Thursday, March 1, 2012

BYSO in 2012

The BYSO Blog has been discontinued. Please enjoy browsing any past articles here and look for current information on our website ( and our facebook (

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Nod to Audrey Chen

It's that time of year again; Time to announce the 2011 Concerto Competition Contest Winner!

The Concerto Competition is an annual contest the Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra (BYSO) hosts. Each year a young performer is selected to perform a solo piece with the Youth Symphony at the Masterworks Concert II. This year Audrey Chen, a freshman at Interlake High School, won the honor to perform her solo at this concert on Sunday, March 20th, 2011, at the Theatre at Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue.

Four years ago Audrey began playing with BYSO in Sinfonia and within a year moved to the Youth Symphony. This year Audrey chose to play a piece that was not only close to her heart but popular amongst chamber music fans. The first movement of Dvorak's Cello Concerto in B-Minor and Audrey's years of practice won the hearts of the judges and lead her to this victory.

Audrey began playing piano at six and took up cello in the fourth grade with Mr. Kai Chen. Over the years Audrey has been a part of many orchestras and ensembles. Joseph Kempisty and Dr. Teresa Metzger Howe (the conductors of Sinfonia and the Youth Orchestra) have been huge inspirations. Through their guidance and her own discovery she has found that while practice makes perfect, "efficiency is better than quantity." She rehearses with BYSO every Monday evening for two hours and practices a maximum of two hours every other day. She uses a systematic method to practice, starting with scales to warm up and then tackling each piece section by section. If there is something she believes needs extra attention, she will practice that part again and again-even after she has perfected it, just to be safe.

Not only has Audrey shone in BYSO, but she also sits first chair in the Interlake Freshmen Orchestra. While it does increase her workload, she enjoys all of the opportunities that have opened up to her because of it. On top of winning the 2011 Concerto Competition her Chamber Group at Interlake (comprised of 4 BYSO string players and one pianist) was one of the top ten finalists for the KING FM Ten Grands Competition-the grand prize for which is performing at Beneroya Hall on April 1st, 2011. She also a participant of the All-Northwest Orchestra, a large group of dedicated and talented high-school musicians from the Pacific Northwest that performed last February.

Audrey acknowledges that her parents have been huge supporters of her musical career and are in agreement for her to continue in future years. As with many passions, she hopes to make it her life by majoring in music when she moves along to college. She has even considered a double major to allow her to continue to play. She plays, she listens, and she performs, and gives us all a taste of something lovely. Join us on March 20th to witness Audrey's talents on her new French Buthod cello loaned by the Carlsen Cello Foundation.

The Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra is a non-profit organization established to provide a positive and stimulating musical environment for students. BYSO uniquely complements and builds upon both school music programs and private instruction. BYSO encourages the development of musical skills and self-confidence, as participants in all ensembles rehearse orchestral literature which appropriately challenges their skills. For over 45 years our program has provided instrumental music experience to match the ability levels of talented youth from early elementary grades through their college years.

To purchase tickets to the March 20th Concert, please follow this link.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Valerie Doerffeld-All over the Puget Sound!

Valerie Doerffeld, the conductor for our Debut Orchestra, has three upcoming performances this weekend. For almost a decade Valerie has been involved with BYSO and three years ago became a primary conductor. On the side she teaches private lessons, plays regularly with Northwest Sinfonietta, and is raising two children. From February 11-13th you have the opportunity to hear her beautiful music and show her your appreciation and support. Each performance will featur Rossini's La Scala di Seta, Overture, Firsova's "Freedom" Clarinet Concerto (world premiere), Mozart's Clarinet Concerto and Mozart's Symphony No. 40 in G Minor.

Friday, February 11th 7:30PM
Benaroya Hall, Seattle
Tickets from just $19!
1.886.833.4747 or
Buy Online

Saturday, February 12th 7:30PM
Rialto Theater, Tacoma
Tickets from just $19!
1.800.291.7593 or
Buy Online

Sunday, February 13th 5:00PM
Pioneer Park Pavilion, Puyallup
Tickets from $25 (cabaret seating)
1.800.838.3006 or
Buy Online

Really, what could be better?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Save the Date!

Thursday, February 3rd, at 8PM our very own Brian Yarkowsky will be featured on 98.1 KING FM.

Brian has been a phenomenal coach for the Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra percussion students for more than a year now and for more than three years Brian has been a member of the SMQ Percussion Quartet. Alongside three other talented percussionists, the group has created a uniqe arrangement of music displaying the versatility of percussion instruments. Now they will bring those lovely sounds to the ears of Seattle listeners on air. At 8PM tomorrow, Thursday the 3rd, you can hear their recording of Maurice Ravel's String Quartet in F Major Movement II: Assez vif - tres rythme. Either tune in or stream the station live by clicking here.
To attend future performances by the SMQ Percussion Quartet follow this link. And last but not least, for a sneak peak of their special sound and a tune we all know and love, take a listen:

Big round of applause for these four gentlement on such an accomplishment!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Want to Play a Solo at Beneroya Hall?

KING FM has been a leader in Seattle's music community and a strong advocate of local arts for more than six decades. To kick off 2011 they are hosting a competition ideal for all of our talented young musicians between the ages of 6 and 18.

The Ten Grands Competition asks students who play acoustic instruments as well as ensembles (up to 6 people) to create a 5 minute maximum audition video and post it on YouTube. Originally these were due a few weeks ago but the deadline has been extended to February 1st, so there is still time left!

In mid-February the submissions will be reviewed and 20 finalists will be posted for the public to vote on. The top ten finalists will play at the Ten Grands Concert at Beneroya Hall. The grand prize winner will play a six minute solo on stage that evening.

If that isn't incentive enough, the grand prize winner will also recieve a $1,000 scholarship.

For more information about entering your own video, follow this link. To cast your own vote, check KING FM's website between February 7th and February 11th. Everyone is encouraged to participate-whether you are feeling brave or would like to lend your support to fellow musicians in the Seattle area.

Good luck and have fun!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Martin Luther King Day Rehearsal Monday, January 17th, 2011

Due to Monday's school closures all rehearsal times and locations have been changed. All students are required to bring their own music stand to this rehearsal only. Saturday rehearsals will be held as normal at Hammond Ashley on January 22nd. Please read below for your rehearsal time and location for this Monday:

Cadet, Premiere, and Flutes: NO REHEARSAL

Debut: 6:30-8:15
Sinfonia: 6:30-8:45PM

Lake Sammamish Foursquare Church
14434 NE 8th St
Bellevue, WA 98007

Please bring your own music stand to this rehearsal.

Youth: 6:15-8:45PM

Newport Presbyterian Church
4010 120th Ave SE
Bellevue, WA 98006

Please bring your own music stand to this rehearsal.

Please contact or call (425) 467-5604 during office hours (10AM-4PM Monday-Friday) for questions and concerns.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

BYSO and BPO Team Up

We are pleased to announce our first concert of the year on Sunday, January 23rd at Meydenbauer Theater in downtown Bellevue. The most exciting aspect of this performance, aside from the recent addition of more than 40 new members to our six orchestras, is the coming together of Bellevue’s finest. Our own Youth Symphony is first up, then directly following us will be the Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra featuring soloist Anastasia Solomatina playing Rachmaninov’s Concerto No. 2 for Piano and Orchestra.

This union is the first of the century, joining the two largest eastside professional and non-professional symphonies. Both organizations were originally founded in the 60’s, BYSO in 1964 and BPO in 1967, and have been providing Washington State residents with beautiful music for over four decades. We encourage all BYSO families to attend this memorable occasion and support the arts in our community.

The first performance by our young musicians is free of charge to all BYSO families. To attend BPO’s 2 o’clock performance tickets are required but are available for 50% of the cost to the general public. Please call (425) 455-4171 to order your tickets at the discounted price. For those unfamiliar with Meydenbauer Theater, please follow this link for detailed directions and parking information. To sum it up:

Where: Meydenbauer Theater
111000 NE 6th St
Bellevue, WA 98004

When: Sunday January 23rd, 2011
BPO at 2PM

Ticket Prices:
BYSO: Free of Charge
BPO: Adults: $10
Students: $5