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.



Rehearsals Spring Quarter Dates
Mondays from 6:45 – 8:15 pm March 27 – May 22, 2023 (No rehearsal on 4/10)
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. Please
Bellevue, WA 98004 see below for more specific instructions.
Spring Retreat Fall & Winter Quarters Only
The next BYSO retreats will be
held in the 2023-24 Season.
Spring Concert | Overture Sunday, May 21 at 2:00 pm
Meydenbauer Theatre Call times and more will be posted as we get closer
11100 NE 6th St to the concert.
Bellevue, WA 98004

Drop Off/Pick Up Instructions for Northwest Arts Center

Please continue to be mindful of all of our student, parent, and staff safety in the parking lot by reducing your speed and keeping an eye out for pedestrians. We have added a volunteer opportunity for Parking Lot Monitors that will help students navigate safely to/from the rehearsal venue and their family car.

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!

Volunteers will be a vital part of a successful Spring Quarter for all of our students. We need volunteers to help with attendance, setting up/tearing down, and supporting our students during their rehearsals. Click here to sign up now!


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


CALL TIME: 12:15 pm
All musicians should arrive promptly at 12:15 pm. Please account for possible traffic delays.

All musicians should be dropped off in the Meydenbauer Lobby. Parents/guardians may park in the Meydebauer garage and walk their students to the lobby if needed. Parking in the garage is free for the first 30 minutes. (For a full list of parking fees, please see the Meydenbauer website.)

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. Official photos will be taken during dress rehearsals, so students should plan to wear their concert attire through the entire dress rehearsal as well as the concert.

1/29/2023, edited with updated cello parts on 2/3/2023

Mark your calendars!

Our winter retreat will be Saturday, 2/11 at Odle Middle School (502 143rd Ave NE, Bellevue, WA 98007) from 12:30-3:30pm. Retreats are for rehearsing and section work, but more importantly, for getting to know each other and having fun as an orchestra!

Seating Auditions:

  1. Seating auditions are NOT optional this concert cycle.
  2. We will hold seating auditions on two dates (check what date your section is auditioning):
    • Violin 1 and Viola: At the retreat on February 11 (from roughly 2:00-3:00pm)
    • Violin 2 and Cello: At our regular rehearsal on February 13

During seating auditions, coaches will listen to students individually to help place student leaders in the first two stands of each section. The coaches and I are looking for students who have shown mastery on their parts (posture/technique, bowing, intonation, rhythmic accuracy, expression), but we’re also looking for students who have demonstrated good preparation and strong rehearsal etiquette. We have been talking in rehearsals about what makes students good leaders and stand partners. You can ask your student what they think a good leader looks like in orchestra to help them prepare.

Violin 1:
Prelude: mm. 40-45 and mm. 56-end of 67
American’s Cup: mm. 78-90 (check your key!)

Violin 2: (updated 1/30, 2:30pm)
Prelude: mm. 17-30 (no repeat)
America’s Cup: mm. 69-86 (check your key!)

Prelude: mm. 25-42
Appalachian: mm. 69-end
America’s Cup: mm. 38-53 and mm. 100-107

Cello: Updated Cello Parts (mark your music or print out the new copies)
Prelude: mm. 1-18 both divisi parts and mm. 40-downbeat of 49
America’s Cup: mm. 44-downbeat of 53 and mm. 60-72m
*Parts with bowing and fingerings coming soon

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

Listening is practice too…here are the links:

Prelude from “Holberg Suite” by Edvard Grieg
Appalachian Sunrise by Doris Gazda
America’s Cup by Alan Lee Silva ***Check out that TIME SIGNATURE!


Hi All!

Let’s talk rehearsal plans…check out the breakdown of our rehearsals and get ready for those seating auditions!

  • Monday, 1/23 (that’s tonight!): Sectionals/Rehearsal. Working with your coaches to review music and start to identify possible seating audition spots.
  • Monday, 1/30: Sectionals/Rehearsals. You will receive your seating audition spots and they’ll be updated on this page.
  • Monday, 2/6: Sectionals/Rehearsal. Review and work on seating audition spots. Ask questions, make sure you’re clear on what is expected for the seating audition.
  • ***Saturday, 2/11: Retreat. All first violins and viola seating auditions (pull-out from the last 1.5 hours of rehearsal).
  • Monday, 2/13: Rehearsal. All 2nd violin and cello players seating auditions (pull-out from rehearsal).
  • Monday, 2/27, 3/6 and 3/13: Seating placements and large group rehearsals.
  • Sunday, 3/19: CONCERT at Meydenbauer Theatre

Your esteemed coaches:
Violin 1: Coach Caroline Faflak
Violin 2: Coach Rafael Howell Flores
Viola: Coach Camber Charlot
Cello: Coach Janice Lee
Bass: Coach Moe Weisner


Hello Debut Musicians and Families!

Welcome to the Winter Session of BYSO! In the fall, we focused on the “Farewell” portion of this year’s theme (Favorites and Farewells). This winter, we’ll be focusing on some “Favorites” of mine. Pieces that I have loved as a director, but also loved playing when I was a student musician. New to us? 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. Especially as the music bumps up a level!

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

Prelude from “Holberg Suite” by Edvard Grieg
Appalachian Sunrise by Doris Gazda
America’s Cup by Alan Lee Silva ***Check out that TIME SIGNATURE!

Things you can do to feel more confident sight-reading at our first rehearsal:

  • Print out your music!
  • Mental Practice/Preparation: Listen to the recordings to hear what the pieces sound like…even better if you can follow along with the music.
  • Find out what key each piece is in and try to play a scale in that key.
  • Look for anything you don’t recognize or might have a question about in rehearsal or with your private teacher.

I’ll see you on Monday evening!

Mrs. Ewing (You-ing)

Some helpful tools:


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