161 North Mill St
Lexington KY 40507
Contact Information
Address 161 North Mill St
Lexington, KY 40507
Phone (859) 254-0796
Fax 859 254-9466
Contact Name Amelia Groetsch
Web and Social Media
CKYO Symphony Orchestra performs at the 2017 Teen Arts Festival at the Singletary Center for the Arts.
At A Glance
IRS Ruling Year 1974
Former Names
Youth Music Society of Central Kentucky
Other ways to donate, support, or volunteer CKYO accepts donations via checks made payable to "CKYO" or phone donations by calling the office at 859-254-0796.  We also accept donations of rehearsal space, transportation, and fractional sized string instruments (violin, viola, cello, bass).  If you would like to volunteer at CKYO contact the office by emailing ckyo@ckyo.org. 
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
Mission Statement

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.

The Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras (CKYO) is one of the oldest, independently chartered youth orchestras in the United States, with a tradition dating back to 1947. Over 300 students gather from 15 counties and 60area schools to participate in CKYO. We offer six orchestras; Symphony, Concert, Repertory, Preparatory Strings, Jazz Arts, and Jazz Repertory, as well as three community initiatives: CKYO in the Schools, Friends in Music, and CKYO MusicWorks. Dedicated to the musical education and growth of its student members, we provide performance opportunities, motivational workshops, small group instruction, travel, mentoring and quality social interaction.

Background Statement

 CKYO has provided 70 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; CKYO 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.



Impact Statement

70th Anniversary Season: 2017-2018 marks CKYO’s 70th consecutive year of providing high quality music education for the youth in Central Kentucky. We are celebrating this milestone with renewed energy among our community of Alumni and an effort to find alumni contacts for those who have not been in communication with the organization for many years. An All Alumni Reunion Orchestra of 65 alums performed at our Season Finale Concert on May 20 under the direction of CKYO's former Music Director Joseph Ceo (1968-1973).

Continued Artistic Excellence: All six CKYO performing orchestras continue to maintain very high standards of artistic excellence. We continue to see a marked increase in the artistic level and ability of the ensembles as a whole. We recently featured all of six ensembles at our annual Teen Arts Festival Concerts in February 2018. Another feature of our Teen Arts Festival are the performances of our Annual Concerto Competition winners.
Stability of CKYO's community programs: Friends in Music has seen continual growth and strength in preparing middle school students for participation in CKYO. In addition to another large class of FIM participants, this season marks the fourth year of FIM alums who are now members of CKYO's Symphony Orchestra acting as mentors in the program. Now in its fifth year, MusicWorks has 32 regular participants and continues to perform throughout Lexington at community events. Our MusicWorks students continue to thrive musically. Several students have been selected to the middle school honors orchestra and the honor choir.
Additional performance opportunities for CKYO students: This past year has continued to present additional performing opportunities for our students that help to expand CKYO’s visibility in the community. In August, CKYO MusicWorks continued a multi-year collaboration with the Chamber Music Festival of Lexington: their ensemble-in-residence WindSync has done annual workshops with our MusicWorks students and this is always a vibrant and fun day for our students to interact with these tremendously creative musicians. In January CKYO was invited to provide music for the 2018 Commerce Lex Annual Dinner. CKYO’s elite string quartet performed beautifully for over 1000 Commerce Lex members. These performing opportunities serve CKYO by introducing students to our community through musical performance. They also serve the organization by helping expose new audiences to the talented youth in Central Kentucky, our organization, and our mission.
Needs Statement
  • More financial aid support to our students. CKYO aims to expand our ability to offer financial assistance to families participating in the organization and to make CKYO a more accessible part of music education in Central Kentucky.
  • Funds to pay for additional sectional rehearsals.Any small group instruction involves the hiring of a professional coach and a rented space. We would like to expand what we provide to our students dependent on our ability to budget for the additional costs.
  • Facilities that are more available and more suited for our needs.We rehearse and perform in a very busy facility. While we love our presence on the U of Kentucky campus the use of this space limits the flexibility and expansion of our programs as we evolve to better serve the needs of our community.
  • Expanding community programs. As we continue to explore the ways in which CKYO can engage with the wider community of Lexington and Kentucky acquiring the funds to operate programs like CKYO MusicWorks, Friends in Music and CKYO in the Schools or start new initiatives is essential.
CEO/Executive Director Statement

 CKYO has been serving Central Kentucky’s young musicians and their families for seven 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: CKYO 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 fifth 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.

Board Chair Statement

It is hard to believe that CKYO has been providing an elite musical experience for the young people of our community for seventy consecutive years. A program like ours has both a storied past and the promise of a vibrant future as we continue to grow and improve our offerings for our students, families, and our entire community.

I am particularly excited about this year because we welcome Marcello Cormio to the podium in his inaugural season as Music Director. As a Board we are confident in Marcello’s vision and leadership and I know you will see and hear his passion and artistry in his performances onstage.

In addition to our exceptional performing orchestras you will see onstage tonight, CKYO is also proud of the musical opportunities we are providing through community outreach, specifically through our Friends in Music and MusicWorks programs. Today we are a much more diverse organization and are reaching more young people in our community than in years past. I am so proud that CKYO can provide these educational experiences for more students than ever before.

However, we want to 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 only about 1/3 of the costs associated with our 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.

I am so grateful to our community of musicians, staff, conductors, coaches, teachers, and especially the parents, grandparents and extended family who make this all possible for our incredible students.



Kirsten Kegley

President, Board of Directors

Service Categories
Secondary Organization Category Youth Development / Youth Development Programs
Geographic Areas Served
Fayette County
Clark County
Franklin County
Jessamine County
Madison County
Scott County
Mercer County
Montgomery County
Nicholas County
Shelby County
Woodford County
Anderson County
Bath County
Boyle County
Powell County
Lincoln County

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. 

Impact Questions
GoalsHelpWhat is the organization aiming to accomplish? This is the organization's ultimate goal for intended impact.

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.

StrategiesHelpWhat are the organization's strategies for its stated long-term goals?

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.

CapabilitiesHelpWhat are the organization’s capabilities for doing this? What resources, capacities, and connections support its progress towards long-term goals?
CKYO has a strong relationship with the Fayette County Public Schools and we support their programs by requiring our students to participate in their school bands and orchestras.  This support and relationship is very important in keeping our organization populated with talented students throughout the county and for working with our community programs including Friends in Music and MusicWorks since we rely on specific schools for programming and recruitment, as well as housing a program like Friends in Music. Though we rely on the school music programs and teachers, we also are able to give back to their programs because of the intense training and work the students do at their weekly CKYO rehearsals so it is a mutually beneficial relationship for both our organization and the school music programs.
Another of our strengths is the age of the organization. At 70 years, CKYO is a foothold in the community and we have a vast network of Alumni. For the past decade this resource has not been properly utilized but we are working to strengthen the communication and connection between CKYO and its alumni as we enter this 70th anniversary season. This alumni network is not only important for creating an identity in the community, but it is important in funding and spreading the awareness of CKYO.
IndicatorsHelpHow will the organization know if it is making progress? What are the key qualitative and quantitative indicators against which the organization assesses its progress toward its intended impact?
CKYO solicits and receives feedback throughout the season from students, parents, and teachers on a constant basis through email, phone, and in-person conversations and interactions at weekly rehearsals. The conductors of the orchestras are accessible to students and parents through communication with the office. Students who have reached their maximum absences per concert cycle are required to check-in with their conductor via a playing test to insure they are doing the work on their own outside of rehearsal time. In addition, there is one open Board Meeting each spring to which all members of the community are invited to attend.
For CKYO's orchestras, criteria used in measuring success through the end-of-season student and parent questionnaires include a rating system of poor to excellent on a five-point scale. These ratings are compiled, assimilated, and reviewed for each response and program adjustments are considered to strive for constant improvement. We also evaluate our success by recording our audition numbers each season. Recording the retention rate is an important part of rating how we are doing. While focused on a mission of musical excellence and group work, we want CKYO to be a setting that is inclusive and beneficial to each student.
For our Friends in Music program we have identified two main quantifiable mechansisms for evaluating success: student retention and successful audition into the CKYO orchestras. For MusicWorks we also evaluate success through student retention. The neighborhoods that MusicWorks' serve have a problem with transiency. By tracking the student retention in the program, MusicWorks can see if the program is serving as an anchor in the community that will keep students and families in the neighborhood. CKYO also conducts student interviews, parent surveys, and community surveys and are working with school administrators and individual families to get access to statewide testing scores so we can track the progress of the students throughout their time in the program.
A way of tracking our Alumni engagement, which is integral both for long term funding and building connections in our community, is through interaction with them particularly in our 70th Anniversary Season (2017-2018). The more alumni we are able to engage by attending concerts, special events, and making small contributions, the further we will get in identifying supporters who are invested in CKYO due to their history and memories of their time in the organization.
ProgressHelpWhat has and hasn’t been accomplished so far?
We have had a hard time transitioning our Board of Directors from being made up of mostly parents and music educators.  While including parents and music educators on our Board is of the utmost importance due to their investment in the organization and knowledge, we need to build a Board of Directors that is connected to the community in new ways to increase our list of sponsorships and relationships with local businesses and foundations.  While we recently have been able to recruit Board Members with varied interests who were not previously affiliated with CKYO, we need to be able to continually reach out to those in our community with an interest in advocacy for youth and music education who represent more diverse populations and can introduce new audiences to CKYO.
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Kirsten Kegley
Company Affiliation None
Term July 2017 to June 2019
Board Members
Mrs. Cindy BennettThe ExploriumVoting
Mr. Lester DiazFayette County Public SchoolsVoting
Mrs. Cherie FlueckLexMarkVoting
Mr. Doug GabbertWhitaker BankVoting
Mrs. Candace JamesSts. Peter and Paul SchoolVoting
Ms. Kirsten KegleyUpper Right MarketingVoting
Mrs. Julie QuickCommunity VolunteerVoting
Mrs. Mary Kay RayensUniversity of KentuckyVoting
Ms. Beth Ellen RosenbaumChildren's Music WorkshopVoting
Mr. Bardia SanjabiDinsmore & ShohlVoting
Dawn ScanlonZenith CompanyVoting
Ms. Louise ShouseRetiredVoting
Mr. Robert StadelmanBankerVoting
Mr. Scott TerrellLexington PhilharmonicVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity. Add number
Asian American/Pacific Islander 1
Caucasian 12
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 5
Female 9
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 3
Board Meeting Attendance % 72%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 10
Standing Committees
Community Outreach / Community Relations
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
CEO Comments
Today CKYO is a much more diverse orchestra and organization than ever before, reaching more members of our community specfically through our Friends in Msuic and MusicWorks programs which provide intensive musical training in Title I schools in Fayette County.  I am so proud that CKYO can give these opportunities to students who are so deserving.
We want to make sure we can continue to postiively impact the youth in our community.  In an effort to keep these musical opportunities as accessible as possible, the tuition paid by our students in CKYO performance orchestras covers less than 50% of the costs associated with running their ensembles. In addition, our Friends in Music and MusicWorks programs are provided at no cost to these students and their families. CKYO is heavily reliant on your donations, sponoships, and fundraising efforst, 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.
CEO/Executive Director
Executive Director Ms. Amelia Groetsch
Term Start July 2016
Email ckyo@ckyo.org

Amelia Groetsch joined the staff of the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras in 2012 during their 65th season as General Manager, became Interim Executive Director in July 2016, and took on the Executive Director role in July 2017. Originally from Iowa, she received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Music from Simpson College in Indianola, IA and an Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Kentucky. Prior to joining CKYO, Amelia was the program coordinator for the Performing Arts programs at Centre College in Danville, KY. Recently, she served as the production assistant to the Executive Producer of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Alltech/FEI World Equestrian Games held in Lexington, KY in September of 2010. In addition, she serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors of the Central Music Academy, works with the American Spiritual Ensemble as Business and Sales Support, and sings with the Central Christian Church Chancel Choir. Amelia was a member of 2016-2017 class of Commerce Lexington's Leadership Lexington program and serves on the steering committee for the Leadership Lexington Youth Program.

Full Time Staff 3
Part Time Staff 6
Volunteers 289
Contractors 30
Retention Rate 75%
Management Reports to Board? Yes
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 7
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 4
Female 5
Unspecified 0
Former CEOs
Dr. Daniel ChetelJuly 2011 - June
Senior Staff
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
NonManagement Formal Evaluation Yes
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
CEO Comments

Our main challenge has been finding major, multi-year support for these programs to insure financial stability for the organization as an institution. While both after-school programs provide invaluable support both musically and socially for the students we are serving, we are reaching about 150 students across both programs this year (and this has been our most robust and well-attended season for the community programs). Many foundations and major funders that we approach are looking to reach large quantities of students. What CKYO does is less about the quantity of students it is reaching, but about the quality of the education and support provided by their teachers, mentors, and peers by participating daily after-school in a CKYO program. It is difficult to compete with organizations that are able to boast large numbers of students they are reaching, though that reach or interaction may only be once for about an hour, in contrast, our reach is to 45 MusicWorks students each week but they are receiving over 400 hours of instruction each year. It's a significant difference but can be a challenge for sponsors and funders looking to cast a wider net.

Description CKYO offers four classical orchestras: Symphony, Concert, Repertory, and Preparatory String. The Symphony Orchestra (SO), CKYO’s most advanced ensemble, is composed of over ninety primarily high school players. The Symphony Orchestra plays advanced orchestral music in its original form with an emphasis on preparing students for collegiate or semiprofessional orchestras. TheConcert Orchestra (CO) is composed of over ninety high school and middle school students. The curriculum is designed to hone players’ skills as orchestral musicians and to help them to develop habits necessary for playing in an advanced ensemble through a focus on original-notation symphonic music. The Repertory Orchestra (Rep) offers young string and wind instrumentalists an opportunity to play in a full orchestra, and emphasizes learning, reading, and ensemble skills. The Preparatory String Orchestra (PSO) offers young string players an opportunity play in a string ensemble with an emphasis placed on basic ensemble techniques, rehearsal and performance etiquette.  In addition to the classical orchestras, CKYO also offers two big bang jazz-style ensembles. 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.
Category Youth Development, General/Other Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years), Other Economic Level


CKYO established the Friends in Music (FIM) program in 1996. CKYO Symphony Orchestra members act as mentors along with the Program Director and additional professional teachers to teach free stringed instrument lessons to children in Title I schools in Fayette County. FIM currently operates in 2 Fayette County middle schools. Additionally, FIM students receive highly subsidized private lessons from professional teachers in Lexington, provided in collaboration with Central Music Academy.

Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Music Instruction
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years), Families
Program Short Term Success Short term success for Friends in Music members is successful audition into a CKYO orchestra. Another outcome is that once students are in high school they volunteer as mentors to middle school Friends in Music students.  This season we have eight current CKYO Symphony Orchestra menotrs who were participants in the Friends in Music program as middle schoolers.
Program Long term Success The Friends in Music program increases the level of musicianship in some students to the degree that they are capable of successfully auditioning into one of the CKYO orchestras. Friends in Music provides scholarships for audition fees, as well as the required lessons to help students specifically prepare for the audition requirements. When Friends in Music students are accepted into an orchestra, they participate in large ensembles geared towards playing challenging repertoire with other highly motivated students. Once they become members of CKYO, further scholarship is available to them in order to cover the membership fees. By integrating these students into the select CKYO Orchestras students continue to excel as musicians and are participating in music several times each week. This encourages them to continue playing and hopefully auditioning for college music scholarships to help them find some funding in higher education even if they do not pursue music as a career or major.
Program Success Monitored By

CKYO has identified two main quantifiable mechanisms for evaluating the success of its Friends in Music program:

1) Student Retention and 2) Successful Audition into the CKYO Orchestras.

Examples of Program Success

Nathan is a 10th grade cellist who serves as a mentor at Lexington Traditional Magnet School. Nathan was a Friends in Music student beginning in 7th grade when he had been playing cello for just one year. He took advantage of the low-cost lessons Friends in Music was able to offer and when he showed a strong predilection and talent, his family was able to commit to regular private lessons. Nathan continued to be a leader in Friends in Music throughout his middle school years playing in both the Preparatory String and Repertory Orchestras of CKYO. He was accepted into the Symphony Orchestra as a freshman (skipping the Concert Orchestra) and was thrilled as it gave him the opportunity to return to Friends in Music as a mentor.

William, a student who struggled both socially and on his instrument, has found a safe haven in Friends in Music. As a 6th grader he was often unable to participate in the entire FIM after-school session due to behavior issues and frustration with his instrument. Two years later he serves as a role model for the younger students in the program. Lsat spring he  auditioned for SCAPA and the Fayette County Middle School Honors Orchestra.

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.

Category Youth Development, General/Other Youth Development, General/Other
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)

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 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 fifth season, the program serves 30 second through sixth 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. 

Budget $70,000
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Music Instruction
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years), At-Risk Populations
Program Short Term Success MusicWorks students will work to audition for CKYO orchestras and begin taking regular private lessons.  In 2016-2017, five MusicWorks students successfully auditioned into CKYO's Preparatory String Orchestra. We are also seeing student success as they audition for the School for the Creative and Performing Arts (2 MusicWorks students auditioned in 16-17 and 1 student was accepted and another was placed first on the waiting list). In addition, MusicWorks students are leaders in their general music and orchestra classes.
Program Long term Success

MusicWorks’ primary goal is to use music education as a tool to teach positive social values and to make all children feel that they are valued members of their community. The program’s focus is on those with the fewest resources and the greatest need for impactful opportunities. By nurturing interpersonal development skills in an orchestral setting, MusicWorks seeks to inspire its students to achieve more in their personal and academic pursuits alongside their musical endeavors. Students feel invested in their community as they become a source of community pride through the program, and this instills in them the desire to give back to that community.

Program Success Monitored By

CKYO has identified four ways in which to evaluate MusicWorks’ impact and effectiveness in the community and within our organization:

1. Parents complete a biannual survey to determine how the program is impacting their child and to help staff determine program effectiveness.
2. Written and verbal reports from school staff and administrators assist MusicWorks staff with evaluating how the program effects students in other areas.
The number of MusicWorks students who successfully audition into CKYO’s Preparatory String Orchestra indicates musical achievement.
4. 3. Student retention will serve as a measure of success, particularly as founding members transition to middle school.
Examples of Program Success

MusicWorks staff have seen tremendous student growth, both socially and musically. In its inaugural season, the primary challenge was maintaining focus in the classroom during program hours, but after a few months students began to understand the process, and behavior problems decreased dramatically. Now in their fifth year, the founding students have a strong sense of identity and take pride in representing the MusicWorks orchestra. They serve as mentors and role models for incoming students, often improving their own skills by teaching others. Because the teaching staff have the opportunity to work with the students every day for two and a half hours, students are making tremendous musical progress.

Program Comments
CEO Comments

Here at CKYO we believe in strong music education and creating those experiences for every child. In our 70 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.

Plans & Policies
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 2
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Jan 2018
Management Succession Plan? No
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy No
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Annual Collaborations:
Central Music Academy - CMA reserves several lesson slots for CKYO students in Friends in Music and MusicWorks. CMA provides free instrument lesssons to Fayette County Public School students on free and reduced lunch.
Chamber Music Festival of Lexington - Artist-in-Residence WindSync has done a workshop and performance with our MusicWorks students for the past 4 years.
Recent artistic collaborations include:  
Chamber Music Festival of Lexington - students were featured performers with Main Stage Artists in 3 of the 4 mainstage concerts of the 2018 season. 
Lexington Philharmonic - side-by-side for annual Candy Cane Holiday Concert
Lexington Ballet - Spring 2017 concert of Rimsky Korsakov's "Scheherazade" performed with dancers
Bluegrass Youth Ballet - Valley Park Program students performed with our MusicWorks orchestra accompanying them for the LexArts Arts Showcase Weekend in spring 2017 and will perform again for the 2017 Campaign for the Arts Kick-Off 
Leage of American Orchestras - Member2018
Kentucky Nonprofit Network2018
LexArts Agency2018
Kentucky Arts Council2018
Friend of Music, District 7Kentucky Music Educators Association2015
Friend of Music - StatewideKentucky Music Educators Association2015
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the Government? No
Revenue vs Expenses - All Years
Expense Breakdown - Recent Year
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2018
Fiscal Year End June 30, 2019
Projected Revenue $337,493.00
Projected Expenses $373,800.00
Endowment Value $46,369.00
Spending Policy N/A
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available). Revenue from foundations and corporations may be included in individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201820172016
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$0$0$0
Individual Contributions$210,101$182,136$247,601
Investment Income, Net of Losses$8,620$7,912$8,394
Membership Dues------
Special Events--$3,889$1,852
Revenue In-Kind$22,245----
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201820172016
Program Expense$293,232$291,879$208,592
Administration Expense$137,117$114,269$104,975
Fundraising Expense$3,275--$9,000
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.940.891.09
Program Expense/Total Expenses68%72%51%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201820172016
Total Assets$387,581$429,639$433,231
Current Assets$65,006$78,750$125,024
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities$24,640$36,290$15,835
Total Net Assets$362,941$393,349$417,396
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No
State Registration Yes
CEO Comments
The financial challenges that we face stem mainly from the fact that CKYO strives to continue to offer excellent and relevant youth programming for our community at low or no cost to our families. In the context of our ensembles this means offering more rehearsal and performances and specifically more focused instruction in the form of consistent sectionals which require both rented space and hired professional coaches. The CKYO Board of Directors has made every effort to keep ensemble tuitions as affordable as possible, including offering need-based scholarships to qualifying families.
At Singletary Center for the Arts, our venue for concerts and two weekly rehearsals, rental rates for the space increase annually and we anticipate further increases in the future. For the past four seasons we have been able to negotiate a reduced rate increase and we will work to keep those rates in place going forward. In addition, CKYO continuously seeks opportunities for in-kind donations of rehearsal space to reduce costs.
The most significant financial challenge CKYO faces is our commitment to the community programs Friends in Music and North Limestone MusicWorks. These programs are supported through private donations and grant awards, not through tuition payments. In an effort to keep staff costs from increasing these funds are raised without the presence of a full-time development officer. Moving forward, CKYO seeks long-term funding for these community focused efforts to ensure their presence in the CKYO curriculum indefinitely.
Address 161 North Mill St
Lexington, KY 40507
Primary Phone 859 254-0796
Contact Email ckyo@ckyo.org
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Amelia Groetsch
Board Chair Ms. Kirsten Kegley
Board Chair Company Affiliation None