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. As in 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 the CSOYO a priority in your musical life. Each member 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.

Please read and adhere to the following policies carefully.

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

Members should bring a pencil to every rehearsal. String players should also be prepared with extra strings as needed.

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 member will be considered tardy for up to one half of his/her designated rehearsal time. After that time, the member will be considered absent. When a member 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.

MISSING INSTRUMENTS: In the event of a missing instrument, the member is still expected to attend rehearsal and take notes. Any member with a missing instrument who does not attend rehearsal will be credited with an absence.

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

CONCERT CYCLES: 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 concerts in the 2021-22 season – the Fall Concert, the Winter Concert and the Spring Concert.

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

ALLOWED ABSENCES: Musicians are allowed NO MORE THAN 2 absences during the Fall Concert Cycle, 2 absences during the Winter Concert cycle, and 1 absence during the Spring concert cycle, which is shortened. No more than 5 total absences will be allowed for the season. This includes ANY ABSENCE, such as illness, COVID-19 quarantine, school or other music activities, fall or spring breaks, family vacations, homework and tests, college visits, transportation problems, sports events, religious holidays, school trips, etc.

SENIORS: Senior musicians may miss 2 rehearsals in the Spring Concert Cycle if one of the absences is an academic situation and the senior presents written documentation in advance from a school official and a parent. Subject to approval by the CSOYO Manager.

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 may be dismissed from the CSOYO with forfeiture of the complete amount of tuition.

Members who exceed the maximum allowed absences during a concert cycle and are not allowed to play on the concert are still required to attend the Venue rehearsal and the concert so that no further absences are accrued. Members should check in backstage at the attendance table when the orchestra is called, and then sit in the audience for the full duration of the rehearsal and the concert. Members who miss the venue rehearsal or a concert may be dismissed from the CSOYO and not permitted to audition in the future.

If a COVID-related absence causes a Member to exceed the allowed number of absences in a concert cycle, the Member can submit an appeal (two letters of documentation). ALL ABSENCES in the Concert Cycle will be reviewed, and if the appeal is approved, the Member will be allowed to submit a playing test via Flipgrid one week prior to the concert, and their Conductor will decide if they are prepared to play on the concert. If more than half the regular rehearsals are missed due to COVID, the member may not be allowed to play on a concert and their membership may be in jeopardy with full tuition forfeited. Please contact the CSOYO Manager who can help you work through extenuating circumstances

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.


            Sunday, October 31, 2021 – Symphony & Philharmonic

            Sunday, February 27, 2022 – Symphony

            Sunday, March 13, 2022 - Philharmonic, Etude & Prelude

            Sunday, May 1, 2022 – All orchestras

Musicians who miss a venue rehearsal may not be allowed to play on the concert and may be dismissed from the CSOYO with forfeiture of the complete amount of tuition. In the event of extenuating or unplanned emergency circumstances on the day of the concert, the conductors will have final word on whether the member 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.

ILLNESS: The CSOYO is sympathetic to our members who become ill and are not able to report to rehearsal. To stop the spread of illness, please do not attend if you are coughing, sneezing, contagious or vomiting. However, while unplanned, absences caused by illness are still counted as an absence. The CSOYO encourages members not to use absences for other non-emergency reasons just because they haven’t been used, but to save allowed absences for unplanned circumstances such as illness.

As long as pandemic conditions are present in the community, the CSOYO will work with members who must miss rehearsal due to COVID-19 illness or quarantine. Please do not attend rehearsal if you are sick, have a positive test for COVID-19, or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive. The CSOYO Manager should be notified immediately of any COVID-19 related exposure, and that member’s identify will be kept anonymous.

Musicians with extenuating circumstances (serious illness, sanctioned school trip) that would cause an absence that may jeopardize the musician’s CSOYO membership per the Attendance Policy are encouraged to speak directly with the CSOYO Manager as soon as possible for assistance, and to utilize the Appeals process as warranted.

APPEALS: In the event of an emergency situation (illness, death in the family) or extenuating circumstances that would prevent attendance at a mandatory venue rehearsal or concert, or create an absence that exceeds the maximum allowed, 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. All absences in a concert cycle may be reviewed in addition to the last one that caused the attendance issue.

NOTIFICATION: Absences must be reported by emailing (preferred) the CSOYO at csoyo@chattanoo­ or calling the voicemail (423-267-9011) before 4:00 p.m. on scheduled rehearsal days. If an emergency arises after 4:00 p.m. which will cause the member to miss rehearsal, email or call as soon as possible. Notification of any absence for a venue 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.

Any member who is absent from a rehearsal or performance will receive an email notification letter regarding that absence. While we will be monitoring attendance records, it is the responsibility of the member 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.


If a CSOYO member, staff member or volunteer tests POSITIVE for COVID-19, the following actions will be taken:

1. The CSOYO Manager or CSO Executive Director should be notified immediately.

2. The CSOYO Manager will notify all members of all orchestras that a positive case was reported, and will share when and where the person was onsite. The person will remain anonymous. Members and their families can make their own determination of whether they need to be in quarantine.

3. The Hamilton Co. Dept. of Health will be responsible for contact tracing. When doing so, they are most concerned with people who were in close proximity (within 6 feet) with an infected person for 15 minutes or longer.

 The CSOYO will examine each case and if multiple cases are reported in a particular group, we may decide to shut down this group temporarily.