To make sure you have a successful year…

Please look over our rehearsal format and etiquette guide.

Preparation and rehearsal planning

At CVYO, we do not sight-read at rehearsal. You are expected to arrive to the first rehearsal with a working knowledge of the semester’s repertoire. Each week, you will receive an e-mail with the rehearsal plan for the following week.

You are expected to read rehearsal planning e-mail and polish a reasonable amount of material in preparation of next week’s rehearsal.

Each musician is expected to arrive with their instrument in working order (wind and brass players are required to make sure their instrument is properly maintained outside of rehearsal), with all their music printed and organized, and have a pencil to take notes with.

Each musician is also expected to listen to the reference recordings of their ensemble’s repertoire to be familiar with quality and style goals.


Each musician is responsible for checking in with the front desk upon arrival, and is expected to be in their seat with their instrument tuned at the beginning of rehearsal. Late arrivals or absences are recorded and will affect placement at auditions. 

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

Absences must be submitted by filling out a “Report an Absence” form.

Attendance at dress rehearsals and performances of your ensemble are mandatory.

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 and conductors with respect and kindness.

During rehearsals, talking is restricted to working conversation between the conductor and principal players. All other conversation should be reserved for before and after rehearsal out of respect for the hard work of your colleagues.

Musicians are asked to stay for the entire length of any concert they participate in out of respect for their colleagues. Musicians from younger ensembles are highly encouraged to come to every performance of higher ensembles to absorb the level of playing they aspire 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. We want each section player to get the opportunity to gain the experience playing in the inside and outside seats, at the front and back of their sections. Seating is not random, but does change at the beginning of each semester. 

Principal positions are permanent and rotate inside/outside at the semester. .


Our winds, brass, and percussion sections player will have assigned parts at the beginning of the year (1st, 2nd, etc), but will have “rotation days” when they will switch parts and learn to fill in for other parts on short notice. Solos and exposed parts will be split up and assigned closer to performances in case of doubling. Musicians who play principal auditions will have priority for solos, and access to the Virtuosi Ensemble.


At CVYO, we want everyone to find the ensemble that helps them grow the most as a musician, with an appropriate level of challenge and comfortability. New students have the opportunity to audition into ensembles based on their personal commitment, but are graded on their performance throughout the year going forward. 

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.

Proficiency and grading

We want to make sure each musician has a clear understanding of their path to success. Each year, we make grading and feedback information available to each musician so they can make sure their own goals are being met. Proficiency grades are affected by audition and rehearsal performance, and attendance.

Check out more information on our promotion philosophy and proficiency guidelines below.

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.

Drop off, pick up, and emergencies

Please be prompt in dropping off and picking up your musician, especially after dark.

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.