CYS 2019-2020 Handbook


  1. Membership is by audition only. New members, only, must audition with the Conductor.
  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 CYS through age 19.
  4. CYS members are required to participate in and sell tickets for the annual fundraiser.
  5. Parents of all musicians are expected to contribute volunteer time to fundraisers or program.
  6. Each member must agree to abide by the Attendance Policy and Behavior 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 $560 for the year. There is a $20 discount if you pay using cash/check ($540). CYS has half tuition scholarships available for members with demonstrated financial need. Application forms are available from the CYSA office.

CYS tuition includes the cost of 6 concert tickets for both the Winter and Spring CYS concerts, as well as a CYS sweatshirt.

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 a committee member to concert usher to Board President, and everything in between. Please contact the CYS Volunteer Coordinator to name your position if you cannot attend the Parent Meeting.



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

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 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 adopted a rigorous Participation Policy. Membership in CYS requires membership in the student’s school or district band or orchestra class. Home-schoolers 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 school 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.


CYSA is committed to providing an environment free of harassment. Students, staff, and volunteers are expected to be respectful of one another in all regards. If ever concerns arise, please communicate your concerns to a senior staff member (Executive Director, Conductor, or Orchestra Manager) and/or board member.


Cell phones are not permitted during rehearsal and must stay in students’ cases outside of the rehearsal room.

The rehearsal room is a place for learning. All students have a right to learn and the conductor has a right to teach and direct the rehearsal. Students are expected to respect others’ rights and behave in a manner that (1) avoids disruption of the educational process, (2) protects everyone’s health, safety, and the right to learn, and (3) safeguards property from loss or damage.

There are many ways to disrupt a rehearsal: cell phone use during rehearsal; talking during rehearsal; playing while the conductor is giving instructions; touching others or their instruments; and forgetting your music/pencil are just a few examples.

To have a peaceful, happy, and productive rehearsal, all students must be responsible for following the behavior expectations and for paying attention.

Students that choose not to follow these expectations may be asked to leave the rehearsal or resign their position in CYS.


CYS 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 CYS 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.

Pre-Approved Absences

If a student knows in advance that (s)he will need to be excused from a future rehearsal, or will be late to a future rehearsal, (s)he must get pre-approval. The request should be made by email to Mr. Thomson AND the Orchestra Manager, Megan Anderson documenting the date and reason for the pre-approved absence or late arrival. 

Last Minute Absences

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

Attendance Monitoring

Students are expected to be in their seats and ready to tune by 6:20 pm.

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