Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra Programs
BYSO has five orchestras. Our youngest, Cadet String Orchestra, begun 2010, addresses the needs of the youngest string players. They have never played in any ensemble, they do not know how to follow a conductor, or play together, or have never heard part music before. The conductor teaches them conducting patterns, teaches them to listen up and down the section, teaches them to tune their instruments, how to walk on stage, how to bow, how to focus their attention on the conductor when tempted to distraction by the audience.
The oldest group, the Youth Symphony, is well experienced in doing this. They spend their time working on the fine details of making great music from the classics, of learning historical stylistic details that change over time. We whet their appetites with standard orchestral works; transfer the vision for orchestral literature in the past to the classics of the present and future in movie and video game music. It is from this ensemble that students are propelled into higher yearning to become the professional music educators, musicians, and arts administrators of the future.
Our summer music camp program has three weeks of age based fun and music to teach students not only how to make good music, but to broaden their vision and goals into other areas. We hire our own teens to serve as interns, giving the first job experience that many of them have. We teach them basic job skills as well as giving them the best summer fun possible.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
BYSO inaugurated the Masterworks Series fall 2010 to highlight the work of our top level orchestra, the Youth Symphony. It has been well attended and has provided our best students a wonderful opportunity to show off their highest level work. ·
Our current needs are for space. We rehearse over 350 children at Sammamish High School on Monday evenings. SHS is wonderful. They have been very responsive to our needs. But we moved two of our orchestras to another rented rehearsal space at a Bellevue church to accommodate their growth. We also have two adjunct groups for our Debut and Cadet orchestras that rehearse in Issaquah on Saturday morning; this serves an additional 75 students. We rehearse in an Issaquah Elementary school. Because of rising costs for all rehearsal facilities, the price has increased from $20 per year for all we needed in 2008, to $11,500 for what we needed this season (2011-2012) and the cost continues to increase significantly annually.
We also use additional funding to provide full scholarships to those in need at $500 per student for program registration and $50 to rent an instrument as well as to add to our music library, hire high quality instructors and purchase performance quality instuments.