Flute 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.


Combined Flute Ensemble Holiday Tour

This year Flute Choir and Flute Orchestra will be combining for a small holiday tour. This is a BYSO tradition that we are very excited to bring back!

Tour Rehearsal Rehearsal Date
Monday from 7:00 – 8:30 pm November 28
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
BellevueWA 98004 idling or parking in front of the entrance.
Tour Details Sunday, December 4 | 11:45am – 7:30pm
Aegis Senior Living of Mercer Island More information can be found by clicking HERE
Crossroads Mall
& Bellevue Botanical Gardens

Student Checklist

  • Bring a music stand
  • Bring a pencil
  • Bring your completed Release forms to first rehearsal (TOUR SCHEDULE AND RELEASE FORMS)
  • Print your sheet music prior to first rehearsal (using link at top of this page) and bring with you to rehearsal
  • Have fun!


Rehearsals Fall Quarter Dates
Mondays from 6:30 – 8:30 pm September 26 – November 14, 2022
Rehearsal Location Drop Off/ Pick Up
Lake Washington High School Parking lot and street parking are available. Plan
12033 NE 80th St on prompt drop off and pick up to avoid
Kirkland, WA 98033 congestion.
Fall Retreat Saturday, October 8 | 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Location Drop Off/Pick Up
Lake Washington High School Parking lot and street parking are available. Plan
12033 NE 80th St on prompt drop off and pick up to avoid
Kirkland, WA 98033 congestion.
Fall Concert | Overture Sunday, November 20 at 2:00 pm
Bastyr Chapel Call time is 12:15 pm. Parking is free at the venue.
14500 Juanita Dr NE Check below for more details.
Kenmore, WA 98028

Student Checklist

  • Bring a pencil
  • Do not bring a music stand
  • 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.


Flute Orchestra is an advanced ensemble for flutes. Flute Orchestra consists of BYSO flutists who were placed at the Philharmonia level after auditioning. Because orchestras need only a few flutes at a time, these students take turns playing in Philharmonia during the year while also practicing and performing in the Flute Orchestra ensemble. The typical Flute Orchestra student has had several years of private instruction and substantial ensemble experience and is highly skilled on his or her instrument.

Flute Orchestra students prepare challenging music encompassing the entire flute family: piccolo, traditional C flute, alto, and bass. Flute Orchestra is a dynamic group where students can develop ensemble and specific flute-related skills in an enjoyable and rewarding setting. Past works performed include Camuglia’s La Danse de la Nuit, De Bosismortier’s Concerto in A for Five Flutes, and Bozza’s Jour d’été à la Montagne.

Conductor: Dr. Sandra Saathoff

Dr. Sandra Saathoff is a freelance flutist, clinician, and principal flute of the Seattle Philharmonic. She helped launch a nonprofit organization, Silver Flight Ensembles and Foundation, dedicated to helping student flutists, and currently conducts the Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra's flute ensemble. A published author and music arranger, she has also performed and taught throughout the United States and Europe. Dr. Saathoff has served as Assistant Program Chair, Secretary, Convention Manager, and on the Long-Range Strategic Planning Committee for the National Flute Association; as well as President, VP, and Newsletter Editor for the Seattle Flute Society. Learn more.

Contact Dr. Sandra Saathoff at flutes@byso.org

Messages from the Conductor

Congratulations on a FANTASTIC concert!  BRAVO!

Thanks FO for 100% permission forms returned.  FC – there are still a few of you needing to complete and submit your forms.  Please take care of this ASAP.  THANKS!    And MANY thanks to the parents who have volunteered as chaperones!  We SO APPRECIATE your help!

*** *** ***

Greetings Flutists and Families!

Reminders: Caroling tour on December 4th:

  • Be sure to have fingerless gloves so you can play more comfortably outside.
  • Also – consider getting this:  it is great for marching band AND Any outdoor playing you may do: Win D Fender  https://www.flute4u.com/Instrument-Accessories/Win-D-Fender.html
  • You WILL need a MUSIC STAND for the caroling tour. Please mark this and your flute case with your name. Either a portable folding stand or the Manhasset type – whatever you want to carry.
  • Bring Mask and Vaccination cards (or photo/electronic copy of Covid vaccinations)
  • Be sure to turn in your forms!
  • During the tour – check in with Dr. Sandy or Executive Director, Kevin Vortmann – before getting on a bus, so our attendance is accurate for each leg of the tour.

PERFORMANCE order for Sunday, December 4th: 

Please put your music in a folder/binder so it doesn’t fall off your stand, and arrange in this order (and avoid page turns). 🙂

We WILL NOT play Sleigh Ride. There will be a different selection of tunes for each venue – so please listen carefully to know which tune will happen next.  We will always play the tunes in this order – but we’re likely to leave out several at each concert. 

Set up: arrange yourselves at the beginning for “Carol of the Bells”

    1. Ashokan Farewell (only at Retirement home)
    2. #1 Oh, Come All Ye Faithful
    3. #2 Joy to the World (this will be the first tune at Crossroads Mall)
    4. #3 Oh Hanukah
    5. Renaissance Noel – PataPan
    6. Carol of the Bells – after this, rearrange yourselves for Silent Night
    7. Silent Night – (On divisi sections (multiple notes at once): FC play upper notes; while FO and Alto/Bass flutes play lower notes)
    8. Nutcracker small group – Danse de la Mirlitons (Retirement Home only) – small group walk to front and stand to play (in front of the large group, if possible)
    9. Renaissance Noel – Good King Wenceslas
    10. #5 I Have a Little Dreidel
    11. #7 Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
    12. #9 Jingle Bells
    13. Renaissance Noel – What Child is This –  after this, rearrange yourselves for All I Want for Christmas is You
    14. All I Want for Christmas is You –  after this, rearrange yourselves for the Nutcracker (FC stands in the back or along the sides, behind FO/Youth)
    15. Nutcracker – Flute Orchestra and Youth – March
    16. Nutcracker – Flute Orchestra and Youth – Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
    17. #11 Angels We Have Heard on High
    18. #12 We Wish You a Merry Christmas

PERFORMANCE ATTIRE:  BYSO Sweatshirts, black pants (skirts are OK) and black shoes  –  with Seasonal Accessories (scarves, lights, jewelry, antlers, hats, garland, etc. – BE FESTIVE!).  Our last performance is outside – so you’ll want to dress warmly!

You can decorate your music stands, too! 🙂

* * * Be on the lookout for an email with a link to recordings you can practice along with! * * https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5c5yotbmkqmwxa2/AADPeNrBu7Y5zzk9jPKyrLWHa?dl=0

Rehearsal Priorities

Dedicate yourselves to Ensembleship – each rehearsal deserves your highest level of musicianship, shared with your peers


CAROLING TOUR/HOLIDAY MUSIC Practice SuggestionHappy practicing!

Pick 5 spots/measures that are difficult each day that you practice; practice each measure slowly all tongued / all slurred / as written; – with a metronome clicking each 8th note.  Increase the metronome speed by 5 notches and practice the same 5 spots again (all tongued / all slurred / as written).   Increase the metronome by 5 more clicks and repeat the spots again.

In addition to accuracy – strive for beautiful tone with accurate intonation.  Be sure to practice with the correct dynamics, too!  Practice Makes PERMANENT – so we want to be sure we’re doing ALL the correct things EVERY time we play.  Pick SLOW tempos to start with to make sure you are accurate.

You must practice playing everything for band, BYSO, and your lessons IN TUNEAn Out-of-Tune note IS a WRONG note. Use your tuner often – and memorize what it FEELS like and SOUNDS like to play “in-tune”.

Use the Practice Recordings to improve your – rhythm / tempo / style  – trying to sound like ONE GIANT FLUTE!


Oh, Hanukah and I Have a Little Dreidel –  arranged by Phyllis Louke
Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday, observed for eight nights and days, also known as the Festival of Lights. Oh Hanukah is a popular modern children’s Hanukah song, which celebrates the dancing of the Horah, spinning Dreidels (shining tops). eating latkes, lighting the candles, and singing holiday tunes. I Have a Little Dreidel again describes the fun had when
playing the Dreidel game, involving a 4-sided spinning top.

Three Pieces from Renaissance Noel – Traditional, arranged by Catherine McMichael
▪ “Pat a Pan” – This French carol was first published in Noël bourguignons by Bernard de La Monnoye (1641–1728) in 1720. It has been recorded by Bing Crosby (1962), Julie Andrews (1982), and Mannheim Steamroller (1995). The title reflects the onomatopoetic nature of the lyrics which reference drums and flutes, and is arranged in the Renaissance style.
▪ “What Child is This”
▪ “Good King Wenceslas”
– “Good King Wenceslas” and “What Child is This” are two additional arrangements from Renaissance Noel. Major and minor scales, the building blocks of most music we are accustomed to hearing today, swam out of a rich sea of tonalities called “modes,” which evolved slowly from 800 to 1650 A.D. Modes are like scales in that they use seven tones (do-re-mi-fa-sol-la-ti), but the arrangement of half steps and whole steps between each tone is slightly different.
That subtle difference is what gives early music its pungent, intriguingly foreign quality. Modes were used in monasteries and abbeys for chant and service singing. As church music moved from simple single line chant to two-part singing to many voice motets, the harmonies those counter-melodies made gave Renaissance carols a distinctively lovely and unique sound. These new arrangements of old carols incorporate that progression of simplicity to complex, and use
modal colors in melodies, harmonies and cadences, to invite your listeners to savor the long-ago but not forgotten sounds of a Renaissance Noel.

What Child Is This? is a popular Christmas carol with lyrics written in 1865. At the age of
29, English writer William Chatterton Dix was struck with a sudden near-fatal illness and confined to bedrest for several months, during he wrote many hymns, including this one, set to the traditional English tune Greensleeves. Greensleeves has been a well-known English folk tune since it was first published in 1580.

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker Suite – Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 – 1893) (Flute Orchestra only) arranged by Michael Axtell
This selection is from a set of eight danses caractéristiques which Tchaikovsky premiered before the complete ballet was performed and forms The Nutcracker Suite, Op. 71a, which is intended for concert performance. These character dances were designed to introduce us to ambassadors from various lands, showcasing their cultures. The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy was originally written to feature a new instrument of the time – the celesta – a keyboard instrument whose
strings are hit by hammers, producing a very soft, bell-like sound, which set the stage for the Sugar Plum Fairy and her friends to welcome young Clara to the Kingdom of Sweets. This suite was first performed under the composer’s direction on March 19, 1892 in St. Petersburg and became an instant hit, unlike the complete ballet which did not begin to achieve its great popularity until the 1960’s when George Balanchine staged it in New York City. The complete ballet was an adaptation of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King”.


Carol of the Bells – A Fantasie on the Ukranian Carol  – Traditional Ukranian – arranged by Eugene Magalif
This work is also known as the Ukrainian Bell Carol and is originally a choral miniature composed by the Ukrainian composer and orthodox priest Mykola Dmytrovych Leontovych. Throughout the piece, a 4 note motif is used as an ostinato and was taken from an ancient pagan Ukrainian New Year’s chant known as “Shchedryk”. The original work was intended to be sung a cappella. It was premiered in December of 1916 by students at the Kiev University and was introduced to Western audiences by the Ukrainian National Chorus during its concert tour in 1921 at Carnegie Hall.

I hope you have a fantastic experience!  Please let me know if you have any questions.

Happy Fluting!

(__( O )_____]]_o o_O_O_O O O_O_O_O_]d’ O_O_O_)


Dr. Sandra Saathoff

BYSO Flute Orchestra Conductor

“I do not consider myself as having mastered the flute, but I get a real kick out of trying.”                     ~ Sir James Galway


 Please Listen!

Silent Night  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iZGh91-v7Y
by Franz Gruber (1787 – 1863); arranged by Ann Cameron Pearce
On Christmas Eve in 1818 the carol Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht was first heard in a village church in Oberndorf, Austria. The original lyrics were written in German by the Austrian priest, Father Josef Mohr and the melody was composed and played on guitar by the Austrian school teacher, Franz Xaver Gruber.

All I Want for Christmas is You https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vun4h9brZlE&feature=emb_logo
by Mariah Carey (b. 1970) and Walter Afanasieff (b. 1958); arranged by Kate Agioritis
In the years since its original release in 1994, “All I Want for Christmas Is You” has been critically acclaimed; it was once called “one of the few worthy modern additions to the holiday canon” in The New Yorker. “Carey’s masterpiece is an incredible feat of philosophical subterfuge. Christmas is a time of material and affection-based excess, yet the song is narrowly focused on just one thing: getting to be with a specific person;
you. It rejects the idea of love in general in favor of love in particular, simultaneously defying and defining popmusic conventions. With more economy of expression and undoubtedly catchier lyrics, ‘Want’ is a sort of Hegelian dialectic of Christmastime desire, taking the conflicting notions of abundance and specificity and packaging them into an earworm for the generations.” —Emma Green, The Atlantic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=32&v=9MfmLyvPMlI  Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy (orch.)
https://soundcloud.com/search?q=nutcracker%20axtell Nutcracker Suite (our version, for flute ensemble)

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