Flute 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.
  • Music for the Holiday Flute Tour: Fall Quarter 2023 Music. The password was sent at to all enrolled families in the newsletter on September 21, 2023 at 4:00 pm.
  • Click here for Conductor’s Messages

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.


Rehearsals Winter Quarter Dates
Mondays from 6:30 – 8:30 pm  Rehearsals begin on Monday, January 8
Rehearsal Location Drop Off/ Pick Up
Odle Middle School A parking lot is available. Plan
502 143 Ave NE on prompt drop off and pick up to avoid
Bellevue, WA 98007 congestion.
Flute Holiday Tour Rehearsal Holiday Tour Rehearsal Location
Monday, November 27 North Bellevue Community Center
6:45 pm – 8:15 pm 4063 148th Ave NE
Bellevue, WA 98007
Winter Concert Time & Date
Meydenbauer Theatre Saturday, March 16 @ 7:00pm
11100 NE 6th St Call times and more information will be
Bellevue, WA 98004 posted here.

Student Checklist

  • Bring a music stand
  • Bring a pencil
  • 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, some of these students may 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.

Recent Flute Orchestra Performance

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

Please check this page each WEDNESDAY and SUNDAY!

Hello flutists!

Thanks for a great rehearsal on Monday!  I wish we had longer to rehearse each piece, but I thought in general it went very well!

If anyone wants more help, you can record a section of a piece and send it to me and I’ll do my best to listen to it and provide some feedback.  (be sure to record with a metronome clicking)

*** PRO TIP: For the pieces that have 3 pages – please arrange your music so there are NO PAGE TURNS while you need to be playing – you can tape the 3rd page (then fold it in)  ***  Also, write a note on the 1st page that says to open all 3 pages 🙂

In general, it would be great if our pieces had more accuracy – especially learning the correct notes.  Practice slowly, and mark reminders in your music diligently.

  •      Check to make sure you are playing in the correct key signature  – circle ALL Key Signature CHANGES.  Remember that accidentals last the entire measure (unless changed).  Add b / # reminders to the ends of measures to help keep track during the difficult sections.
  •      Don’t forget to tongue and slur accurately.  Make sure you practice difficult sections SLOWLY to insure all the pieces are in place (notes / rhythm / articulation / dynamics / intonation). Then gradually increase the tempo, if necessary.
  •      Keep the notes well-articulated and shorter, so we don’t sound so mushy.  And remember to spend time on those exposed melodic parts.  

THANKS for your attention to all the details!  (and don’t get me started on DyNaMiCs 😊 ) See the end of this page for more practice tips.

*** For those that need it, I have 2 new different copies of Flute 3 (We Need a Little Christmas) as well as the score.  Please let me know if you need a copy. (they were emailed to FO flutists earlier this week.)

We’ll sound amazingly awesome by our 3rd performance 😊  – so be sure to encourage your family and friends to come listen to us at the Botanical Gardens. It’s a beautiful and fun venue!

I look forward to seeing you between 12:25 and 12:30 pm on Sunday!



If you would like to play alto and/or bass for Winter or Spring – please let me know this week!  I would like to take volunteers first, before making part assignments.



Due to personnel changes, I need to make some changes to the remaining rotation schedule of Flute Orchestra flutists rotating into Philharmonia and Youth for a concert cycle.

Please check for your email for updated rotation schedule.



  1. BYSO hoodie sweatshirt (newest one)
  2. Black pants (jeans/slacks/cargoes/slacks/corduroys are all OK) – do not wear sweats or leggings.
  3. Bring fingerless gloves and jacket for our outdoor performance – standing and playing a concert for 45 minutes is very different than walking around – you need to stay warm 🙂   If you have a Win-D-Fender – please bring and use that, too!
  4. Shoes – must be All black and comfortable – this will be the only concert where it is OK to wear sneakers – but the shoes, including the laces, all must be black.
  5. Please wear festive accessories – decorate yourself, your instrument, and your music stand with lights – ornaments – garland – reindeer antlers – scarves – stocking caps – etc.  We want to look festive and happy and enthusiastic with winter / holiday accessories.
  6. Mark everything with your name!  I always find something left behind in each venue – and we need to know who to return it to!


Lastly, don’t forget to check this FO ensemble webpage for the latest updates this week.   Thanks for all your enthusiasm and hard work!


Caroling Tour music (confirmed), please arrange music in this order, with no page turns (if possible):

  1. Jingle Bell Rock (conducted by MSP) – this piece has quite a few tricky moments – and exposed “soli” sections.  Please be prepared!
  2. We Need a Little Christmas (conducted by MSP) PRACTICE extra (check your key signatures!) 🙂
  3. Louke –  #4 #2, and #9 (set #1)  and
  4. Louke – #3 and #5 (set #2)  (conducted by MSP) (you can remove the Louke tunes we are not playing)
  5. Let it Snow (conducted by MSP).  FC exits the stage. 
  6. FO/Phil/Youth only – Chacojqui (Latin Nutcracker medley) (conducted by SS)
  7. FO/Youth/Phil only – Cartoon Symphony (conducted by SS) – Youth/Phil flutes – if you did not get a part assignment, choose the same part as you were assigned for Handel’s Messiah (though we are not playing that piece)
  8. FC returns, everyone arranges themselves by part for God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – (conducted by SS)                  PRACTICE extra 🙂  This piece is tough!
  9. Santa Symphony medley  (conducted by SS) Be sure to play all the melody parts and famous “quotes” of pieces loudly
  10. Sleigh Ride (conducted by SS)

Pieces #1, 2, 5, and 10 need the most work from everyone.  THANKS!

Best wishes,


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


Practice Idea:

Consider “Sandwich” practice…. Perhaps a PB & J sandwich? 😊 …. The layers of bread would be a complete performance run-through of the piece  – and the peanut butter and jelly (or whatever sandwich fillings are your favorite) are the sections that need to be ‘woodshed’ or more intensely practiced.  So for each piece:

  1. BREAD:  performance run-through – count out all the rests (though extended measures of rest could be trimmed to just one measure).  No do-overs/stops.  Use a metronome.  (this run-through could be under tempo, if needed)
  2. Mark the areas where you were unsure or fumbled your way through.
  3. Using a tuner and a metronome as practice tools, Woodshed 2- 3 of these problem areas (Peanut butter, Jelly, and  ???? 😊); some techniques include:
    1. Practicing slowly and gradually increasing the tempo – in small sections (2-4 measures)
    2. Writing in the counting, then clapping and counting out loud the rhythm
    3. Changing articulations (all slurred / all tongued /etc.)
    4. Changing the rhythm (long-short (dotted eighth/sixteenth) … and short-long (16th/dotted 8th)) to help untangle fingers in a 16th note sequence (run)
    5. Practicing in 1 beat (plus the next downbeat) chunks
    6. Practicing “Backwards” …. Count 4 (and the following count 1); then Count 3 and 4 (plus next downbeat-the following count 1); then Count 2, 3 and 4; then Count 1, 2, 3 and 4.
    7. “Bop” it
    8. Play slowly and make sure you can play each note in tune, with a beautiful tone.
    9. Don’t forget about accuracy of articulations (accents / staccatos, etc.) as well as DyNaMiCs.  There should be contrasts!

4. End your practice of each piece with another piece of BREAD: a performance run-through.  Again, with no-stops/do-overs, conveying the mood of the piece.  Notice the areas that you woodshedded … did they improve?

5. When you practice the next day – just practice the tough spots in each piece.  Continue alternating “sandwich practice” and “tough spots” until our rehearsal on Nov. 27th.

6. Take your music to your private teachers and get their advice on any of the difficult sections, and to confirm you are playing correct rhythms.

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