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Clarksville Youth Orchestra Policies

This page contains important and detailed information about the Clarksville Youth Orchestra (CYO). Please take the time to read through everything, and refer to it throughout the semester. Suggestions for the orchestra program are welcomed and encouraged. It is through thoughtful feedback that the program will continue to improve and grow.​


The CYO is open to adult community members and invites string students who are currently in private lessons or participating in their school orchestra program to audition. Auditions will determine group placement and seating for each semester. Audition materials for students includes a prepared excerpt, scales and sight-reading. Specific audition details will be available in the Audition tab above. 

Criteria for Section Assignments:

We use the following criteria to determine section assignments during the interview session/audition:

We use the following criteria to determine section assignments for continuation throughout each semester:


Students will receive a printed schedule at the first rehearsal. Reminders about upcoming events will be emailed to families. All events may be subject to change. Attendance at regular rehearsal and all scheduled performances is required for participation in the orchestra.  


Please communicate with your conductor at the earliest possible moment if you (or your child) is not able to attend a rehearsal – preferably 24 hours before a rehearsal. Missed rehearsals are not subject for make-up. It is the students’ and parents’ responsibility to learn about the missed rehearsal from the stand partner/section chair.

In the rare case that conductors need to reschedule a rehearsal due to professional engagements, a make-up rehearsal will be scheduled. Students will be notified well in advance. Generally, these make-up rehearsals will be held on Saturdays or Sundays.


We primarily communicate via email. All handouts will be emailed and it is the parent’s responsibility to keep up with dates and performance schedule. It is vital that conductors are informed about absences prior to a performance so we can make sufficient re-arrangements. General inquiries can be directed to c-yo@apsu.edu. Communication about absences or specific questions and concerns should go directly to directors or coordinators at the contact information provided to you at the first rehearsal.


There is a direct relationship between regular practice and student success. Parents want to help their child establish a regular practice routine - free from distraction, assist with practicing and offer positive reinforcement, especially at the beginning levels. If it is not possible to help directly, just being in the room while the child practices is supportive and encouraging. All parents are more than welcome to sit in on rehearsals.

Students should practice at least four to six days per week. This way, students will have a better chance for successful and positive learning experiences. Practicing for just a few minutes each day of the week is much more beneficial than practicing for many hours on just one day. The most important days to practice are the days before and after the rehearsal. Students are expected to come prepared to rehearsals.


It is essential that each student comes prepared to each rehearsal. Students are responsible to bring and leave ALL (!) rehearsals with the following:

Optional (at home/in case):


Parent volunteers are always welcome to help during rehearsals, organize public event performances, set up before/after performances, outings, etc. Any help is always greatly appreciated! To become a parent volunteer, please let us know by e-mailing us at c-yo@apsu.edu, or contacting one of the coordinators directly using the contact information provided to you at the first rehearsal. 


Conduct and Behavior:

All students are expected to demonstrate appropriate conduct and behavior that exhibits respect toward fellow participants, faculty, staff, and property before, during, and after all rehearsals and concerts. If inappropriate behavior and/or conduct is exhibited, the director will contact the student’s parents or guardian to discuss the matter and recommend a course of action.

Cell Phones and Electronic Devices:

The use of cell phones and any other electronic or communication devices is strictly prohibited during any rehearsal.


All orchestra students, coaches, volunteers and employees shall have an environment that is safe, secure and free from bullying of any kind. Bullying will not be tolerated under any circumstances. The orchestra environment is to be encouraging, supportive, and positive. 

Student Drop off/Pick up:

It is expected that students arrive 5-10 min. before rehearsal time begins.  It is the responsibility of the parent to see that each student arrives at and leaves from the teaching space safely. We are not able to supervise students coming or leaving.  


Each Fall and Spring semester will conclude with a concert that is open to the public and which serves as our end of the semester performance. If possible, we will seek out other performance opportunities throughout the semester. All students are expected to participate in the student concerts and public events. Dates will be announced at the beginning of each semester and will be available for reference in the "Calendar" tab on this site. Please communicate any scheduling concerns about performance dates immediately. 

Concert Dress:

Our performance dress for concerts/performances is all black. Men will wear long sleeve black shirts, black dress slacks, and black dress shoes. Men will not need a tie. Ladies will wear a long black dress or a long-sleeved black shirt, black slacks, and black shoes.

Festival/Competitions during Spring Semester:

The National Federation of Music Clubs Festivals program is designed to promote study, stimulate interest in American and world music literature, and encourage each participant to reach a high standard of musical achievement. The Festival is not a competitive event, but an opportunity to perform and receive evaluation from a judge. Both orchestras are eligible to participate and prepare a required piece. Memory is not required and there is no additional fee for participation. A separate handout will be provided during rehearsals in January.


Rehearsals are a learning experience that requires the cooperation of the teacher, parent, and student. To ensure a level of success in each student’s progress, each person involved in the process has specific responsibilities:

Parental Responsibilities:

Student Responsibilities:

Teacher Responsibilities: