Flute Choir/Flute Orchestra Online

Winter 2021 Program

Flute Choir/Flute Orchestra Online rehearsals are held on Monday evenings via Zoom. Musicians are expected to be prepared and logged in to rehearsal 15 minutes prior to start time. Cameras must be kept ON for the entire duration of the rehearsal session.

Director: Sandy Saathoff

Rehearsal Time: 7:30-8:45 PM


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: Sandra Saathoff

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. Sandra 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 Sandra Saathoff at flutes@byso.org

Messages from the Conductor

Hi all!

Goodness – it’s our final 2 weeks of rehearsals!

*** We made a technology breakthrough after rehearsal last night … if you are using a pair of headphones that has a microphone, you have to tell Upbeat to use your computer (or USB) microphone instead.   After you enter your name and the part you are playing – there’s a place on the next screen to choose which microphone to use.  (Do not choose your headphone microphone 🙂 )

*** ALSO – when practicing / recording – focus on matching with the METRONOME CLICK (not necessarily what you hear being played).

*** Really analyze your rhythmic subdivisions this week!  Are you rushing or slowing down your 16th notes?  (You can set your metronome to twice as fast as marked and make sure every-other-note lands on a click.)

Here’s everything you need to know for the next 2 weeks in BYSO:

WOW!  I am so impressed with everyone’s recordings!  95% of us had all the correct notes and rhythms learned – woo hoo!    Congratulations on all your hard work so far!  Way to go! 🙂

You should have received some feedback about your recordings – and I really appreciate those who replied with a thank you (and made me smile!)  – I skipped out on working on one of my school assignments to get that done, so I am hoping it was worthwhile 🙂   (I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a 0 on school-work before!)

I am looking forward to adding the polish and musicality.   Each of our pieces is descriptive – describing a location, or person, or a story/legend.   Let’s try to bring those aspects to life!


NOTE: if you are unable to make a recording, you must let me know by email.  And if you are ever absent, please complete the online absence form, found on this page.  THANKS!

We’ll have 1 more “practice” recording (due this Saturday); and 2 due dates for our ‘final’ recordings … (and if you are late, I can’t guarantee you will be included in the final videos.)    Recording due dates:

  • March 6th (no later than) 3 pm:  Mixing the Malt (optional); all 3 whistle tunes (everyone); Gaelic Offering – Doubtful Wife (Platinum Posse), and By Kells Waters (everyone)
  • March 13th (no later than) 3 pm:  A Celtic Celebration (everyone), and Gaelic Offering – Rose Cottage (Platinum Posse)

Wear your BYSO concert attire; and if Upbeat doesn’t create good sounding audio for you, we now have the option of you submitting an audio recording (which I can replace with the Upbeat audio – you still have to play with the backing track in headphones, however! – more details later)

REHEARSAL RECORDING:  Due by Saturday 2/27 at 3 pm

Our last “Where are We Now?” recordings in Upbeat Perform.  Use these links, and record the 2 pieces as directed.  Try to incorporate the suggestions from the feedback I emailed to you 🙂

Also, Listen to our recordings in Dropbox, to help you figure out other things to work on and improve.

These 2 recordings are due this Saturday, Feb. 27.


  2. Performance Skills:  centered in screen – can see arms; face; fingers; flute;  freeze at the end with a smile, before turning off recording.

Concentrate on staying with the metronome click as you play


Our current recordings from last week are available in Dropbox.  We did so much better – YEA! Keep up the great work 🙂   Please listen to them! 🙂

  • This is a time to practice performing:  Are you centered on the screen?  Can we see your face and fingers?  Are you standing 2 feet away from the microphone?  Freeze and smile at the end before you turn off the video!  Keep your mind focused on what you are doing and what is coming next – in “performance mode” don’t use any brain bandwidth worrying about what has already happened.  No stopping / no do-overs – practice ‘recovering’  if something doesn’t go as you hoped.

FINAL RECORDING LINKS:                      

  • Here are the links to make the FINAL RECORDINGS … don’t  record unless you are truly ready 🙂
  • If your fingers get tangled, drop out for a beat / measure …. since we’re playing in unison, no one will know!  (But we WILL notice if you keep playing, and the notes don’t line up 🙂 )
  • Due March 6th by 3 pm:
  1. Mixing the Malt (optional) SLOW: https://play.upbeatmusicapp.com/perform/record?id=CDD8FA6D591F8BDF 
  2. Mixing the Malt (optional) MEDIUM: https://play.upbeatmusicapp.com/perform/record?id=FE855AB729D8151E
  3. Mixing the Malt (optional) FAST: https://play.upbeatmusicapp.com/perform/record?id=860A251304F1DD79
  4. Gaelic Offering – Doubtful Wife (Platinum Posse only): https://play.upbeatmusicapp.com/perform/record?id=1E032D56962FCDD7
  5. Morrison’s Jig (add a long E to the end of the tune) – https://play.upbeatmusicapp.com/perform/record?id=65919AFCC1F009D3
  6. Silver Spear (Reel) (add a long F# to the end of the tune) – https://play.upbeatmusicapp.com/perform/record?id=B2CEBD1CF7FDB7C5
  7. Boys of Bluehill (Hornpipe) – https://play.upbeatmusicapp.com/perform/record?id=BA1074DBB20201D3

The rest of the “final” recording links will be released after next week’s rehearsal.

March 1st Rehearsal 

TBD – we might try Upbeat Live!



BASIC and DETAILED Upbeat recording instructions follow:

Basic instructions – it’s really easy!

  • Listen to the .mp3 backing track as you practice and record – try to match pitch and blend.  Use good ensemble skills (long notes are probably not your loudest!) – play with musicality and expression (follow all the marks on the page!)
  • When you are comfortable playing with this recording, it’s time to make your video recording.
  • Click on the “Upbeat Music App” link above (a separate link for each tune).
  • Wear (wired) earphones, enter some basic info, and choose the appropriate microphone,  and follow the online directions.  (you’ll be playing along with the same backing track that you practiced with, as you record. – but provided by Upbeat this time)
  • Be sure to calibrate your recording to the backing track when you are done (just ‘slide’ the image of your recording so it aligns with the backing track.
  • If you aren’t happy with your recording, you are able to record again.  Just send me an email (flutes@byso.org) and let me know which recorded version to use

Step by Step directions are available here: Upbeat Perform Instructions – Google Slides

Wishing you happy and healthy!

Happy Fluting!


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