Louisville Leopard Percussionists

“I truly believe these young people represent the best opportunity we have to make a better tomorrow.” – Carlos Santana, Grammy Award Winning Musician

We couldn’t agree more. And that is why the Norton Foundation is pleased to support the Louisville Leopard Percussionists.

The Leopards are a performing ensemble comprised of 60+ student musicians ages 7-14. Founded by elementary school music teacher Diane Downs in 1993, the organization seeks to provide a comprehensive musical experience for children that enriches lives and builds community.

Diane seeks to involve children throughout Metro Louisville in the Leopards. The children develop music appreciation, performance skills, proficiency on a variety of percussion instruments, and learn to improvise, compose, and teach music. These skills build creativity and self-confidence and teach life-long values of personal discipline, cooperation, leadership, responsibility, and community.

If you haven’t heard this group perform live, drop everything and find an opportunity to do so. In addition to gaining local prominence, the Leopards have developed a national reputation, performing on the “Today” show, receiving praise from Jimmy Page and Ozzy Osbourne, and performing at a Ted Talk convention.

As Diane says, “Playing music together teaches children how to relate to each other, and depend on others. We’re trying to teach them how to be good humans.” Keep up the good work, Diane!