Bay Youth Orchestras 
of Virginia

Quarterly Newsletter

In this issue...
ED Welcome
BYOV in Action
Upcoming Concerts
Audition Tips
Honoring Music Educators
Upcoming Events
November 11, 2018
BYCB Concert, Salem Middle

November 12, 2018
NO rehearsals, Veteran's Day

November 20, 2018
Opening Concert
Old Donation School, 7pm

No rehearsals! 

January 26, 2019
Winter Concert, Greenbrier Middle School, 3:00pm

February 12, 2019
Winter Concert, 3:00pm 
Wind Ensemble, Jr. Strings & String Orchestra

April 10, 2019
Side by Side with VSO, Sandler Center, 7:00pm

May 18, 2019
FINALE CONCERT-DOUBLE HEADER, L. Douglas Wilder Center, 1:00 & 7:00pm

Visit our Website
Check the rehearsal schedule, pay tuition, purchase tickets, make a donation, order CDs. You can do it all at
Volunteers Needed
Feeling helpful? We are always looking for volunteers to help support our organization! 

Our Staff
Helen Martell
Music Director

Dr. Elizabeth Richards
Executive Director

Kelby Schnepel
Operations Manager

Steven Brindle
Conductor, Concert Orchestra

Christina Morton
Conductor, String Orchestra, Junior Strings

Brad Shedd
Assistant Conductor, String Orchestra, Junior Strings

Michael Oare
Conductor, Wind Ensemble

Paula Bonds

Patricia Hitchcock
Orchestra Manager 

Yurie Hart
Orchestra Manager

Stephanie McRae
Wind Ensemble Manager

Our Board of Directors
Susan Newman
Adam Perry
Vice President
Andrea Kinnear
Lisa Stuchull-Foley
Eric Casey
Sarah Ford, ex-officio
Grace Jordan
J anet Kriner, lifetime member
Liz Sterbis
Amanda Switzer
Joanne White
Dennis Zeisler 
November 5, 2018



Dear BYOV Families, Members and Supporters,

Welcome to the BYO-Graph, our quarterly email newsletter! This is our place to share what our musicians have been up to, highlight accomplishments of our members, remind you of upcoming performances, and provide a platform for presenting helpful tips and motivation for further developing your skills as a musician. We hope you enjoy reading our articles and checking out our photos! 

This year, we welcome the Bay Youth Wind Symphony, our newest high school wind ensemble, which brings our total membership to its highest number yet. Over 350 MUSICIANS! Its my honor to represent our organization and work behind the scenes to create an environment for music making. This season we also have a theme: HONORING MUSIC EDUCATORS. We have taken some special time to recognize the music teachers, both private and school, that play a monumental role in the development of our musicians. We will continue to express our appreciation for your work throughout the season! 

Thank you all for your continued support, past and present, and look forward to welcoming you to rehearsals and concerts this season! 

Dr. Elizabeth Richards
Executive Director


CONGRATULATIONS to the 2018 BYOV Concerto Competition winners!

Bay Youth Concert Orchestra
Kaylah Walker, violin

Honorable Mentions:
Grace Ferrara, violin
Riley McElligott, violin

Bay Youth Symphony Orchestra
Alexander Antonio, viola
Ava Shedd, violin

Honorable Mentions:
Viviana Antonio, cello
Maggie Jordan, violin
Christopher Montoya, clarinet
Ashton Sady, French horn

Special thank you to Norfolk Academy and Jeff Danielson for hosting this year's competition, and to our judges Dr. Paul Kim (ODU Orchestra) and Gonzalo Farias (VSO Assistant Conductor).

Performing in a concerto competition is an incredible milestone for all of our members who participate. CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF YOU. We are so proud of you!

Stella Feliberti, violin
Vikram Kolli, violin
Hunter Manley, viola

Eden Crumbly, violin
Jennifer Facenda, cello
Lauren Galarraga, trombone
Mary High, flute
Timothy High, tuba
Ariana Kyriakides, cello
Emily Pollard, violin
Kiera Spall, violin
Isabeau Spears, violin
Paul Spears, cello
Teddy Walton, violin


Here are some photos from sectional rehearsals this fall. Check out our musicians in their element! 


 Concert Band with Virginia Wind Symphony
Sunday, November 11, 2018
2:30 pm at Salem Middle School

Opening Concert, String, Concert & Symphony Orchestras
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
7:00 pm at Old Dnation School

Winter Concert
Concert Band, String Orchestra, and Junior Strings
Saturday, January 26, 2019
3:00 pm Greenbrier Middle School

Concerto Concert
Bay Youth Symphony and Concert Orchestras 
with Concerto Competition Winners
Tuesday, February 12, 2019
7:00 pm TCC, Roper Theater
featuring soloists Kaylah Walker, Alexander Antonio, & Ava Shedd

                                        Kaylah Walker, BYCO Alexander Antonio, BYSO  Ava Shedd, BYSO
                                                    violin                             viola                      violin

By: Helen Martell, Music Director & BYSO Conductor

Virginia Wind Symphony and Bay Youth Concert Band
November 11, 2:30PM Salem Middle School
With Guest Conductor and Composer Julie Giroux

Emmy award winning and sought-after conductor and composer, Julie Giroux, will be featured on this concert.  Bay Youth Concert Band conducted by Michael Oare will be performing Giroux's "The Bonsai Tree", a very delicate piece which describes the beautiful plants and Asian culture in sound.  It is such a thrill for BYCB to perform on the same concert as the Virginia Wind Symphony.  Many of the students' teachers perform in VWS and the ensemble provides an awesome model of a professional wind ensemble.
Bay Youth Symphony, Concert Orchestra and String Orchestra
November 20, 7PM Old Donation School, Virginia Beach

Bay Youth String Orchestra conducted by Christina Morton and Brad Shedd will perform "Three Corelli Dances" arranged by Walter J. Galen and "Domine Fili" from "Gloria" by Antonio Vivaldi, arranged by Steven Frackenpohl.  The conductors chose these selections because both composers are known in music history for their role as teachers- Corelli is considered one of the "fathers" of generations of violinists and Vivaldi wrote primarily for orphan girls in Venice where he directed a music school.
Another "Father of the Symphony" will be featured by Bay Youth Concert Orchestra.  BYCO conducted by Steven Brindle will be performing the last symphony that Haydn composed - Symphony 104, movement 1.  Another highlight from their repertoire is the rousing "Farandole" by French composer Georges Bizet.
Tchaikovsky wrote Symphony No 6 in the last few years of his life and it contains the emotions of an entire lifetime.  Bay Youth Symphony conducted by Helen Martell is discovering the brilliance of Tchaikovsky and you will not want to miss this epic performance.   
By: Steven Brindle, BYCO Conductor

Our first round of seating auditions and performance evaluations are just behind us, and I'd like to take some time to reflect on the audition criteria, answer a few common questions, and offer some suggestions on how you can prepare most effectively for each evaluation and audition.

The audition is broken down into three sections: Scales, Prepared Piece, and Excerpts (or Sight Reading).  Each of these sections are scored by certain elements of music, which we'll discuss below.  

Knowledge of Key

Prepared Piece, Excerpts, Sight Reading

Knowledge of Key - Does the student play the correct key signature? If not, is it a matter of knowledge or demonstration-can the student name the accidentals when asked? 

Intonation-Is each pitch accurate? Does the student begin each note on pitch, or do they have to hunt and adjust?  If there are pitch problems, are they consistent throughout? Are the problems specific to a certain register, key, or technique?  

Tone-Is the student producing a representative tone for their instrument? Is the quality and volume of sound consistent?  Is the sound forced, weak, pinched, or otherwise hampered?

Facility-How fluid and consistent is the performance?  Does the student get lost or have to start & stop to complete the scale?  Does the student demonstrate consistent rhythm and the requested bowing/articulation correctly? 

Rhythm-Is each rhythm executed precisely? Some common issues here are: coordination in faster passages, lack of subdividing, and approximating rhythms (ex. dotted eighth-sixteenth compacted into triplet). 

Technique-How well is the student performing physically?  Does the student demonstrate correct fundamental playing technique?  Some common considerations here are are: posture, embouchure, tension, support, bow grip, articulation and other instrument specific techniques.

Musicianship-What is the student demonstrating beyond fundamental technique? Common considerations here are style, dynamics, expression, vibrato, and interpretation. Any additional expressive markings in your parts might be considered here, too.

Approaching your repertoire by breaking it down into these elements can help focus your practice sessions.  Best practice results are found when you spend deliberate time focusing to improve in one area, rather than just playing through a passage trying to "do it better."  I'm often asked for advice leading up to seating evaluations, so I'll list a few strategies that I often recommend as they apply to these elements of music.

To focus on intonation, play each scale over a drone note, stopping to tune each scale degree.  Do this exercise with your prepared piece by changing the drone to match the key of each section, phrase, or scale  you're having difficulty with.  For tone, try warming up several minutes with very long tones or open strings - can you maintain a consistent sound with no change in volume or quality? Tension is often the culprit preventing facility.  Try practicing in front of a full length mirror to look at each part of your playing position and set up.  Check in after practicing-how do you feel? Any lingering discomfort in your neck, shoulders, or hands may point to underlying tension issues.  For rhythm, think of the faster sections when you start a slower section so that you don't start too fast; a common mistake is uncoordinated left hand/right hand or tounging.  Use a metronome set to a subdivision of the pulse, paying attention to tied rhythms, syncopation, or slow tempos. 

These are just a few quick strategies, and there are countless more. I can't speak for every teacher, judge, or conductor you will work with, but I assure you that if you spend focused, dedicated practice on each of these elements of your performance, you will be more confident and successful in your auditions.  

Good luck!  

 By Helen Martell

During this Bay Youth season, we will be honoring music educators in many different ways.  Music teachers in the schools, in the private teacher's studio, in various community ensembles are the life line of Bay Youth and we have scheduled many events honoring these hard working music professionals. 
Complimentary Tickets
As always, music teachers receive complimentary tickets to our concerts.  Teachers, please email us to hold a ticket for you: .  We will recognize you during the concert!
Thank you letter writing
During rehearsals in October, students wrote thank you notes to their teachers on BYOV note cards.  These will be hand delivered their teachers with a special invitation to sit side-by-side with them in rehearsal.
Invite your teacher night November 5, 2018 5:45-9:00. 
(BYOI- "Bring your own instrument")
All music teachers are invited to come and play with the Bay Youth Orchestras for a rehearsal.  Teachers, I hope you take advantage of this unique opportunity to see the inside workings of BYOV and sit side-by-side with your talented students.   
BYOV in State & National Orchestra

Congratulations to BYSO members Noah Justice and Maggie Jordan for being selected for the Virginia State Orchestra and Noah Justice for being selected for Nationals! 

Congratulations to our members who earned spots in the 2018 Senior Regional Orchestra. 
We are proud to see so many of you! :)

Maggie Jordan
Ava Shedd
Oliver Siegfried
Kiera Spall
Teddy Walton
Evan Johnson
Isabeau Spears
William Reed
Stephanie Siebor
Clara Park
Jason Qin
Arianna Greggs
Noah Alper
Hannah Wu
Khalil Turner
Lillian Cake

Alexander Antonio
Zahyrah Payton
Juleigh Whitney
Michael Russo
Anna Koumbis
Calvin Cummings
Rebecca Salazar
Alexandra Seemar
Stephen Shedd
Mariko Hart
Philip Turner
Julia Mascolo

Paul Spears
Jennifer Facenda
Kofi Mframa
Julian Bowes
Katie Post
Kevin Nguyen

Monica Kwan

Isabelle Maule

Ariel Collins

Alexander Payne
Heeseo Chae (Alternate)

Christopher Montoya
Aidan Bouden (Alternate)

Nascia Phillips
Angelina Nguyen

Joseph Wrubel
Megan McCombs
Michael Nguyen (Alternate)

Did we miss your name? SO sorry! Please let us know and we will acknowledge you!

TELL US WHAT YOUR BYOV MEMBER IS UP TO! We'd love to feature you in future BYO-Graphs!

Join Our Mailing List!
We Thank Our Sponsors

CFAC logo

Business Consortium Logo

Norfolk Arts Commission logo


Follow Us! 
Like us on Facebook !

About Us

Bay Youth Orchestras of Virginia

P.O. Box 10897

Norfolk, VA 23513