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. 

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 are 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 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, giving each section player to get the opportunity to experience playing in various positions in their section. Seating is not random, but does change at the beginning of each semester. 

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


Wind players are assigned parts prior to the first rehearsal, but will have the opportunity to rotate parts throughout the semester. 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 each musician 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 skill level and 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.

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

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. 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.