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

Seating Auditions are during rehearsal on Monday, March 25th!

Except for Viola, Cello, and Bass:  Your Seating Auditions will be on Monday, April 1st!


Seating Audition spots for ALL instruments:

  • Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony #8, 4th movement
    Seating audition is letter R to the end.
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton the Musical”, the song “My Shot”
    Seating audition is the Moderate Rock section called “My Shot” measures 56-73.


Please listen to recordings of the Dvorak movement and to recordings of the six songs from Hamilton.  This will help with the musicality and style of these pieces – especially with the Hamilton songs (swing rhythms, etc.).

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):



Call for Repertoire Ideas…

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

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

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