Member Expectations and Policies (Link to PDF of Member Policies)

Congratulations on having been selected for membership in the Springfield Youth Symphony.  You have become a part of an organization dedicated to excellence.  You have earned a position in this ensemble through a successful audition and/or successful membership last season.  Throughout its 55-year history, the Springfield Youth Symphony’s achievements have been made possible through the dedication and commitment of its members.  In signing the membership agreement, you agree to abide by the policies and to meet or exceed the minimum expectations articulated below. (Link to Membership Agreement)

Minimum Membership Qualifications

  1. SYS Student must be enrolled in and a member of his/her school music organization (band/orchestra), where one is available, and display cooperation in that group.
  2. SYS Student must have approval of his/her school music director.
  3. SYS Student must be studying his/her instrument in private lessons.
  4. SYS Student must be present for all rehearsals, concerts and other activities unless excused, in advance, by the music director.  Three unexcused absences will result in dismissal and an alternate player secured for the vacated position.
  5. Participation Fee for Out-of District Students

Please note that all SYS students who reside outside of the Springfield Public Schools District tax district are required to pay a $125.00 annual participation fee.  Please make checks payable to “Springfield Public Schools” and bring with you to the first rehearsal on September 10.  Please note that if the fee is not paid by October 1, 2012, you will not be allowed to rehearse or perform with the SYS.  Your position will then be filled by an alternate.  This fee does not apply to students whose primary residence is inside the Springfield Public Schools District.



  1. After one unexcused absence you and your parents will be notified that a second unexcused absence will result in your dismissal from the organization.
  2. Two excused absences equal one unexcused absence.  There are situations that may occur that will have to be judged on an individual basis.  (Long-term illness is an example.) Second semester marks a fresh start on the absence count.
  3. Two unexcused tardies equal one unexcused absence.  Too much time is wasted when people are consistently late.  Again, counting starts fresh at second semester.
  4. TO RECEIVE AN EXCUSED ABSENCE, the parent may call one of the following numbers:  1) the Springfield Public Schools Music Office at 523-5530 before 4:30 p.m., 2) Mrs. Wootton’s cell phone at 849-6865, or 3) Mr. Johnston’s office phone to leave a message—523-8982.  Do not assume that the conductor knows when you are absent from school because of illness.  If the conductor does not hear from parents, he must assume that the absence is unexcused.  Do not send messages with someone else.  If extenuating circumstances prevent your parent from calling the Music Office on the day of the absence, you may call the next day. NOTE:  Homework is not an acceptable excuse for missing a rehearsal, especially since SYS rehearsals follow a weekend.  Neither is work.

 Additional Attendance Expectations for Performance Activities (Including Scheduled Trips)

In signing the membership agreement, each SYS student agrees to participate in ALL performances and trips.  If upon receiving the season schedule the SYS member discovers a conflict(s), he/she or his/her parents should discuss the matter with the Music Director.  After evaluating the student’s individual circumstances and considering the best interests of the Orchestra, the Music Director will determine whether the student should continue in membership.

 Rehearsal Procedures and Expectations

  1. SYS members are expected to arrive at least 5 minutes before the beginning of any rehearsal.
  2. SYS members are expected to bring a pencil to all rehearsals
  3. SYS members are expected to bring their individual folders to rehearsals
  4. SYS members are expected to prepare individual parts to the best of their ability
  5. Any talking should pertain to the musical matter at hand
  6. Once seating placement and bowings are established in the string sections, it is the responsibility of section members to observe these bowings and copy them into their music.
  7. Students are encouraged to ask appropriate questions during the rehearsal.  When possible, these questions should be directed through the section principal.
  8. No food or drink will be allowed in the rehearsal room.
  9. Be professional with phones during rehearsal.  Sometimes we all have to check a message, but NOT while you are supposed to be playing or receiving instructions from the conductor.

 Musical Preparedness, Performance Quality, and Professionalism

  1. Students are encouraged to bring their SYS music to their private lessons to request their teacher’s assistance with difficult passages.
  2. Students are expected to prepare their individual parts for each rehearsal


THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURE SHOULD BE EXCEEDINGLY RARE:  If in the opinion of the Directors a student is not performing up to the standards of the Springfield Youth Symphony, one or both of the directors will meet with that student privately to address the matters of concern.  At this meeting, the student will be given a reasonable amount of time to make improvements.  If after the conclusion of the improvement period the deficiency remains unresolved, the student may be asked to re-audition for the Springfield Youth Symphony

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