Debut String Orchestra

  • Winter Quarter music will be available via PDF download by Friday, January 5. Instructions on how to download music will be sent via email to all enrolled BYSO students.
  • Click here for Conductor’s Messages

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 Winter Quarter Dates
Mondays from 6:45 – 8:15 pm Rehearsals begin on Monday, January 8
Rehearsal Location Drop Off/ Pick Up
Lake Washington High School Parking in the school parking lot is available.
12033 NE 80th St Plan on prompt drop off and pick up to avoid
Kirkland, WA 98033 congestion. *See below for more details.
Retreat Winter Retreat Location
Saturday, February 10 Odle Middle School
12:30pm – 3:30pm 502 143 Ave NE
Bellevue, WA 98007
Winter Concert Time & Date
Meydenbauer Theatre Saturday, March 16 @ 3:00pm
11100 NE 6th St Call times and more important information
Bellevue, WA 98004 will be posted here.

Student Checklist

  • Bring a music stand
  • Bring a pencil
  • Bring a water bottle
  • 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!

Drop Off & Pick Up Details

All arriving students will enter Lake Washington High School via the Performance Center doors (see map). If your student needs extra support walking to the entry doors, please park in the lot. No parking or idling in the drop-off zone.

All departing students will leave LWHS via the main entry doors (see map). Parents/guardians, please pick up your students outside the main entry way. BYSO staff will be there to help facilitate pick up.

All parents & guardians of Cadet & Debut students are highly encouraged to sign up to be a Cadet Pick Up Monitor and/or a Debut Pick Up Monitor. These volunteers chaperone students who are waiting for pick up, help students find their parents/guardians, and support BYSO staff in maintaining student safety after rehearsal. This is especially critical during the dark Fall & Winter months. 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.

Recent Debut String Ensemble Performance

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

Updated 11/13/2023….(11/5/2023)

Guess what?! We have ONE rehearsals left and then it’s CONCERT TIME!

  • Concert this Saturday, 11/18 at 3:00PM
  • Students need to arrive at 2:00PM (call time) for our final rehearsal on stage!
  • Uniform: Be sure to check ensemble’s concert attire requirements. Let’s look sharp for this concert!
  • Goals: Eyes up to stay with the conductor, match bows with your section, look and sound good!


  • Dress in your ensemble’s concert attire
  • Bring your instrument
  • Bring your music
  • Bring a pencil
  • Bring a water bottle
  • Do not bring a music stand


Students received their audition spots from their coaches at sectionals during our rehearsal on 10/9.

Mark your calendars! Retreat & Seating Audition Information:

  • Our retreat will be at Odle Middle School on Saturday, 10/21 from 12:30-3:30pm
    • Retreats are NOT optional. Please submit an absence report if your student will not be attending or if they are coming late/leaving early. We will rehearse, play games, and have sectionals in preparation for seating auditions.
  • We will hold seating auditions on Monday, 10/23
    • Seating auditions are NOT optional. If you miss the auditions, you will be placed at the end of your section

During seating auditions, coaches will listen to students individually to help place students in the section. The coaches and I are looking for students who have shown mastery on their parts (posture/technique, bowing, intonation, rhythmic accuracy, expression), and also students who have demonstrated good preparation each week and strong rehearsal etiquette.

Violin 1:
*Updated Parts (please mark your parts):Fingals-Rock-Vln-1, Ancient-Flower-Vln-1, Vanguard-Vln-1

Fingal’s Rock: mm. 1-16 (quarter note = 100)
Ancient Flower: pick-up to m. 18-36 (quarter note = 69)
Vanguard Overture: none (quarter note = 112)

Violin 2:
Fingal’s Rock: m. 17-26 (quarter note = 100)
Ancient Flower: none (quarter note = 69)
Vanguard: mm. 64-72 (quarter note = 112)

Viola: updated 10/16
Fingal’s Rock: m. 1-23 (quarter note = 100)
Ancient Flower: mm. 37-55 (quarter note = 69)
Vanguard: mm. 64-77 (quarter note = 112)

Fingal’s Rock: mm. 13-26 (quarter note = 100)
Ancient Flower: mm. 22-36 (quarter note = 69)
Vanguard: none (quarter note = 112)

Bass: updated 10/16
Fingal’s Rock: mm.17-26 and 54-65 (quarter note = 100)
Ancient Flower: none (quarter note = 69)
Vanguard: mm. 5-13 (quarter note = 112)


At the next rehearsal (10/9), you will be receiving our seating audition spots. These will be selected by your coach. Seating auditions will take place during rehearsal on 10/23. Remember, it’s how well you play the spots, but also, how prepared you are in rehearsals.

How can you prepare?

Each week, ask yourself:

  • How is my posture, position and rehearsal etiquette throughout rehearsal?
  • Am I watching the conductor?
  • Am I listening to my section?
  • Did I mark up my music when the conductor or coach gave bowings/fingerings?

And then…PRACTICE!

Listening for inspiration and support on your part:


We will meet in our large rehearsal space at 6:45 pm and then break into sectionals with coaches from 7:00-7:45pm. Everyone should bring a pencil. Violin 1, Violin 2, and Violas should bring music stands to use in their sectionals. Cello/Bass will be using the school’s stands.


Please read the message (below) from 9/18. Here are two additional updates from after our parent meeting:

  • Music links were sent to emails yesterday, 9/21 (around 4:15pm). Please print it for our first rehearsal.
  • Please have your student bring a portable stand to rehearsal (marked with a name). We will be using them for sectionals over the next few weeks.

Updated on 9/18/2023

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!

Please plan 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.

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 (below) to hear what the pieces sound like…even better if you can follow along with the music. You are NOT expected to know your music perfectly the first night!
  • 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 and ask about them in rehearsal or with your private teacher.

Songs for Fall 2023:

Next up:

  • September 25 – First Rehearsal!
  • October 23 – Seating Auditions

See you on 9/25/23!

Mrs. Ewing

Some helpful tools:


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