youth playing in concert

Our History

1964

A music educator from the Issaquah School District named Frances Walton founded the music organization that would become Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra. The organization was formed to fulfill local parents’ desire for a full orchestra experience for their young musicians.

Known at first as the Eastlake Youth Symphony, it later merged with the Highline Youth Symphony and for more than twenty years was known as the Olympic Youth Symphony.

1986

Frances Walton retired from her position as Music Director Olympic Youth Symphony.

1991

Kathleen Macferran became Music Director of Olympic Youth Symphony.

1993

The name of Olympic Youth Symphony was changed to Eastside Youth Symphonies. Ruth Brewster became Executive Director.

Elsewhere, Youth Philharmonic Northwest was founded by a group of parents and teachers in the Lake Washington School District. It was originally called the Eastlake Community Youth Symphony Orchestras. The core group for ECYSO was the Redmond-based Sammamish Strings, founded by Linda Joyce.

1994

The name for Eastside Youth Symphonies was changed to Bellevue Eastside Youth Symphonies. Alan Futterman became Music Director.

1999

The Bellevue Eastside Youth Symphonies merged with Youth Philharmonic Northwest. The new group took the name Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra (BYSO).

2001

Adam Stern become Music director. Dr. Teresa Metzger Howe became the conductor of BYSO’s Premiere Orchestra.

2005

BYSO’s current Music Director, Dr. Teresa Metzger Howe, became Music Director and Youth Symphony conductor.

2013

Executive Director Ruth Brewster retired. BYSO’s current Executive Director, Trudi Jackson, joined the staff .

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