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UPDATED for the 2018-2019 Season

INTRODUCTION: Membership in the CSOYO comes with the exciting opportunity to learn and perform amazing works of music with a community of dedicated peers and professional leaders, as well as the responsibility to honor your commitment to yourself, your musical colleagues, and the institution of the CSOYO. Like any group activity, each individual is an important part of each rehearsal experience, and your presence is vital both to your musical progress and to the musical progress of those around you. By accepting your seat in the CSOYO, we expect that you have decided to make CSOYO a priority in your musical life. Each student may have a different reason for wanting to be a member of the CSOYO, but the one thing we all have in common is the CHOICE we have made to be here, and we will collectively honor that choice by maintaining high standards and striving for excellence.

ATTENDANCE: Each musician is expected to attend all rehearsals and concerts, to arrive 15 minutes early, and to remain throughout the rehearsals and concerts. Perfect attendance is the recommended goal for each CSOYO member!

Each concert performed by the CSOYO is prepared in a cycle of rehearsals and each rehearsal is critical in preparing musicians for their upcoming concert. Absence, lateness, or early departure detracts from the learning environment, disrupts the students’ learning process, and impacts the performance level of the entire ensemble. The rehearsal cycles for each concert are listed on the calendar for each orchestra. There are 3 concert cycles: Fall Concert, Winter/SBS Concert, and Spring Concert.

Musicians should check in at the attendance table for each rehearsal and concert. Failure to check in will result in being marked absent automatically.

ABSENCES: An absence will not be considered excused or unexcused, but simply as an absence.

REHEARSALS: Musicians are allowed NO MORE THAN 2 absences during the Fall and Winter concert cycles, and 1 absence during the Spring concert cycle. No more than 5 total absences will be allowed for the season – 2 in the Fall, 2 in the Winter, and 1 in the spring. This includes ANY ABSENCE, such as illness, school or other music activities, family vacations, homework and tests, college visits, transportation problems, sports events, religious holidays, school trips, etc.

If a musician misses more than the allowed number of absences in a concert cycle, they will not be allowed to play on the concert and will be immediately dismissed from the CSOYO with forfeiture of the complete amount of tuition.

LAST MONDAY REHEARSALS: Musicians are STRONGLY encouraged to attend the last Monday rehearsal prior to a concert. Musicians who are absent may be reassigned parts/moved within the section at the discretion of the conductors.


Please mark your calendars NOW:

Sunday, November 4, 2018:    Philharmonic/Symphony

Sunday, March 3, 2019:                      Prelude/Etude/Philharmonic (including percussion)

Sunday, March 10, 2019:        Symphony

Sunday, May 5, 2019:             Prelude/Etude/Philharmonic/Symphony

Musicians who miss a dress rehearsal will not be allowed to play on the concert and will therefore be dismissed from the CSOYO with forfeiture of the complete amount of tuition. In the event of an unplanned absence due to extenuating emergency circumstances, the conductors will have final word on whether or not the student may perform the concert and maintain membership.

CONCERTS: Concerts are MANDATORY. Any musician who misses a concert will be dismissed from the CSOYO with forfeiture of the complete amount of tuition and will not be allowed to audition for the CSOYO for the following season.

APPEALS: In the event of an emergency situation (illness, death in the family) that would prevent attendance at a mandatory dress rehearsal or concert, or create a sixth absence that would result in dismissal, an appeal may be made regarding the absence. A letter signed by a parent or guardian with an explanation, along with secondary documentation in the form of a doctor’s letter, school letter or other supporting legal document must be presented to the CSOYO manager as soon as possible if an appeal is requested, and the appeal is subject to approval. Appeals will be reviewed by the conductors and the manager, and all decisions will be final.

In the event of a missing instrument, the student is still expected to attend rehearsal.  Any student with a missing instrument who does not attend rehearsal will be credited with an  absence.

While we will be monitoring attendance records, it is the responsibility of the student and parent to also keep track of how many absences have been accumulated. If there is any uncertainty about the number of absences accumulated, please verify with the Manager.

NOTIFICATION:  Absences must be reported by emailing (preferred) the CSOYO at or calling the voicemail (423-267-9011) before 4:00 p.m. on scheduled season rehearsal days.  If an emergency arises after 4:00 p.m. which will cause student to miss rehearsal, email or call as soon as possible.  Notification of any absence for a dress rehearsal, concert, or event must be made no later than 8 hours before the scheduled rehearsal/performance.  If an emergency arises after that time, email or call as soon as feasible. Please do not assume that notifying the conductor is sufficient. While contacting the conductor is also encouraged and courteous, attendance records are kept by the CSOYO Manager.

TARDY POLICY:  It is the responsibility of each member to be on time and to be prepared with instrument, music, and any accessories for all rehearsals.  A student will be considered tardy for up to one half of his/her designated rehearsal time.  After that time, the student will be considered absent.  When a student has been tardy three times, he/she will be credited with an absence.  Leaving rehearsal early (up to half of rehearsal time) is also counted as a tardy.


Proper concert attire is mandatory. Since the CSOYO is a training organization for possible future careers as professionals, proper concert dress is expected. No exceptions will be made to the dress code. If a student is not properly attired, he/she will not be allowed to perform, and failure to perform will result in possible dismissal from the orchestra.

Females: Black dress (dress must have sleeves and the hem be mid-calf or longer with no slits above the knee). Spaghetti straps, backless, sleeveless, and sequin dresses are unacceptable concert attire. Black dress pants or skirts (no slits in skirts above knee) and black blouses are acceptable. Black hosiery is required even with black dress pants and black dress shoes (no tennis shoes, flip flops, or open-toe shoes). No distracting jewelry, headwear, or leather clothing are allowed.

Males: Black coat and black dress slacks with white dress shirt, black bow tie, black socks and black dress shoes. Absolutely no tennis shoes or leather clothing are allowed.

The CSOYO dress code is modeled after professional symphony orchestras across the U.S.  It is certainly not the intent of the CSOYO to force arbitrary standards of dress on the young people of our orchestras, but rather to encourage them to adopt professional adult standards of concert dress.  Orchestra concerts are not an appropriate occasion for standing out or “exhibiting”, but for blending in with the group, just as the musicians should blend musically as an ensemble.  It is to be hoped that the primary focus of attention during the concert will be on the music.  If there are any questions or doubts about this subject, please feel free to discuss the matter with the CSOYO Manager.

There will be no exceptions made to the dress code. To avoid embarrassment and the possibility of missing a performance, please conform to this concert attire policy.


The Board of the CSOYO has developed this Code of Conduct to ensure that there is no misunderstanding concerning the proper expectations that are required from student musicians.  The following list details specific guidelines relating to behavior, attendance, dress code, and other possible infractions that will result in dismissal from the CSOYO.  This Code of Conduct is not limited to infractions listed below, and the Board reserves the right to take disciplinary action as the Board deems appropriate.

Student musicians are expected to be polite and courteous to everyone they meet, whether at rehearsals or at public performances.  The following are specific infractions that will result in immediate dismissal of a CSOYO student musician:

  1. Repeated incidences of rudeness to or harassment of fellow student musicians, conductors, coaches, staff, and/or CSOYO Board members
  2. The use of tobacco products and/or any illegal substance including, but not limited to, alcohol
  3. The use of profane language or the possession of objectionable printed or recorded material
  4. The possession of a weapon
  5. Theft or vandalism of property including, but not limited to, CSOYO student members, CSO, CSOYO, Hamilton County Schools, City of Chattanooga, Brainerd Baptist Church, and all venues where the CSOYO performs
  6. Violation of the Attendance Policy or repeated and intentional violation of the Dress Code
  7. Expulsion from school

A student on suspension from school may not participate in CSOYO rehearsals or concerts.  If a student misses rehearsals due to suspension the absences will be considered unexcused per the Attendance Policy.  If a student misses a concert due to suspension, he/she will be dismissed from the CSOYO.


Etiquette is simply good manners toward other people.  Courtesy and consideration for others are what good manners are all about.  Listed below are some basic guidelines in the concert hall for both performers and audience members.

For Performers

  1. Listen carefully to the tuning note.  Give the oboist a chance to find the right pitch before playing.  When you are finished tuning, please resist the temptation to practice your music or continue tuning when your section of the orchestra is finished.
  2. Always stand when the conductor enters the stage during a performance.  The concertmaster will indicate when to stand and when to sit.
  3. Never let the audience know if something goes wrong in performance.  Most people won’t notice it, and even if they do it’s your job to help them forget about it.
  4. Be sure not to talk or make any unnecessary distracting movements during performance, especially if someone near you has a solo or prominent passage.
  5. When waiting backstage (or within 50 feet of the performance area), please be careful not to speak above a whisper.  It’s a natural reaction for groups of people to talk louder and louder (Lombard effect) until the sound begins to be heard by the audience and/or performers.
  6. Be sure to let the orchestra on stage have plenty of room to exit before you try to enter the stage area.  The easier you make it for them to exit, the sooner you’ll be onstage.
  7. If you want your section of the orchestra to really shine, make sure that you are careful to follow and match with the principal player of your section.  Even if you think that you’ve learned the notes and rhythms, it is always a challenge (that all professional players know) to match and blend in terms of rhythm, pitch, tone, and style.

When CSOYO members are alternating as performers and audience members during a CSOYO concert, please sit together in the designated section (not with your family).  No one should leave before all performances are over, unless special written permission has been granted by the CSOYO Manager (in consultation with the CSOYO Board) prior to the day of the concert.  Please present your written permission for early dismissal to the designated chaperone before leaving.  Any student leaving early without written permission will receive an ”unexcused rehearsal absence”.  Remember: only two unexcused rehearsal absences are permitted during the season.

For the Audience

  1. Please arrive early or wait to enter the performance area between musical selections.
  2. Please remain seated during the performance.
  3. Food and drink are not allowed in the performance area.
  4. Please be as quiet as possible during the music.  Talking (or even whispering) can be annoying to those around you.  The concert will be more enjoyable for everyone when the audience is quiet and respectful.
  5. Please be sure to turn off pagers, cell phones, and any other distracting accessories.
  6. Flash photography during the performance is prohibited for the consideration and safety of the performers as well as the audience.
  7. Please do not post a video recording of CSOYO performances (or rehearsals) on YouTube or any other public internet website.  It may be in violation of copyright laws.  Many of the compositions and arrangements played by CSOYO orchestras and ensembles are protected by copyright laws.

It is polite to applaud the conductor and concertmaster, or soloist(s), when they make their entrances, and at the end of musical selections.  It is the most appropriate way to show your approval and appreciation for the musical experience and for the performers.


All members of the CSOYO may receive one free student ticket to each CSO Masterworks Series concert. The student ticket may be obtained by calling the CSO Box Office prior to the concert or at the Tivoli Theatre Box Office the evening of the concert. The Tivoli Theatre Box Office opens at 6:00 p.m. and student tickets may be picked up until 7:30 p.m. You must identify yourself as a CSOYO member in order to receive your free student ticket.
Parents/Guardians of CSOYO members may purchase “Buy-One-Get-One-Free” tickets for all Masterworks Series performances (you must identify yourself as a parent/guardian of a CSOYO member in order to receive the discount). These tickets may be purchased prior to the performance night, and, as an added convenience, the CSOYO member may obtain their free student ticket at the same time. There is a limit to one “Buy-One-Get-One-Free” offer per household per concert.

Free student tickets and “Buy-One-Get-One-Free” tickets do not apply to Pops Series, Chamber Series, Volkswagen Series, or special performances. There is, however, a $15 student ticket available for purchase at most of these performances.

Seat locations will be determined by the CSO Box Office staff for all student tickets. To order tickets, or if you have further questions, please contact the CSO Box Office at 423.267.8583.