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 two great concerts!!!

Our next concert is on Sunday, March 10th (concert starts at 4:30pm).  One piece we will be performing is the first movement of Mahler’s 4th Symphony.  This is a piece we sightread during our first fall rehearsal.  If you have misplaced your copy, please go here to print a copy for yourself:  Mahler Symphony No. 4 – Mvmt 1. Bedachtig, nicht eilen (go to the middle of the page for the “Sheet Music” section and click on the “Parts” tab to get your part.)

Our Seating Auditions for the March 10th concert will be at our Winter Retreat on Saturday, January 12th from 9:00am to 2:00pm.  Seating Auditions usually occur in the first 90 minutes of retreat.

Below are the seating audition sections for ALL instruments.  Please note that you will have rest measures in these sections as well, and that’s ok.

  • Three measures before rehearsal 15 to five measures after rehearsal 17
  • Four measures before rehearsal 19 to rehearsal 21
  • Rehearsal 22 to nine measures after rehearsal 24

IMPORTANT:  Listen to a recording and play these parts with musicality – not only dynamics, but articulations, tempo changes, etc.  There is a lot going on in these excerpts, so don’t be fooled in the ‘easy’ note sections – they aren’t musically easy!

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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