CYSA 2016-2017 Handbook



  1. Membership is by audition only. All new members must audition with the Conductor. Returning members must audition each season for chair placement.
  2. Each member must belong to her/his school district band or orchestra if one is available (see Participation Policy).
  3. Musicians are eligible to belong to CYSA through age 19.
  4. CYS members are required to participate in and sell tickets for the annual fundraiser event.
  5. Parents of all musicians are expected to contribute volunteer time to fund-raisers or programs.
  6. Each member must agree to abide by the Attendance Policy. Members will be in their seats, warmed up, and ready to play, ten minutes before each rehearsal begins.


The non-refundable tuition for participation in CYS is $495.00 for the year. CYS has half tuition scholarships available for members with demonstrated financial need. Application forms are available from the CYSA office.

The Charles Creighton Scholarship ($500) is given to a CYS graduating senior annually in late April. It may be shared by two students. Names of winners are engraved on a plaque.


Each CYS family is expected to volunteer for the good of the orchestra. Positions range from bulk-mail committee member to concert usher, to Board Secretary, and everything in between. Please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Doerte Stark, to name your position.


CYSA depends on donations to deliver its programs and fulfill its mission. Please consider making a tax-deductible contribution. Donors are recognized in the Season Program.


Long (at least calf length) black skirt and black top, or long (at least calf length) black dress, or black pants and black top, black shoes, black stockings, and minimal jewelry.

Conservative dress only. No sleeveless, bare backs, strapless or spaghetti straps. No bare midriff. No flip flops or casual sandals.

Black tuxedo jacket, white tuxedo shirt (no ruffles), black slacks or tux pants, black bow tie, black socks, black dress shoes, and minimal jewelry.


While certain subjects in the school system are considered to be part of the core curriculum, music is generally viewed to be an elective program. As a result of this, the continuing health of the school music program during times of financial stress depends solely on its popularity within the schools. The single, clear sign of this popularity is the student count. Music programs exist because many students chose music. Often this choice is difficult.

The stated objectives of CYSA are “to support and enhance the school music program, providing talented musicians with an exceptional music experience.” To help achieve these objectives, CYSA has adopted a rigorous participation policy. Membership in CYS requires membership in the student’s school or district band or orchestra class. Homeschoolers and students attending schools that don’t provide band or orchestra classes are strongly encouraged to participate in a nearby school or community ensemble. Adoption of a more lenient policy would be to provide an alternate to the music program, not a supplement. Such an approach would be competition to school music and a threat to the regional community of music teachers. CYSA will never do anything to harm the school program knowingly.

Under extreme circumstances, a review committee, in consultation with the affected band or orchestra teacher, may waive this requirement. Possible exceptions could be a scheduling conflict with a class required for graduation or a lack of possible transportation. Choosing not to be in a school music program because of conflict with other electives, choosing not to attend classes at available times, or choosing not to travel even though reasonable transportation options are available are not considered extreme situations. Under some circumstances, it may be possible either to attend or possibly assist the teaching of an alternate, perhaps lower-level class. Under extreme circumstances, and on a one-time basis only, arrangements may be made to carry out an independent study equivalent to regular music classes. In all cases, agreement of the affected teacher is required.

If a student wishes to appeal for a waiver or an independent study equivalent, they should obtain a review form by contacting the CYSA office. The review will require a letter describing the conflict, the suggested solution, and a copy of the student’s class schedule (for cases of class conflict).


The Corvallis Youth Symphony is recognized for the excellence of its musical performances. High quality demands a commitment of faithful attendance and industrious concentration at each rehearsal. Anything less is not considered acceptable for a group of this caliber. Any absence adversely affects the quality of the performance and the group’s reputation.

CYS students are often committed to various other activities. Problems can arise when commitments conflict. Students who might have conflicts (e.g., sports and school activities) need to carefully study their calendars to determine the seriousness of the conflicts. When conflicts require a student to miss a concert, a dress rehearsal, or several rehearsals, the student should not participate in the Corvallis Youth Symphony for that season.

When conflicts are less severe, the student should consult with the Conductor as soon as possible to determine what arrangements can be made.

If a student knows in advance that he/she will need to be excused from a future rehearsal, or will be late to a future rehearsal, she/he must get pre-approval. The request should be made to the Conductor as early as possible. Immediately after receiving permission from the Conductor, the student is to send an email to Conductor, the CYS Registrar, and the Orchestra Manager documenting the date and reason for the pre-approved absence or late arrival.

If an emergency arises or a student is ill and unable to attend, the student should contact the Registrar or Orchestra Manager as soon as possible. If they can not be reached, the student should call the CYSA Office Phone at (541) 766-4903 and leave a message.

Homework is not an acceptable excuse!

Students are expected to be IN THEIR SEATS, READY TO TUNE by 6:20 PM.

As soon as possible after rehearsal begins, the Registrar will call all absentees who have not been excused. After each rehearsal, the Registrar will report to the Conductor and Orchestra Manager which students were absent or tardy and whether or not they were excused.

When absences are not excused, the Conductor will discuss them with the student. Two or more unexcused absences may be grounds to prevent participation in the next concert. Two unexcused tardies will be considered one unexcused absence.

It is IMPERATIVE that this policy be followed. It is not fair to Conductor or other musicians to have a musician missing or distracting the orchestra when she/he comes in late. CYS is a team activity.

Contact info for Conductor, Registrar, and Orchestra Manager can be found in the handbook.