Debut String Orchestra

In-Person Rehearsals:
In-person rehearsals follow WA State DOH guidelines for schools. We are watching evolving School District and State COVID guidelines and will make changes accordingly. Click here for complete BYSO COVID Policy and Procedures.

Rehearsals will be held on Monday evenings from 6:45 – 8:15 pm. Musicians are expected to arrive and be prepared to rehearse 15 minutes prior to start time.



All musicians should arrive promptly 3:30 pm. Please account for possible traffic delays.

This season’s Fall concert is at the famed Bastyr University Chapel (14500 Juanita Dr NE, Kenmore, WA 98028). Parking is free in the nearby parking lot.

As per our COVID-19 Policy, BYSO will be adhering to COVID safety mandates dictated by Bastyr, which is as follows:

  • Students and volunteers wear masks backstage and in the greenroom.
  • Musicians on stage may choose to remove their mask during the performance, but must put their mask on back stage and in the audience.
  • All audience members are required to wear a mask at all times when in the audience.

If this policy changes, we will notify musicians and families immediately.

Be sure to check your ensemble’s concert attire requirements. Students must arrive wearing their concert clothing. They will not have a place to change later.



  • Your instrument
  • Your music
  • A pencil
  • A water bottle for the greenroom
  • Do not bring a stand

Volunteers will be a vital part of a successful day at Bastyr for all of our students. We need volunteers to help with the check in process and with supporting ensembles during their dress rehearsals. You will be able to get to know the students, see their dress rehearsal process, see the incredible Bastyr University Chapel from a musician’s perspective, and reserve your seat in the hall early! Click here to sign up now! 


Rehearsals Fall Quarter Dates
Mondays from 6:45 – 8:15 pm September 26 – November 14, 2022
Rehearsal Location Drop Off/ Pick Up
Northwest Arts Center Please plan on prompt drop off and pick up to
9825 NE 24th Street avoid congestion, as the parking lot is small. No
Bellevue, WA 98004 idling or parking in front of the entrance.
Fall Retreat Saturday, October 22 | 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm
Location Drop Off/Pick Up
Odle Middle School Parking lot and street parking are available. Plan
502 143rd Ave NE on prompt drop off and pick up to avoid
Bellevue, WA 98007 congestion.
Fall Concert | Showcase Sunday, November 20 at 4:30 pm
Bastyr Chapel Call time is 3:30 pm. Parking is free at the venue.
14500 Juanita Dr NE Check below for more details.
Kenmore, WA 98028

Student Checklist

  • Bring a music stand
  • Bring a pencil
  • Print your sheet music prior to first rehearsal (using link at top of this page) and bring with you to rehearsal
  • Arrive 15 minutes prior to the start of rehearsal to ensure you are in your chair and ready to play at the start of rehearsal
  • Have fun!

For a full list of BYSO’s 22-23 Season dates, including Winter and Spring rehearsals and concerts, visit our calendar.


Debut String Orchestra is an advanced entry-level orchestra for strings. This BYSO ensemble is designed for progressing students on violin, viola, cello, and double bass who have 3+ years of experience on their instrument and some prior orchestra experience. The typical Debut String Orchestra student plays with solid first-position technique and has some early higher position knowledge.

Debut String Orchestra students improve their note-reading and rhythm skills while they become more confident playing as an ensemble. Past works performed include arrangements of Mozart’s Symphony No. 15, Bartok’s Romanian Folk Dances, and Spata’s Maharaja.

Conductor: Mollie Ewing

Mollie Ewing is a freelance adjudicator, clinician, and conductor for school districts around the region. She holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree and a Master of Educational Leadership degree from the University of Portland. Mrs. Ewing taught orchestra in the Issaquah School District from 2001 to 2010 and is currently teaching orchestra at Risdon Middle School in the Renton School District. Learn more.

Contact Mollie Ewing at

Messages from the Conductor

11/6/2022: Two rehearsals to go!

Our concert is coming soon! Here’s what your family can do to get prepared:

  • Add the concert date and the student arrival time to your family calendars
  • Make sure your concert attire (uniform) is ready to go and that it fits!

Concert date and time: Sunday, November 20th at 4:30 pm

Arrival time is 3:30 pm: All musicians should arrive promptly 3:30 pm.

Location: Bastyr University Chapel (14500 Juanita Dr NE, Kenmore, WA 98028).

Concert Attire:

  • Black mask (required backstage and in the audience at Bastyr!)
  • White shirt or blouse with 3/4 to full-length sleeves
  • Black pants/skirt
  • Black shoes
  • Religious head coverings:  plain black


Halloween Rehearsal!

Yes, we have a rehearsal on Halloween! Come wearing your costume (your coaches and conductor will be decked out!), get some candy, and we’ll rehearse AND read some *interesting* music to get in the spirit! Just watch out  for the Rosin Eating Zombies from Outer Space!

I understand that this is difficult with family schedules, so please make sure to submit an absence report if your student will not be able to attend.

See you on Monday! Bonus…attendees will be the first to see our concert seating charts, including who our sections leaders will be this November!

My costume hint…

10/9/2022 (Edited 2nd Violin Audition, 10/16/2022)

Mark your calendars!

Our fall retreat will be Saturday, 10/22 at Odle Middle School (502 143rd Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98007) from 12:30-3:30pm. Retreats are for rehearsing and sectional work, but more importantly, for getting to know each other and having fun as an orchestra!

Seating Auditions:

  1. Seating auditions are optional. If your student is hoping to sit at one of the first two stands in the section, they should practice the audition spots (below) and plan to audition. All students will be placed in a seat within the section, regardless of if they audition or not.
  2. We will hold seating auditions on two dates (check what date your section is auditioning):
    • Violin 1 and Violin 2: October 24 at our regular rehearsal venue.
    • Viola and Cello: At the retreat on October 22 from 1:45-2:30 pm.

During seating auditions, coaches will listen to students individually to help place student leaders in the first two stands of each section.

Students who choose to audition should make sure the spots listed below are well-prepared for posture/technique, bowing, tone, rhythmic accuracy, expression:

Violin 1:
Mozart – Beginning to A (Presto: quarter=132)
Ancient Ritual – mm. 44-71 (skip rests) and 88-102 (Allegro: quarter=120, Andante: quarter = 72bpm)

Violin 2: Ancient Ritual Edited, 10/16/2022
Mozart – A to C (Presto: quarter=132)
Ancient Ritual – mm. 33-52 (Allegro: quarter=120)

Mozart – A to C and H to I (Presto: quarter=132)
Ancient Ritual – mm. 39-46 and mm. 99-106 (Allegro: quarter=120, Andante: quarter = 72bpm)

Mozart – mm. 45-54 (Presto: quarter=132)
Ancient Ritual – mm. 39-47 (Allegro: quarter=120)
Westminster – B to one measure before C (Allegro: quarter=112)

Challenge: By the time of our retreat, try to learn FIVE people’s name in the orchestra and BRING A PENCIL!


Our second rehearsal is on Monday, 10/3/2022. We will have our first SECTIONAL at this rehearsal. Sectionals are where you go into a breakout room and work with your coaches on specific difficult passages for your section. Make sure you bring your pencil so you can easily grab it to mark your parts.

Rehearsal Etiquette: Watch this video of Gustavo Dudamel rehearsing the LA Philharmonic. Notice how the symphony members: mark their parts, listen quietly, work with their stand partners, and how quickly they  start and stop on the conductor’s cues: VIDEO

Some questions to ask yourself to be prepared for Monday:

  • Did you LISTEN to the music (see below for links)?
  • Did you PRACTICE parts that you struggle with?
  • Did you MARK a section that you have questions about (for your private teacher, conductor or coach)?

Challenge for Monday’s rehearsal:

  • Find out your coach’s name and learn the name of two other people in your section.

See you tomorrow!

Mrs. Mollie Ewing


Hello Debut Musicians and Families!

Welcome to the best group out there (totally biased!). I’m excited to make music with you this year. Learn “About Me” HERE!

Remember to bring a stand, pencil and your music to the first rehearsal and label everything! We’re a big group, so I’ll have some seats assigned to help you find your spot. Our first rehearsal will focus on getting to know each other and sight-reading our music. Sight-reading can be tricky, so hang in there! No one is expected to know the music perfectly the first night.

Want to hear what we’re playing?! Here are the links:

Westminster Prelude and Fugue
Ancient Ritual (Violins and Violas will need a mute)
Mozart’s Finale from Symphony No. 15

Would you like a challenge for the first rehearsal?!

  • Find out what key each piece is in and try to play a scale in that key
  • Can you learn about Westminster Abbey in London, England? Why were the bells rung there recently?
  • What age was Mozart when he wrote Symphony No. 15?
  • What grade did Mrs. Ewing start playing her instrument? (check out the “About Me” above!)
  • What kind of dog does Mrs. Ewing have?

I’ll see you on Monday evening!

Mrs. Ewing (You-ing)

Some helpful tools:


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