Alachua County Youth Orchestra Membership Expectations

The Alachua County Youth Orchestra operates on the basis of having highly dedicated and motivated members.  Because the orchestra is committed to excellence, each member must contribute his or her best at all times.  An important facet of your experience in the ACYO is the satisfaction of achieving worthy musical and social experiences through the combined effort of all members.

The following expectations have been established in order to help us reach our goals, ensure a quality experience and enhance each member’s musical and personal progress.  They are essential to our success as an ensemble that strives for excellence in the performance of orchestral music.

Attendance
Full attendance is essential if the ACYO is to achieve the artistic level to which it aspires.  Please note:

  1. Students are expected to be present, on time (seated, warmed-up and ready to play) and to remain for the entire duration of each rehearsal and performance.
  2. Late arrivals are disruptive to the orchestra; students who arrive late may be reassigned parts or seats.
  3. Attendance at dress rehearsals is mandatory.  Students who miss dress rehearsals may be reassigned parts or seats or asked not to play the concert.
  4. Students are expected to attend all regular weekly rehearsals.
    1. In the event of an anticipated conflict, students must ask to be excused by contacting Mr. Langford (glangford@arts.ufl.edu or 352-514-7752) a minimum of one week in advance of a rehearsal and two months prior to a concert.
    2. In the event of an unanticipated absence, students must notify Mr. Langford as soon as possible.

Rehearsals
Students are expected to:

  1. Be in their seats at least 5 minutes before tuning begins.
  2. Bring a #2 or softer black pencil with eraser to all rehearsals.
  3. Behave respectfully and attentively.
  4. Refrain from talking during rehearsals except for communications related to the music.
  5. Refrain from talking while the Conductor is addressing or working with a particular member or section of the orchestra.
  6. Refrain from using their cell phones or doing homework during rehearsals.
  7. Stop playing when the conductor signals a stop and addresses the orchestra.
  8. Practice music at home and with their private teachers in order to advance and be well prepared for each rehearsal.

There will be a 20-minute break at each rehearsal during which, generally, either pizza or Minuet Meals (snacks provided by parents) will be served.

Concerts

  1. As you arrive, report to the designated area to unpack your instrument, leave your case and any other belongings (including cell phones), and begin your warm-up.
  2. Once on stage, musicians must behave respectfully, knowing that they are being observed by the audience.  They may continue to warm-up but watch for signals that the performance will start and they should be quiet and attentive.
  3. Once the concertmaster enters the stage, s/he will signal the principal oboist who will play an A for tuning.  Winds tune first, followed by strings and woodwinds.  The principal oboe will play a B♭for the brass.
  4. When the conductor enters the stage, the principal cellist stands first, followed by the rest of the orchestra.  The orchestra will sit at the direction of the conductor.
  5. There should be NO TALKING during the performance.
  6. If you, or anyone else, makes a mistake, do NOT react (grimace or laugh) or draw attention.
  7. At the end of a piece, the conductor may acknowledge soloists from that piece, who should stand up at the conductor’s direction.
  8. SMILE to acknowledge the audience’s applause.  Regardless of how you feel about your or the orchestra’s performance, audience members are congratulating you and you should graciously acknowledge and accept their appreciation.
  9. Cell phones or any other devices that may make a sound and disrupt a performance or interfere with a recording must be kept off-stage.