Members Handbook


There will be sectionals scheduled occasionally throughout the semester, usually during the regular rehearsal time with guest coaches. Sectionals will be coached by either the conductor, a guest artist or a section leader. It is required that all attend sectionals. You will have at least a one-week notice of all sectionals via email and on the orchestra website. Sectionals are a great opportunity to make up for lost rehearsal time resulting from an absence.

Rehearsal Protocol

As a mark of respect to each other, all musicians should be in their seats and ready to tune five minutes before the beginning of each rehearsal. Your grade will be impacted if you arrive after the five minute call time. Prepare to remain seated for a long period of time (ie avoid leaving the rehearsal; use the restroom before rehearsal or at the break)

Breaks:    2 hour rehearsal – 10 minutes 
            2.5 hour rehearsal – 15 minutes
               3 hour rehearsal – 20 minutes

Each musician is responsible for keeping track of the break time. Return promptly and be ready to play immediately at the end of each break. Find the location of the clock and note the possible time difference between that and your personal timepiece.

Please bring what is required for the rehearsal (instrument, auxiliary instruments, rehearsal pencil, music scores, mutes, tuner, rosin, swabs, valve oil etc) If you need to borrow any auxiliary instruments you do not already possess, please approach the stage manager for help.

Be responsible for learning and knowing your part for the first rehearsal. If needed, bring your music to your teacher for guidance. Take the time to learn about the music and composer you are playing. It helps us all to be better musicians.

While we support engaging deeply with the music, respect the conductor’s decisions and leadership and listen to what he or she has to say. Always address questions through your section leader. It is their job to ask the conductor. If your question can wait, please hold it until the break.

To be a strong orchestra community, be kind to and supportive of everyone.

Concert Protocol

In order to present our performances in the most professional way, the orchestra will utilize the following procedures:

All personnel are expected to be at the concert hall at the start of all concerts, regardless of program order.

The call for arrival before every performance is 15 minutes. You must check in with the Orchestra Manager; if you do not, you will be marked late and your grade will be affected.

The stage lights will be set at its full concert level when the house opens to the public. You should be in your seat five minutes in advance of the advertised concert time.

If your chair or stand needs to be replaced, or you need a stand light, you must inform the orchestra manager no later than five minutes before the start of the concert. Needs communicated later than that may not be addressed until intermission. 

When the performance is ready to begin, the house (audience) lights will be lowered and a production crew member will stand at each side of the stage, holding up one hand as a signal for the orchestra to become quiet. After a ‘go’ from the Music Department Concert Managers, the Concertmaster enters the stage. After tuning, the conductor enters the stage and the house lights go down to concert level.

When the Concertmaster enters and tunes the orchestra, she will generally ask for two A’s from the Principal Oboe. The first A is for the winds and brass, the second A is for the strings.

The orchestra tunes to A = 440hz.

In the event that there is a stage change requiring you to move from your seat, please go offstage completely and quickly. If you are not required to move (i.e., remain onstage), refrain from talking during the stage change.

In order to fully acknowledge the audience’s appreciation of the orchestra at the end of a work, please turn to face the audience and smile when you stand up. Downstage players (first violins and celli) may find it most practical to turn towards the audience.

Talking, putting away music or equipment, or entering or leaving the stage during applause is often regarded as a sign of disrespect to our audiences and is therefore strongly discouraged.

Concert Dress Code

The orchestra maintains a professional dress code for all public performances. The following dress code is in effect on stage and in the public areas of the concert hall, from 30 minutes prior to the performance through the end of the performance. Any deviations from the dress code will be announced and posted in advance of the performance.

Women Men

Long sleeve black blouse or formal top

Mid-calf or long black skirt or dress pants

Mid-calf or long black dress

Black socks or stockings/nylons

Black closed-toed shoes

Well-pressed Black Tuxedo or Black Suit

Clean long sleeve white shirt

Black bow tie

Solid black socks

Polished black shoes

It is the individual player’s responsibility to obtain the proper concert attire. Please see the board if you need advice on procuring the dress code stated above.

Board Positions and Duties



  • Oversees other board members and initiates tasks for the orchestra

  • Runs weekly board meetings

  • Serves as contact between orchestra, board, and conductor

Stage Manager


  • Arrives early to rehearsals/concerts to set up chairs and stands

  • Remains after rehearsals/concert to put away chairs and stands

  • Organizes chair/stand set up for concerts



  • Helps design and distribute posters and brochures for events

  • Oversees advertising before each concert

  • Writes up and distributes press releases



  • Manages orchestra’s budget and bookkeeping

  • In charge of orchestra’s SGA account

  • Collects dues from orchestra members

    Current Officeholder(s): Alexandra Brennan ‘17

Social Media Manager


  • Manages orchestra’s facebook page and Instagram account

  • Responsible for pictures and videos of the orchestra

  • Occasionally helps with publicity

Head Librarian


  • Scans, uploads, and prints music in a timely matter

  • Coordinates above responsibilities with other librarians

  • In charge of distributing and retrieving music to orchestra members



  • Aids head librarian with scanning, uploading, and printing music

  • Helps with organization of all music

  • Distributes and retrieves music



  • Manages orchestra’s website

  • Updates website with news about concerts and events

  • Maintains contact with conductor over the summer to keep website up to date

Social Chair


  • Plans and organizes fall retreat

  • Provides snacks for rehearsals

  • Coordinates social activities throughout the semester