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Introduction: The CSOYO should be a high priority among after-school activities. The responsibility that comes with the privilege of participating in the CSOYO is the commitment to participation in all functions, including rehearsals and concerts as well as any preparation necessary. Members are expected to attend all rehearsals and concert performances. There will be a sign-in table in the cafeteria at each rehearsal. Students will be expected to check in before proceeding to their designated rehearsal rooms.

Absences: Absences for illness, death in family, religious observances, graded school functions or other emergency circumstances will be evaluated and excused as applicable by the Manager. Excused absences for illness or other reasons are subject to verification by the Manager contacting the parent or requiring a written doctor’s excuse. An absence without prior notice is considered unexcused. (See unexcused absences below.) 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 unexcused absence.

Unexcused Absences: Students are allowed two unexcused absences per season. The first unexcused absence will result in a phone call to the parents. The second unexcused absence will result in a formal letter to the parents. Parents must sign and return the letter by the next rehearsal. The third absence will result in immediate dismissal from the orchestra. Tuition will be forfeited.

Dress Rehearsal and Concert Absences: Any unexcused absence from a dress rehearsal may, at the discretion of the conductor, prevent the student from participating in the following concert, resulting in immediate dismissal from the orchestra. Tuition will be forfeited. Any unexcused absence from a regular season concert will result in immediate dismissal from the orchestra. Tuition will be forfeited.

Notification: Any absence must be reported by calling the CSOYO voicemail (267-9011) before 5:00 p.m. on scheduled season rehearsal days. If an emergency arises after 5:00 p.m. which will cause student to miss rehearsal, a call to the voicemail must be made as soon as possible. Notification of any absence for a dress rehearsal, concert or event must be made no later than one hour before the scheduled rehearsal/performance. If an emergency arises after that time, call the voicemail as soon as feasible.

Tardy Policy: It is the responsibility of each member to be on time and prepared with instrument, music, and any accessories for all rehearsals. A student will be considered tardy for missing up to 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 unexcused absence.

Extracurricular Activities: It is the responsibility of the parent and student to speak directly with the Conductor about other activities in which the student participates before the activity season begins to ensure that no scheduling conflicts occur.

Cell phones/Electronic devices: Cell phone/electronic device usage is not permitted during the rehearsal time.  Students will refrain from texting or any other type of cell phone/electronic device usage.  Repeated use of cell phones/electronic devices in rehearsal may result in dismissal from the rehearsal (resulting in an unexcused absence).  Emergency cell phone usage may be approved by the conductor only in the case of family illness or emergency.

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.