Philharmonic Orchestra is a full symphonic orchestra composed of over 100 junior and senior high musicians whose auditions show musicality and advanced technical skills. Providing a concentrated learning and performing experience for aspiring young musicians, Philharmonic Orchestra performs increasingly challenging classical repertoire throughout the year. Members of the Philharmonic Orchestra are exposed to the best of classical music to foster a professional attitude. Individual progress is expected and recognized through chair auditions and Principal solos.  Professional musicians are brought in periodically to coach sectionals. Philharmonic Orchestra has performed throughout the state, including the SW Youth Orchestra Festival at NAU in Flagstaff, the AMEA convention and in California, Germany, England, China, Austria and the Czech Republic.


Junior and senior high

Ensemble Fee



Wednesday evenings, 6:30-9:00 pm

Central High School
4525 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85012


Dr. Walter Temme

Ensemble Music Level of Difficulty: Performs literature such as: Bizet L’Arlesienne Suite # 2, Berlioz Roman Carnival Overture, Saint-Saens Bacchanale from Samson and Delilah, and Dvorak Symphony #8.

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Audition Components


Solo of your choice. Please perform a total of 3:00 minutes of music from the work.


Specific scale requirement will be emailed shortly before your audition.

  • Strings: Up to 4 sharp and 4 flats Major and Melodic Minor scales three octave unless impossible for instrument.
  • Woodwinds and Brass: All major scales (2 octaves when possible) and chromatic scale covering entire range of instrument.
Orchestral Excerpt


Should you feel the excerpts are above your abilities and have already signed up to audition for Philharmonic Orchestra, please contact Todd Betz to change your first group preference. Please be aware that this will likely change the time of your audition, so contact Todd Betz as soon as possible.

Download Excerpts

Excerpts will be posted here when the audition window opens.


A sight-reading component may be a part of the virtual audition. More information may be posted later.

Don’t neglect practicing sight reading pieces you are unfamiliar with to help prepare for this part of the audition.

Best of luck in your preparation, always start slow and work with a metronome!!


Visit our Contact page and choose “Auditions” to send us a message.

Dr. Walter Temme

Dr. Walter Temme

Conductor, Philharmonic Orchestra

Walter Temme received a doctor of Musical Arts degree from Arizona State University in 1989.  His doctoral dissertation reflects his emphasis on conducting and his commitment to rehearsal style.  He performed in and assisted with the A.S.U. Symphony.  He was on the faculty of Humboldt State University (California) and Wartburg College (Iowa).  Known for violin performance, Dr. Temme also performed as a violist at Kansas State and was Principal Violist of the Topeka Symphony.

Philharmonic Orchestra Conductor since 1988, Dr. Temme has been instrumental in the remarkable development of the PYS Philharmonic Orchestra, recognized as one of the most exciting youth orchestras in the area, largely because of his emphasis on musicality.  Dr. Temme is credited with revitalizing the orchestral programs in the Scottsdale Schools and is currently Director of Orchestras at Mountain View High School in Mesa.  Twice he has been cited in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.  He has served as an officer of the Arizona Unit of ASTA and has held leadership positions with ABODA.  Dr. Temme was named the 2011 Arizona Music Educator of the Year. Most recently, he was named the 2013 Public School String Teacher of the Year by the Arizona chapter of ASTA.

In demand as an orchestral conductor, adjudicator and clinician, he has conducted the Arizona Junior High All-State Orchestra, the Greater Phoenix Honor Orchestra as well as Regional Honor Orchestras throughout Arizona. During the summers, he is a regular guest conductor at the NAU Curry Summer Music Camp in Flagstaff. In December 2010 his Mountain View Chamber Orchestra performed for the second time at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic; they first performed at Midwest in 2001.  He has received the O.M. Hartsell Excellence in Education award from the AMEA.  In January 2003 he was named one of the 50 Directors Who Make a Difference by Band and Orchestra Magazine.  As an educator and performer, Dr. Temme believes in an interactive learning and performing experience to develop the young musician.

Entrance Audition Application

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Interested? Want to learn more about this ensemble?

If you are interested in Philharmonic Orchestra and would like more information, please visit our Contact page and choose “Auditions” to send us a message.