GUIDELINES FOR ORCHESTRAL ETIQUETTE
Know Where and When
When you receive your Rehearsal Schedule, check for conflicts between GVYO commitments and your other activities. Advise the manager as soon as possible of any conflicts requiring your absence from a GVYO rehearsal or concert.
Players are expected to have prepared their parts before each rehearsal, in all cases except sight-reading rehearsals. Individual home practice of the music allows the conductor to use the rehearsal to make music, not just to ‘note bash’. Also, listen often to recordings of the repertoire.
Arrive on time
Players should arrive at any rehearsal or performance in plenty of time to set-up, tune, and be seated and ready to play by the time indicated on the schedule. A good plan is to arrive a half hour before the scheduled time.
Assist with set-up
All players are expected to assist the stage manager in practical matters such as movement of music stands, chairs, instruments and equipment.
Attend every rehearsal
There is no such thing as an unnecessary player in an orchestra. Conductor and individual players depend upon, but most important, the music itself demands, the contribution of every member of every section. For this reason absence, except in emergencies, is unacceptable.
Bring everything you need
Pencil and eraser are required at every rehearsal. String players also need rosin, a spare set of strings, and mute. Wind players - mutes, reeds, screw drivers, oil, grease, etc.
Fostering good communications
Instruments are a valuable – and vulnerable – investment for every musician. Protect your own instruments and watch out for others’ in the crowded environment of the rehearsal hall.
Your music copies are the property of the orchestra, and will be used by future orchestra members after you have finished with them. Players are responsible to keep their parts good repair, and to return them to the orchestra librarian promptly after use.
Marking Your Part
Some Common Techniques for Marking
Other attention grabbers:
NOTES FOR STRING PLAYERS
We normally present three mainstage concerts each season, and supplement these with a school concert and/or run-out community concert.
One or two rehearsals, including the Dress Rehearsal, are held prior to each concert at the concert venue (normally UVic Centre Farquhar Auditorium). Dress rehearsals DO NOT require concert dress, unless specifically requested for a photo shoot or special circumstance.
Dress code for women: black dress or skirt (full or calf length), or black trousers; black blouse; black shoes (no runners); dark stockings or black socks.
Dress code for men: black trousers, black jacket, white shirt and black bow tie; black shoes (no runners) and black socks. Tuxedos are appropriate but not essential.
Concert Decorum: The GVYO strives to act professionally, so be aware of your behaviour and appearance as a GVYO performer. Most tuning takes place backstage before the performance. Backstage noise should be kept to a minimum, entrances and exits should be calm, and deportment on stage dignified. Distracting habits, e.g. practicing onstage before the performance or fidgeting during it, take away from the music.
Elected each year by the players, this committee consists of representatives of each of the major sections of the orchestra (violins, lower strings, woodwinds, brass & percussion). The committee meets monthly with the manager to communicate player concerns to the board and conductor, and to receive information about board decisions and activities.
Whenever possible, an orchestra member will assume the task of librarian for the orchestra and will receive a monthly honorarium for this job. This task may be shared by two players. The librarian is responsible for cataloguing, marking, distribution and collection of scores and parts for the music the orchestra plays, as well as looking after its condition, and replacing lost or damaged parts. Most of the music we play is owned by the GVYO, while some is rented or borrowed from other orchestras. The orchestra also lends music to a number of musical organizations around the island.
Whenever possible an orchestra member will assume the task of stage manager for the orchestra and will receive an monthly honorarium for this job. This task may be shared by two players. The stage manager prepares the setting for rehearsals and concerts (chairs, stands, podium, etc.) All players are expected to assist the stage manager with these tasks.
A youth orchestra exists for the joy of making music, and also for training in orchestral experience; one area of training is placement.
Of course the greatest benefit of membership in the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra is just being part of a really great orchestra! Our world-class conductors and coaches are experts at fostering the skills of young musicians, and the camaraderie and fun can’t be beat! But there are other rewards too.
Repertoire: All the ‘greats’, and a good smattering of rarely heard masterpieces as well.
Recordings: We record our concerts for archival purposes and for the educational purposes of our music directors and players. You can learn a great deal from listening critically to these recordings, which are available in CD format on a cost basis.
Solo Opportunities: On occasion the GVYO holds Concerto Auditions for members, offering an opportunity for players to perform solo repertoire with orchestral accompaniment.
Friendships: Many GVYO members remain fast friends - and musical colleagues - years after leaving the orchestra.
Experience: While every orchestra member gains valuable experience as a musician, our librarians, stage managers, and members of the Players Committee also gain ‘backstage’ insight into the orchestra’s operations.
Wherever your future profession may lie, your GVYO experience will have taught you to pursue your goals with focus, discipline, teamwork, and inspiration.