In-Person Rehearsals:
Currently, we are planning for in-person rehearsals following WA State DOH guidelines for schools including:  3 feet of distancing, no shared music stands, mask wearing and wind instrumentalists using bell covers.  We are watching evolving School District and State COVID guidelines and will make changes accordingly. Click here for complete BYSO COVID Policy and Procedures.

Rehearsals/ Performance Fall Quarter Rehearsal Time
Mondays Sept 27 – Nov 15, 2021 6:15 – 8:30 PM
Fall Retreat at Lake WA High School: October 9, 2021 9:00 – 12:00 PM
Fall Concert at Meydenbauer Theatre: November 21, 2021 4:30 PM
Rehearsal Location                                Drop off/ Pick UP
Bellevue Children’s Academy BCA has limited parking, please plan on
14640 NE 24th Street prompt drop-off and pick-up following the
Bellevue, WA 98007 directions on this map to avoid congestion.
Retreat Location (Oct 9th)                 . Drop off/ Pick UP
Lake Washington High School LWHS parking lot and street parking are
12033 NE 80th Street available. Please plan on prompt drop-off
Kirkland, WA 98033 and pick-up to avoid congestion.


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.

Student Checklist:

  • Submit your COVID liability waiver and vaccination status form – click here for form
  • Bring your face mask and bell cover (if applicable)
  • Bring individual music stand (no sharing stands)
  • Print your sheet music prior to first rehearsal (printable pdf’s available on the website)
  • Arrive 15 minutes prior to the start of rehearsal to ensure you are in your chair and ready to play at the start of rehearsalWe will meet the reporting requirements to public health
  • Have fun!

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

Be sure to practice over the week in preparation for our Monday rehearsals!

For Glinka’sRusslan and Ludmilla Overture,” use a metronome at a slower tempo and then gradually increase your tempo.  Our goal is to reach half note = 136.

For the sections from Miranda’sHamilton,” definitely listen to recordings for the two opening swing sections to get the right style and feel (“You’ll Be Back” and “Helpless”).  For the other rhythmic sections, break it down to 16th notes and start at a slower tempo to get every rhythm correct before moving up to a slightly faster tempo (metronome also very helpful!).

If you are interested in exploring other pieces or want to see the full score to Glinka’sRusslan and Ludmilla Overture“, you can find a lot of music there (scores and parts) that is now in the public domain (copyright restrictions have expired).  Check out

Below is a video of Glinka’sRusslan and Ludmilla Overture” performed by the National Youth Orchestra of the USA.  The tempo is a bit faster than our target tempo, but they do a great job of conveying the excitement and musicality in this piece.

From the video’s details:  Each summer, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute brings together the brightest young players from across the country to form the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA). Following a comprehensive audition process and a three-week training residency with leading professional orchestra musicians, these remarkable teenagers embark on a tour to some of the great music capitals of the world while serving as dynamic music ambassadors.




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