Flute Orchestra

Rehearsals will be held on Monday evenings from 6:30 – 8:30 pm. Musicians are expected to arrive and be prepared to rehearse 15 minutes prior to start time.


The 2022-23 Season wrapped up with a marvelous Spring Concert series at Bellevue’s Meydenbauer Theatre! Concert video links will be sent out to all families of enrolled students as soon as they are available.

In the meantime, take a look at the When and How to Audition page for information about how to audition for our 2023-24 Season.


The Fall 2023 Parents Meeting will be held on Monday, September 23. More details will be emailed to all enrolled families in September, along with full calendar dates and venue locations.

Rehearsals Fall Quarter Dates
Mondays from 6:30 – 8:30 pm Rehearsals begin on Monday, September 25
Rehearsal Location Drop Off/ Pick Up
TBD Parking lot and street parking are available. Plan
on prompt drop off and pick up to avoid
Retreat Fall & Winter Quarters Only
The next BYSO retreats will be
held in the 2023-24 Season.
Spring Concert | TBA Time & Date TBA
Meydenbauer Theatre Call time and more info will be posted here
11100 NE 6th St closer to the concert.
Bellevue, WA 98004

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!


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

Thanks to EVERYONE for a fantastic year!  <3 🙂

Scroll to end for latest message.


May 27:  Voliere & The Bird Song (noon – 2 pm @ Bellevue Botanical Gardens); it’s a free event for everyone!  So please invite family / friends / teachers – everyone!  Performances happen between noon and 2 pm, and our performance will be at/near the end. There are seats available for audience members.


PART 3 of my Bird Stories:

I don’t know why I have that irrational fear of birds – and I probably will always ‘duck’ when they fly near me, and walk away from pigeons and sea gulls …  but I can ‘make friends’ with my discomfort.   Which is one of the reasons I used the pandemic shut down to make our backyard a certified sanctuary for wildlife.  Not only is it helpful to our environment, it allowed me to make peace with our feathered friends.

Nervousness / Performance Anxiety is another instance where it’s probably not possible to overcome it entirely – NOR DO YOU WANT TO!  A bit of nervousness and heightened awareness actually can help us perform better!  But you can ‘make friends’ with this feeling.  You have to do the work (just like I consulted experts, planted native species that provided shelter and food year round for the birds, created a pollinator garden, and made sure there was a constant water supply, etc.).

But the work we do as musicians means we don’t learn a piece until we don’t make any mistakes, but we learn it so well, we can’t make any mistakes.  We memorize it.  We understand the theory, form, and intent of the composer; we’ve practiced it forward/backward/inside and out and have the music in our muscle memory.  We can hum or sing the part and have it firmly in our aural memory. We can share the meaning of the notes and tell a musical story.

“An amateur practices until they get it right; a professional practices until they can’t get it wrong.” 

So practice diligently – then Welcome the nerves on performance day – don’t be scared of them! Accept that they are a natural part of performing, and if you have done your work well, they are there to help you! 🙂

Ultimately, most of us will never have a “perfect” performance – and we don’t really need to – as long as we give a compelling performance – one that is meaningful to ourselves as musicians as well as the audience listening.

I am looking forward to an outstanding performance on Monday!  Congratulations to all of you on your hard work and dedication!  THANK YOU!


Hello flutists and families!

What a fantastic concert – thank you!  It was the perfect ending to a wonderful year of music-making and learning with all of you!  Congratulations on all that you have achieved!  It’s been very fun and rewarding working with all of you and I’ll miss our time together.

I hope you have a wonderful summer – and don’t let too much dust settle on your flutes. 😉   There is plenty of music on FluteTunes and IMSLP to keep you busy if you get bored – even duets and trios!  I encourage you to meet up with flute friends and make music together!

Someone asked for the picture I took on concert day … so I’ve emailed that – and included a snapshot of the FB post to Gareth (the composer).  BYSO’s social media has a few more pictures, too.


If you’re playing on Saturday at the Garden Party – let’s make a rainbow for our concert attire.  … so black pants/shoes … but a solid, brightly colored top  (Red – Orange – Yellow – Green – Blue – Purple).  No white or black shirts.  Bring your BYSO sweatshirts, just in case it’s not very warm.   If you are performing and haven’t been getting the BYSO emails about this event – please let me know.  (oh – and Voliere will be faster!  MM = 120/eighth note 😊)


OK – Thanks for your dedication, hard work, and enthusiasm.  THANKS FOR A FANTASTIC SEASON!   I am so very proud of all that you have accomplished!

Wishing you all the best!

OH – AND don’t forget that students 16 years and younger can always attend Seattle Philharmonic concerts for free – and here’s the discount code for anyone that needs to buy a ticket.  It would be wonderful to see you in the audience!  Our next concert is June 3rd at 2 pm at Benaroya Hall.

SPOFRIENDS is the discount promo code – just apply it in the box on the top right corner of the ticket sales page and you will see the special $15 ticket price.

Dr. Sandra Saathoff, DMA

Performing Artist-Pedagogue

Saathoff Flute Studio (sandrasaathoff.com)


Flute Orchestra – Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra (byso.org)

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