In-Person Rehearsals:
In-person rehearsals follow 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 Winter Quarter Rehearsal Time
Mondays Jan 10 – Mar 21, 2022 6:15 – 8:30 PM
Winter Retreat – Lake WA High School: February 12, 2022 9:00 – 12:00 PM
Winter Concert – Meydenbauer Theatre: March 20, 2022 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 (Jan 12)                       .     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.

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

Winter 2022

Seating Auditions and additional details:

  • Thank you for attending our virtual rehearsal on January 10th!  There is no rehearsal on January 17th due to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
  • There is no retreat on January 22nd.  We are postponing our retreat until Saturday February 12.
  • Seating Auditions will happen at our Monday, January 24th rehearsal.
  • Seating Auditions spots:
    • Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 4” (the 4th movement Finale).
      • Everyone/All Instruments:  9 after C to E (quarter = 120)
      • Flute additional spot:  E to F (quarter = 96)
      • All Woodwinds/Brass additional spot:  Andante (the Andante starts measure 199, quarter = 60)
      • 1st Violin additional spot:  H to the end (quarter = 120)
    • Bizet’s “Carmen Suite No. 1″ (these movements: 1. Prelude, 1a. Aragonaise, 5. Les Toreadors).
      • Everyone/All Instruments:  2 before D to end (Les Toreadors, quarter = 116)
      • Cello additional spot:  Prelude (quarter = 64)
      • 1st Violin additional spot:  B to C (Aragonaise, dotted quarter = 76)
  • Tchaikovsky parts and Bizet parts can be found in our music dropbox download at the top of this page (the link titled ‘Print Philharmonia Music’).  These uploaded parts will have bowings for all string parts.

Below is a video of the Singapore National Youth Orchestra performing Bizet’s Carmen Suite No. 1 (Prelude at beginning.  Aragonaise follows at 1:15.  Les Toreadors starts at 10:25.).  Our tempos will be very similar to what is in this video recording.

Below is a video with score for Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 in F Minor, Op. 26.  The fourth movement Finale starts at 33:27.  Our starting tempo will be at quarter = 120 for now (start slower than this to get the correct notes and articulations then gradually notch up the tempo each week in your individual practice time).  Our goal will be to get the fast opening section to quarter = 136 (the video recording below is faster than this).

  • This Houston Symphony website has some great information about this symphony including quotes from Tchaikovsky’s letter to his patron Nadezhda von Meck.


Fall 2021

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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