Debut String Orchestra

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.

Sample of Debut String Orchestra:

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

9/15/2019 – Welcome to the DEBUT Orchestra of BYSO!

Debut Practice Schedule Fall 2019 and Debut Orchestra Expectations

Hello! My name is Mrs. Ewing and I am your conductor (contact me at I look forward to seeing new and familiar faces at our first rehearsal.

  • Our Debut page on the website is where you will find important updates about our rehearsals, seating auditions, retreats, and concerts (if you’re reading this, you found it!).
  • Students will be given a hard copy of the schedule and expectations to keep in their orchestra folders. Please make a note of important dates now so that students are prepared to attend.
  • Thank you and I look forward to seeing everyone on Monday, September 16th!

BRING A STAND TO REHEARSAL EACH WEEK. Students will receive a folder, pencil and music at their first rehearsal.

Mrs. Mollie Ewing
Conductor, Debut Orchestra


  • Thank you for your help with set-up and breakdown each week. With 90 students, there are a lot of things to move and your help is invaluable! As they say, “Many hands make light work!”
  • Please check your student’s calendar and make a note of the Fall Retreat and our two performances. If students need to miss a rehearsal or performance, please use the link on to submit the absence. This information comes directly to me and allows me to prepare for our rehearsals/performances.
  • Please make sure your student is coming prepared to rehearsal with a stand, their music, a pencil, and their instrument. Coming prepared also means they have practiced the material and taken it to their private teachers for assistance on difficult sections.
  • Thank you for supporting our program and for your student’s participation! I am so lucky to have such a wonderful orchestra!!

Repertoire for Fall 2019:
Hansel and Gretel by E. Humperdinck (arr. Gruselle)
Symphony No. 2 (similar recording, but for full orch)- Finale by P. Tchaikovsky (arr. Dackow)
Postcards from Russia, Traditional, (arr. Gruselle)


Have a great break! See you in the Fall!



I hope to see you at the Garden Party today at Bellevue Botanical Gardens! It’s beautiful and you’ll see a few of our Debut members performing around the garden (Rafael R. from our 2nd violin section and Lydia B. from our viola section!). I’ll be there, stop and say, “Hi!”

  • Our final rehearsal is tomorrow and our concert is in ONE WEEK!

Concert Information:

When: Sunday, May 12, 2019 (Mother’s Day!)

Debut Arrival: 12:50 PM **We’ll be taking a group photo at this time, so look your best!

Location: Renton IKEA PAC: 400 S 2nd St, Renton, WA 98057

Groups Performing: Cadet and Debut

  • Students need to arrive at 12:50 PM in concert attire. Unpack and head for the stage for our on-stage warm-up. This is our only time to warm-up and is critical for finding our seats and adjusting to the very different sound of the stage vs. gym.
  • Doors open for parents at 1:50 PM, concert starts at 2:00 PM.

Concert Attire:

  • Females: Black pants or skirt to the mid-calf or longer, tucked in white blouse with sleeves, black shoes and black socks or black hose.
  • Males: Black pants, tucked in white shirt with sleeves, black shoes, black socks, and a black bow tie. *We have bowties available for purchase if needed for $5.


Seating Auditions: Monday, 4/15/2019

Students will perform the selected spots for their coach at the rehearsal on 4/15. Please prepare all spots listed so you are ready for the audition. There are no make-ups for a missed audition. Please let me know in advance if you will miss the auditions. Students who miss will be placed at the back of the section.


Hello Debut Musicians,

Nice work at the concert! I heard some really great feedback about our pieces and I’m excited to hear what you thought and what your family and friends thought. Constructive comments are always helpful as well, it helps us grow! Looking forward to talking it through on Monday.

We begin our final session of the year on Monday, 3/18! A few reminders to make everything go smoothly:

  •  Debut Practice Schedule Spring 2019
  • Bring your stand
  • Arrive by 6:15pm
  • Sign-in when you arrive
  • See the new seating chart (this will be temporary, we’ll have seating auditions on 4/15)
  • Be prepared for new music!
  • We finish at 8:15pm.

For new members and a reminder for our continuing members: Debut Orchestra Expectations


Happy New Year, Debut Musicians!

Our first rehearsal of the Winter Session is Monday, January 7th in the Sherwood Forest Elementary Gym. Students should arrive at each rehearsal by 6:15pm to check-in, get tuned, and find a seat. We finish at 8:15pm. Remember to BRING A STAND to rehearsal each week.

Debut Practice Schedule Winter 2019

For new members only: Please bring a stand and check in at the podium when you arrive. I will have folders with music, a pencil, and the schedule (electronic copy posted above) and can help guide you to your section.  Please review this document so you understand the expectations for a member of the Debut Orchestra: Debut Orchestra Expectations

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