Philharmonia is an advanced orchestra in the Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra organization. The typical Philharmonia student has had several years of private instruction and substantial ensemble experience and is highly skilled on his or her instrument.

Philharmonia prepares high-level musicians for possible entry into Youth Symphony with challenging full orchestra pieces. Past works performed include Brahms’s Academic Festival Overture, Tchaikovsky’s Slavonic March in Bb Minor, and Mozart’s Symphony No. 35.

Sample of Philharmonia:

Conductor: Joseph Kempisty

Joseph Kempisty holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from The Ohio State University and a Master of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies degree from the University of Washington. He has taught elementary, middle, and high school orchestras in the Midwest as well as in the Bellevue School District, where he was also a school administrator for fourteen years. Learn more.

Contact Joseph Kempisty at

Messages from the Conductor

Congratulations on a great concert and a great season!!!

Thank you for the great performances of Miranda’s Hamilton selections and Dvorak’s final movement from Symphony No. 8!

Congratulations and best wishes to our graduating Seniors!!!

Remember that auditions are in the Fall for next year’s orchestra placement.  Be sure to check the details in the auditions section of this website.  As you prepare your audition, be sure to work not only on the technical details – but also on the musicality and nuance of your pieces (and be sure to practice conveying the musicality the very first time you sight read a piece of music).

Summer Music Institute, July 22-26 2019 (For Sinfonia, Philharmonia, & Youth Symphony level)

An intensive musical experience under the baton of Dr. Teresa Metzger Howe, BYSO’s Music Director and Youth Symphony conductor. This camp has shared focus on chamber music and full orchestra! All students work in instrument sectionals and small chamber ensembles with professional musicians and enjoy elective classes in other musical disciplines.

For the serious teen musician, the Summer Music Institute (SMI) is an excellent way to expand your musical horizons and keep your skills sharp during the break between concert seasons, all in an atmosphere of fun, friendship, and mutual support.

Check out the information on this page to learn more about this fantastic week of music:  BYSO Summer Music Institute

Call for Repertoire Ideas…

If you have a piece in mind that you think Philharmonia should perform next season, please email the details to Mr. Kempisty at

And be sure to look at International Music Score Library Project for other ideas as well.

Performance example for our March concert repertoire:

Here is one no-cost video recording with the conductor Claudio Abbado.  The 1st movement ends just before minute 17 on this video.

Performance examples from our November concert repertoire:

Be sure to listen to recording of our pieces – specifically for style and musicality.  Below are some example recordings that are free online.  Definitely listen to Louis Armstrong’s performances to get a better feel for his swing style with these pieces.

Louis Armstrong and his All Stars band performing “When The Saints Go Marching In” (live performance video):

Louis Armstrong and his All Stars band performing “St. Louis Blues” (audio recording with photos):

Louis Armstrong and his All Stars band performing “Hello Dolly” (live performance video):

Louis Armstrong with the Oliver Nelson Orchestra performing “What a Wonderful World” (with spoken intro by Armstrong):

The Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia (Spain) performing Verdi’s “La Forza Del Destino Overture” with American conductor Lorin Maazel (live performance video):

The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra (South Korea) performing Brahms’ own orchestration of his “Hungarian Dance No. 1” with South Korean conductor 정명훈 Chung Myung-Whun (live performance video):

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