In-Person Rehearsals:
In-person rehearsals follow WA State DOH guidelines for schools. We are watching evolving School District and State COVID guidelines and will make changes accordingly. Click here for complete BYSO COVID Policy and Procedures.



All musicians should arrive promptly 3:00 pm. Please account for possible traffic delays. NOTE: the call time for the Philharmonia String Quartet is 3:00 pm.

This season’s Fall concert is at the famed Bastyr University Chapel (14500 Juanita Dr NE, Kenmore, WA 98028). Parking is free in the nearby parking lot.

As per our COVID-19 Policy, BYSO will be adhering to COVID safety mandates dictated by Bastyr, which is as follows:

  • Students and volunteers wear masks backstage and in the greenroom.
  • Musicians on stage may choose to remove their mask during the performance, but must put their mask on back stage and in the audience.
  • All audience members are required to wear a mask at all times when in the audience.

If this policy changes, we will notify musicians and families immediately.

Be sure to check your ensemble’s concert attire requirements. Students must arrive wearing their concert clothing. They will not have a place to change later.



  • Your instrument
  • Your music
  • A pencil
  • A water bottle for the greenroom
  • Do not bring a stand

Volunteers will be a vital part of a successful day at Bastyr for all of our students. We need volunteers to help with the check in process and with supporting ensembles during their dress rehearsals. You will be able to get to know the students, see their dress rehearsal process, see the incredible Bastyr University Chapel from a musician’s perspective, and reserve your seat in the hall early! Click here to sign up now! 


Rehearsals Fall Quarter Dates
Mondays from 6:15 – 8:30 pm September 26 – November 14, 2022
Rehearsal Location Drop Off/ Pick Up
Lake Washington High School Parking lot and street parking are available. Plan
12033 NE 80th St on prompt drop off and pick up to avoid
Kirkland, WA 98033 congestion.
Fall Retreat Saturday, October 8 | 9:00 am to 2:00 pm
Location Drop Off/Pick Up
Odle Middle School Parking lot and street parking are available. Plan
502 143rd Ave NE on prompt drop off and pick up to avoid
Bellevue, WA 98007 congestion.
Fall Concert | Showcase Sunday, November 20 at 4:30 pm
Bastyr Chapel Check below for call times.
14500 Juanita Dr NE Parking is free at the venue.
Kenmore, WA 98028

Student Checklist

  • Bring a pencil
  • Do not bring a music stand
  • Print your sheet music prior to first rehearsal (using link at top of this page) and bring with you to rehearsal
  • Arrive 15 minutes prior to the start of rehearsal to ensure you are in your chair and ready to play at the start of rehearsal
  • Have fun!

For a full list of BYSO’s 22-23 Season dates, including Winter and Spring rehearsals and concerts, visit our calendar.


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.

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

November 21st

Congratulations on our first concert of the season this past weekend!!!  Rehearsals begin again on Monday, January 9th with new repertoire.  Be sure to check your email later in December for links to parts (will also be on this page) – available by the start of January.  See you in January!

November 14th

Please see details and location at the top of this webpage for our Sunday, November 20th concert. Remember that our call time is 3pm, so please be onstage and ready to go. Plan ahead so you have time to find parking and find our room to unpack.

Focus on any final details you need to master especially regarding articulation changes throughout all our music as well as dynamic changes – sudden and gradual. Increased attention to these details will make our performance even more exciting on Sunday!

September 26th

Thank you for a great first rehearsal!  Remember to find a tuner app and a metronome app if you don’t already have one – and use them both!  For your metronome practice, be sure to start at a slower, accurate tempo (for you) with the goal of gradually increasing your tempo mark over the weeks ahead.  

Listen to a recording to help your practice, and be sure to listen for the musical components in each section and phrase – not just the technical components. 

Seating auditions will happen at our Fall Retreat on Saturday, October 8th at Odle Middle School (starting at 9:00am).  Below are the specific sections to focus on for your audition.  

John Williams’ “The Jedi Steps and Finale”

  • Everyone:  73 to 90
  • Everyone:  168 to 237
  • Cello addition:  98 to Broadly

Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “English Folk Songs Suite”

  • Oboe addition (from Oboe 1 part):  Mvmt 2 – Beginning solo to the note at A1
  • First Violin addition:  Mvmt 2 – A1 to Allegretto Scherzando

September 22nd

I am excited to see you all at our upcoming first rehearsal on Monday, September 26th at the Lake Washington HS in the band room!  In preparation for that rehearsal, please print out all the parts for your instrument.  For example, Violins should print both the Violin 1 and Violin 2 parts for all pieces.  Woodwinds and Brass should print out the full set of parts that are included in their PDF.

We will begin this quarter with John William’s “The Jedi Steps and Finale” from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”  Your PDF may also include movement IV “The Jedi Steps” which you do not need to print out.  Be sure to print out movement V “The Jedi Steps and Finale.”  The parts we are using are the original, professional level parts from the movie.  Specifically, this is Rey’s climbing of the Jedi steps which then moves into the end credit music from the movie (some measures were cut out in the movie to fit within the end credit time, so you will see a few two to four measure chunks that are in your parts that are not in the end credit music).  All instruments have a lot to do in this piece, and there is zero expectation that you have it learned for our first rehearsal!  If you are able to listen to a recording and follow along with your part before our first rehearsal, that would be very helpful.  You can either put the movie on at the end credits or purchase that specific movement from the album (but only purchase the full “The Jedi Steps and Finale” one, not the shorter “The Jedi Steps” that is available on the album as well).

The other piece we are starting with is Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “English Folk Songs Suite” which some of you may have played the wind ensemble version before.  If you are able to find a recording to listen to before our first rehearsal, look for a professional symphony playing the piece and not a professional wind ensemble.  The music is the same in both, but who plays what is different.

See you on Monday, September 26!

Joseph Kempisty
BYSO Philharmonia Conductor

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