Cadet String Orchestra

Cadet String Orchestra is an entry-level orchestra for strings. This BYSO ensemble is open to string players (violin, viola, cello, double bass), who are at least six years old, can read simple music easily, and are comfortable with their instrument. The typical Cadet String Orchestra student may have started the instrument only recently but has developed solid early proficiency and is prepared for the challenges of a large group setting. Students accepted into Cadet String Orchestra typically have been playing the instrument for one to three years.

Cadet String Orchestra is designed to be a young musician’s first group experience. Students receive instruction in following a conductor and playing as an ensemble. Prior orchestra experience is not required.

The repertoire for Cadet String Orchestra is mostly in first position, but it is still challenging, with some knowledge of sharps and flats required. Past works performed include arrangements of Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld,and Balmages’s Fantasy on a Japanese Folk Song.

Sample of Cadet String Orchestra:

Conductor: Andrew Kam

Andrew Kam received his Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Miami and his Master’s degree in Violin Performance from the University of Oregon. Mr. Kam currently serves as Orchestra Director for Bellevue High School and is a violinist with Symphony Tacoma. Learn more.

Contact Andrew Kam at

Messages from the Conductor

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Greetings Cadet Musicians, our project ‘Greater Than’ was completed and published online. Thank you to all students that participated! Here is the final edit:

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Happy Tuesday Cadet Musicians! Thank you for those of you that have been able to submit recordings so far. Quick update – due to time constraints, we will not be handing out Tracks 2, 3 and 4, and will only focus on Track 1. Track 1 recordings are due by this Friday, May 29.

thank you,

Mr. Kam

Monday, May 18, 2020

You’re Invited to be a part of ‘Greater Than’!

Cadet String Orchestra Musicians are invited to participate in the ‘Greater Than’ Project (Brian Balmages, composer) – a virtual orchestra collaboration between 5th through 12th grade students from Bellevue School District, and our very own BYSO ensembles! To participate, keep reading…

What is a virtual orchestra? A virtual orchestra is an ensemble that is put together from the comfort and safety of home. Musicians record their parts using whatever technology is available and then send their parts to their teachers. The teachers then edit and arrange all the recordings and put them together to create an orchestra! Students can choose to submit either video or audio recordings.

  1. Download Students can download the Click Tracks and parts by visiting Mr. Kam’s Google Drive here.
  1. Listen to a Recording. To get an idea of what this piece sounds like, make sure you listen to a sample recording by clicking here. (remember – this is a sample – not the actual performance that we are going to duplicate)
  1. Practice with a Click Track. After you’ve listened to the piece, you can start practicing your part with the click tracks. Remember – it is much more efficient to practice with the click tracks, rather than recording yourself repeatedly.
  1. Begin Recording. When you are ready to record, watch this short tutorial on how to record at home, record and save.
  1. Share the File. Label the file name as “Instrument Track 1 Name” (example: “Violin 1 Track 1 Mr. Kam”). Create a shareable link and email it to Be sure to include the Track # when you email Mr. Kam

For this week, musicians should focus Track 1, which is the first 41 measure of the piece. Please note that for violins and violas, there are rests at the beginning, during and end of the piece. Make sure to count these rests during the recording (do not skip the rests or edit them out!). Unfortunately, I was not able to get cello and bass recordings as backtracks, but the Click Track (metronome only) is still available online. Tracks 2, 3 and 4 will be available by the end of the week. All Tracks are due by Friday, May 29th.

Have fun!

Mr. Kam

May 11, 2020 – Rio, Rio

Click here to download the sheet music and a guitar backtrack for ‘Rio, Rio’


May 4, 2020 – Pokarekare Ana

Click here to download the sheet music for Pokarekare Ana

May 4, 2020 – Nani Na Pua

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