To make sure you have a successful year…

Please look over our rehearsal format and etiquette guide.

Preparation and rehearsal planning

Please be prepared for each rehearsal by arriving with:

  • Your instrument (tuned and prepared with all valves and keys in good working order).
  • Your own copy of the sheet music for the entire semester.
  • Two pencils.

We do not sight-read at CVYO. Please print, practice, and study the recordings of your music ahead of your first rehearsal. If you are a new musician in our beginner ensemble (Youth Strings), do your best to prepare. You will get lots of help at your first rehearsal.

Each week you will get a rehearsal planning e-mail with a specific plan for the following week. We respect your practice time by assigning reasonable and specific practice material. Please respect the time of your colleagues by being prepared for each rehearsal.


When you arrive, please check in with the front desk. If you do not, you may be marked as absent even if you are at rehearsal.

If you know you will be absent ahead of rehearsal, please fill out an absence form. Absences impact rehearsal planning, and will affect your future promotion and placement. 

A maximum of 3 absences are allowed per semester without impacting future placement. Principal players are asked to limit their absences to 3 per year.

Attendance at dress rehearsals and performances of your ensemble is mandatory. The concert calendar is available in advance of the season.

While it is to be expected that CVYO musicians have other pursuits and commitments, we request that musicians communicate their CVYO commitments to others and maintain attendance standards.

conduct at rehearsals and concerts

Musicians are expected to treat their colleagues, staff, and rehearsal time with respect and kindness.

During rehearsals, talking is restricted to working conversation between the conductor and principal players. Conversation, attire, and behavior should be conducive to the productive study of music and be non-disruptive.

At performances, musicians are asked to stay for the entire length of any concert they participate in out of respect for their colleagues. It is very important for members of junior ensembles to attend performances of senior ensembles to learn about the standard of playing they are aspiring to. 

Disrespectful or abusive behavior, or use of controlled substances of any kind is not tolerated and may result of suspension or dismissal from the program.



Our string sections are staffed on the principal of unranked seating, giving each section player the opportunity to experience playing in various positions. Seating is not random, but does change at the beginning of each semester. 

Principal positions (Preparatory and Symphony Orchestra) are permanent and rotate inside/outside within each concert program.


Wind, Brass, and Percussion players should read our additional format information below:


At CVYO, we want each musician to find the ensemble that helps them grow the most as a musician, with an appropriate level of challenge and comfortability.

The factor that is most highly considered in promotion is the musician’s command of the material during rehearsal. Students that show they can easily handle their music at the beginning of semester will be first in line for promotion.

New students have the opportunity to audition into ensembles based on their skill level and personal commitment, but are graded on their performance throughout the year going forward. 

Proficiency and grading

We want to make sure each musician has a clear understanding of their path to success. Our conductors track each musician’s preparation, progress, strengths, and weaknesses. If you would like to see your grading and comments at any time, please request them from your conductor. 

Students who are seeking promotion should display exceptional quality of playing and preparation from the first rehearsal, excellent attendance, and a helpful and positive rehearsal attitude.

If you plan on audition for the next level ensemble in the coming year, we strongly recommend attending all concerts for that ensemble.

Private teachers and personal development

CVYO requires each musician to study solo repertoire with a private teacher outside of orchestra. Studying with a master teacher is where the greatest refinement of technique and musicality will occur. Please see our list of distinguished teachers if you need a recommendation.

We also highly encourage students to continue contributing to their school ensembles as leaders in their schools and communities.

Enrollment, Drop off, pick up, and emergencies

If you need to withdraw within 30 days of enrollment, CVYO can offer a tuition refund minus a $100 withdrawal fee. After 30 days, we are only able to adjust your tuition to a single semester and return the tuition difference.

Please be prompt in dropping off and picking up your musician, especially after dark. If you are not in your seat ready to play when the orchestra tunes, you are late. If you are not off campus after tear-down is complete, you may also receive a “late” mark.

In case of an emergency, musicians will be safely gathered in a meeting area and parents will be contacted. Each musician will check out with a conductor or staff member before being leaving.