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

Bellevue Schools Closed Monday, January 13th:

  • Since we use Bellevue School facilities, when they are closed, we do not have rehearsal.  No rehearsal for 1/13.
  • For Monday, January 20th:  The BSD is also closed in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. day – so also no rehearsal.

MUSICIANS:  Several items for each of you to do this week and next week since we missed the 1/13 rehearsal and don’t have a 1/20 rehearsal…

  • ALL INSTRUMENTS:  Important for each of you to review what was covered in retreat sectionals AND to practice your individual parts at least 5 hours each week – as well as listen to recordings of each piece (even play along with the recording after practicing your individual part – next best thing when you don’t have a rehearsal!). Mr. Kempisty will post some performance videos below this week as well.
  • SEATING AUDITION RESULTS:  Mr. Kempisty will send updates via email for those that have changed parts.  For example, some previous 2nd violins are now 1st violins, and some previous 1st violins are now 2nd violins.
  • STRINGS:  Write-in and practice the counting in the opening intro section of the Copland Hoe-Down (beginning to rehearsal 2).  Also, do the same for the Vaughan Williams Intermezzo “My Bonny Boy” movement (beginning to Allegretto scherzando).  Playing along with a recording of the Intermezzo will help you align your part to the rest of the orchestra parts.

Our regular Monday rehearsals are at Stevenson Elementary.

  • Stevenson Elementary School in Bellevue
  • 14220 NE 8th St, Bellevue, WA 98007
  • There are NO music stands available, so be sure to bring your own!
  • Rehearsal is from 6:15-8:30pm


Please mark your calendars with our concert dates and times:

Philharmonia Concerts for 2019-20 Season

Winter Showcase Concert

  • Sunday, March 8th
  • Meydenbauer Center Theatre in downtown Bellevue – 11100 NE 6th St. Bellevue WA 98004
  • Philharmonia call time of 3:00pm.  Concert begins at 4:30pm (likely ending around 6:00pm).  Philharmonia will perform last.
  • Includes Flute Orchestra, Flute Choir, and Percussion Ensemble

Spring Masterworks Concert at Benaroya Hall

  • Saturday, May 16th
  • Benaroya Hall (Seattle Symphony’s performance hall) in downtown Seattle – 200 University St. Seattle WA 98101
  • Call time TBD (To Be Determined – may be around 12 noon for Philharmonia).  Concert is from 2:00pm to approximately 4:30pm.
  • Includes Youth Symphony, Philharmonia, Sinfonia, Premiere Orchestra, Flute  Orchestra, Flute Choir, and Percussion Ensemble


Performance Examples of our March 2020 Concert Repertoire

Copland’s Hoe-Down from his ballet “Rodeo” performed by the Seattle Symphony with American conductor Gerard Schwartz (audio only):


Copland’s Hoe-Down from his ballet “Rodeo” performed by the National Youth Orchestra of the USA with American conductor Michael Tilson Thomas (live performance video):

Performance Examples of our Fall Repertoire

Tchaikovsky’s Slavonic March, Op 31 (aka March Slav or Marche Slave) performed by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (New Zealand) with American conductor Xian Zhang:


Tchaikovsky’s Slavonic March, Op 31 (aka March Slav or Marche Slave) performed by the youth symphony Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil de Caracas (Venezuela) with César Iván Lara conducting:


Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algiers performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra with Sir Georg Solti conducting.  While this is an old video (likely from the 1970s), the CSO demonstrates tremendous dynamic range and musical nuance:

Call for Repertoire Ideas…

If you have a piece in mind that you think Philharmonia should perform this 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.

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