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On Sunday February 10th 2019, Louisville Public Media (LPM) presented the 2019 Louisville Music Awards (LMA) at Bomhard Theater in the Kentucky Center. The night featured an LPM house band, first-time collaborations with local musicians, and some heartfelt acceptance speeches by some of our music scene’s most underappreciated voices.


Jean West and Noel Weaver (Photo: J. Tyler Franklin, Louisville Public Media)

“We don’t teach music, we teach people.”

Mr. Noel Weaver made this comment as he accepted the 90.5 WUOL Music Teacher of the Year Award. His Ballard Madrigal Singers just performed at this year’s KMEA State Conference, where he also serves as KMEA’s Choral Chair. His legacy as the Chorus Director at Ballard has had a long-lasting impact in our community with events such as the Madrigal Feaste. He even conducted his chorus at Carnegie Hall when they collaborated with the New England Symphonic Ensemble. Mr. Weaver is a choral legend but above all else he puts humans before harmonies. In the words of a former student “He’s intimidating as hell, but when you get used to him, he’s one of the best teachers you’ll ever have.”

Mayor Greg Fischer and Melody Welsh-Buchholz (Photo: J. Tyler Franklin, Louisville Public Media)

“I didn’t make the Louisville Youth Orchestra. The Louisville Youth Orchestra made me.”

Mrs. Melody Welsh-Buchholz graduated from the University of Louisville School of Music and spent the last 34 years serving as Executive Director of the Louisville Youth Orchestra (LYO). During her tenure the budget has grown from 40K to 400K, patron donations have risen by 700%, the orchestra’s membership has tripled and the number of performances and collaborative events have increased each year. She’s dedicated to supporting students who have no financial means to join LYO and has been instrumental in developing the LYO scholarship fund, which helps at risk children take private music lessons. In addition to her duties as Executive Director, she also teaches privately and performs professionally with the Broadway Series and the Louisville Orchestra. LYO’s very own Sam Yost performed a Bach Minuet in honor of Mrs. Welsh-Buchholz receiving the LMA Legacy Award.

Ed “Nardie” White and Mayor Greg Fischer (Photo: J. Tyler Franklin, Louisville Public Media)

“I have no rhythm.”

Ed “Nardie” White jokingly said as he accepted a Legacy Award. Since 1991 his life has been dedicated to community activism and educating our youth when he and his wife began the River City Drum Corp, a west Louisville nonprofit arts and education based program for at risk youth and families. Through the non-traditional concept of African drumming, percussive and performance training, the program inspires ethnically diverse children, between the ages of 2 and 18, and their families toward excellence in music, academics and life goals. He knows the act of making music can build bridges among people of diverse backgrounds and he’s guided numerous youth to seek their own path to greatness. Along the way he’s been recognized with many awards; including the Mayor’s Louisville Freedom Award. Under the new direction of Albert Shumake, the pipe drummers of RCDC took us to the West End of Louisville with their traditional cadences.

You can see the full list of honorees and performers at wfpk.org