About the Orchestra

The Dayton Philharmonic Youth Strings was established in 1982 with the support of Mrs. Virginia Kettering, to provide musical enrichment and advanced concert experience for string students in grade 6-12. The ensemble is comprised of 65 students representing homeschools and 26 different schools from the greater Dayton area.

Students in the Youth Strings will perform challenging original string literature. Regularly performing Winter and Fall concerts, DPYS often performs additional concerts throughout the year for senior centers and at community events.

About the Conductor

Dr. Betsey Hofeldt received her Bachelor of Music Education degree from St. Olaf College in Minnesota in 1978 and her Master of Music degree in violin performance from the University of Illinois in Urbana in 1980 under the tutelage of Paul Rolland and Sergiu Luca. She earned her doctoral degree in violin performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 2000, where her principal teachers were Naoko Tanaka and Won Bin Yim. Shirley Givens at the Aspen Music Festival is also one of her principal teachers.

Her chamber music teachers include the LaSalle Quartet, the Tokyo Quartet, James Tocco, Sandra Rivers at the Cincinnati Conservatory, Gabriel Magyar and Anne Epperson at the University of Illinois, Bernhard Goldschmidt and Richard Weiss (Cleveland Orchestra) at the Blossom Festival, and the Audubon String Quartet and Mark Johnson at the Audubon Seminar.

Since 1988, Dr. Hofeldt has been a member of the first violin section of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Prior to coming to the Dayton Philharmonic, Dr. Hofeldt performed with the Virginia Symphony (1987-1988), the Ohio Chamber Orchestra (1985-1987), the Toledo Symphony (1982-1985), and the Omaha Symphony (1981-1982).

She is a member of the Hofeldt Phillips Piano Trio, which formed in 1991. She performs with her husband, Mark, who is a cellist in the DPO, and Stephen Phillips, a pianist colleague whom she met in grad school at the Cincinnati Conservatory. The group plays much of the major piano trio repertoire and has given yearly recitals throughout the Miami Valley at the Dayton Art Institute; the University of Dayton; Miami University; Earlham College; the Music on the Avenue series in Covington, KY; Wright State University; and at the Cincinnati Art Museum’s Chamber Palooza.

Dr. Hofeldt has performed at the Aspen Music Festival (1980, 1991), the Ash Lawn Opera (1988), the Audubon Chamber Music Seminar (1986), the Blossom Chamber Music Festival (1985), the Cleveland Lyric Opera (1986-1987), and the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder (1983).

She is an active chamber musician throughout the Miami Valley, having performed at Earlham College, Miami University, the University of Dayton, and the Dayton Art Institute.

Dr. Hofeldt has always had an abiding interest in teaching violin and coaching chamber music. Her doctoral dissertation dissected the first of Suzuki’s Violin Method Books and analyzed its technical elements. It was a labor of love, since Dr. Hofeldt loves analyzing musical and technical problems, finding a way to explain them to children, and then unlocking a door to help them express themselves better musically.

Her teaching, chamber coaching, and conducting experience includes Oakwood Schools, 5th through 12th grades (2001 to present), Stivers School for the Arts (2002-2005), Miami Valley Academy (1994-1996), Earlham College (1994-1996), Cincinnati Conservatory as teaching assistant to Dr. Yim (1991-1993), Omaha Public Schools (1981-1982), and Northfield, MN Public Schools summer string programs (1978-1979).

Dr. Hofeldt is a member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas and the American String Teachers Association.


Dayton Philharmonic Youth Strings members rehearse every Sunday from 1:45 to 4:15 p.m., September through March.

Radio Broadcasts

Our performances are broadcast on WDPR 88.1 FM and WDPG 89.9 FM. Visit On The Air for a schedule of all DPAA broadcasts.


Applicant must be a student in grades 6–12 and be a member of a school music organization playing the same instrument as is played in the Youth Strings. If there is no school orchestra or band, an exception may be made.

Recent Repertoire Performed by the DPYS

Anderson – Sleigh Ride 
Bartok – Rumanian Folk Dances
Beethoven – Quartet in C minor, Op. 18, No. 4
Boyce – Symphony No. 1 in B flat
Britten, Simple Symphony
Byrd – Consort Song: Come Jolly Swains
Corelli – Concerto Grosso No. 4 in D major
Corelli – La Follia Variations
Elgar, Serenade for Strings
Glass – Company No. 2
Grieg – Holberg Suite, Op. 40
Grieg – Two Norwegian Airs, Op. 63
Handel, Concerto Grosso, Op. 6, No. 11
Hovhaness – Psalm and Fugue, Op. 40a
Mascagni – Intermezzo Sinfonico from Cavalleria Rusticana
Mendelssohn – Sinfonia No.8 in D major
Monti – Czardas
Mozart – Dance Suite
Mozart – Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, K. 525
Parry – An English Suite
Purcell – Incidental music for strings for Abdelazer or The Moor’s Revenge
Saint-Saëns – Pieces from Carnival of the Animals
Stone – Miniature String Quartet No. 3
Strauss – Emperor Waltz
Tchaikovsky – Selections from The Nutcracker
Telemann – Concerto in G major for Viola and Strings
Verdi – La Traviata, Preludes Act I and III
Vivaldi – Concerto in D minor for Strings
Warlock – Capriol Suite