. The phenomenal support we receive from our public school music programs and the professional musicians in our community who teach our students private lessons is a unique gift that our community has to offer.
An organization like ours has both a storied past and the promise of a vibrant future as we aim to expand and improve our offerings for our students, families, and our entire community. I thank the staff, conductors, coaches, teachers, students, and especially the families of our students who make this experience happen for our students.
President, Board of Directors
While in recent years CKYO has served students in as many as 20 counties in Central Kentucky, the office and weekly rehearsals are located in Lexington: CKYO occupies an office in ArtsPlace, located downtown; The Symphony and Concert Orchestras rehearse on the University of Kentucky campus in the Singletary Center for the Arts; the Repertory and Preparatory String Orchestras rehearse at the School for the Creative and Performing Arts (SCAPA); and our Jazz Ensembles rehearse at Maxwell Street Presbyterian Church. With our “CKYO in the Schools” program, the orchestras have traveled throughout Fayette, Scott, Knox, Nicholas, Madison, Woodford, Montgomery, Clark, Jessamine, and Franklin Counties to perform for elementary and middle school students.
Goals include: Each CKYO musician will develop an appreciation for music through experiences that cultivate both personal growth and leadership; Each CKYO ensemble will strive for musical excellence; Every young musician will achieve a life-long love of music; CKYO musicians will reflect the socio-economic, geographic, and ethnic representation of our Central Kentucky community; Through our programming and community engagement, we will inspire passion and support for the arts and education citywide; CKYO will be a relentless advocate for comprehensive music education throughout our community; CKYO will identify and secure ongoing funding for our community outreach programs which do not generate tuition.
Strategies for musical excellence and program growth: Reengage chamber music opportunities for musicians in CKYO orchestras, starting with Symphony Orchestra; Provide more opportunities for CKYO students to work with professional musicians through sectionals, divided rehearsals and masterclasses; Expand recruitment and retention efforts for all musicians with a focus on winds, brass, percussion and jazz players; Continue to seek opportunities to include guest soloists, alternative styles, premier venues, regional travel, compelling repertoire, and other memorable experiences in the programming for all CKYO musicians, including participants in MusicWorks and Friends in Music.
Streategies for financial stability: We will gradually increase tuition revenue to represent 40%-45% of annual operating expenses (currently at about 30%) at the end of 5 years; We will institute a donor cultivation and stewardship program to increase individual giving to at least 20% of annual operating expenses at the end of 5 years (currently at about 16%); Develop a comprehensive Development plan to ensure the sustainability of CKYO’s programs that are not tuition based; Develop a comprehensive marketing plan to increase Alumni activity and awareness and re-engage energy for CKYO; Appeal specifically to past board members and their networks to support CKYO; Explore small-scale tuition generating activities, such as camps and workshops during school vacations; Develop a Planned Giving program; Increase current student/family buy-in to assist in the fundraising activities; and demonstrate CKYO’s value to the community to increase awareness and need.
Strategies for Community and School Partnerships: Strengthen the relationship and communication between music programs in Fayette County Middle and High Schools; Identify and cultivate relationships with school districts outside of Fayette County; and Develop a network of public sector and business relationships in locations adjacent to school partnership programs.
The CKYO Jazz Arts Orchestra (JAO) offers high school students advanced training and performance opportunities with a big band style jazz ensemble. The Jazz Repertory Orchestra (JRO) offers an introductory jazz experience intended for beginning jazz students in middle or high school. Each jazz season concludes with a performance at the historic Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center in downtown Lexington.
CKYO ensembles travel to local public schools throughout the year to perform. These concerts are intended to be fun and informative events for local school students that expose them to orchestral music performed at a high level by fellow students. Additionally the CKYO Music Director visits schools, classrooms, and orchestra rehearsal rooms to guest conduct throughout the community. Both of these programs are completely free to the public school system.
CKYO aims to expand our ability to offer financial assistance to families participating in the organization. Raising funds to support this venture is critical to making CKYO an accessible part of music education in Central Kentucky.
CKYO North Limestone
MusicWorks is a daily
orchestral and ensemble music program fostering positive development for Lexington’s youth by providing equitable access to intensive,
high-quality music education. The program runs for two and a half hours daily, following the academic calendar. Now
in its fourth season, the program serves 27 second through fifth grade
students. The program grows with the addition of a new class of second and
third grade students each season, creating a vertically integrated educational
environment, and the students are encouraged to remain in the program until high school graduation.
In the first 3 seasons, MusicWorks students came from Arlington Elementary, a Title I School located on North Limestone Street in which 97% of the population is eligible for the free or reduced lunch program. The demographics of Arlington Elementary are 29% White, 26% African-American, 40% Hispanic, and 5% other. In the 2016-2017 season, MusicWorks expanded by integrating students from 2 additional Title I Elementary elementary schools, Yates Elementary and William Wells Brown Elementary. This also marks the first year founding MusicWorks students will transition to middle school.
Here at CKYO we believe in strong music education and creating those experiences for every child. In our 69 years, in addition to providing the highest level orchestral opportunities, the mission of CKYO has evolved to include creating equitable access to those opportunities as well. It is with this in mind that we formed programs such as Friends in Music, MusicWorks, and CKYO in the Schools. The students in all of our orchestras and these programs are a talented, eager, and diverse group, anxious to grow as both musicians and individuals. Studies show that students who study music have larger vocabularies and more advanced reading skills, work better in teams, and have better critical thinking skills than students who do not study music. While CKYO is an organization based in music, we believe that through this determined focus music can enhance the lives of the young people that it touches.
In order for our efforts to be successful we require the support of people like you. We would not be able to offer any of these programs without the donations and sponsorships of like-minded people and businesses throughout our community. We view each and every dollar as an investment, not only in CKYO, but also in the lives of our students.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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499 East High Street, Lexington, KY 40507