Guidelines and Information for Musicians
The ASO is a non-profit, all-volunteer community orchestra comprising musicians who are making a commitment to collaborate with others on rehearsing and performing orchestral music. As with any team building endeavor, success depends on the regular interaction of the entire group. Out of consideration and respect for your fellow ASO Musicians, please be aware of the following guidelines:
1. Unless otherwise announced, rehearsals begin promptly at 7:00 p.m. Please plan to arrive no later than 10 minutes before scheduled rehearsals so that you have time to set up your stand, get your instrument out of its case and be seated and ready to tune promptly at the above stated time.
2. Most communication is via email. You are responsible for regularly checking your ASO emails and for keeping your contact info up to date. The rehearsal plan for the week, which sections may need to stay late or leave early, rehearsal cancellations, or venue changes, info about upcoming sectionals, concert info – including the dress code, etc. are contained in those emails.
3. Please do not talk or “practice” when the music director is addressing a musician or section within the orchestra. Not only is this extremely distracting to those in the immediate vicinity, the instructions have relevance to everyone else, including you – meaning you should be looking at your music at the passage in question. Please be sensitive to the fact that others are trying to hear what is being said and to follow along. Texting and checking messages on your smartphone are likewise not appropriate.
4. We understand that life happens and that work, school, and personal obligations occasionally can affect a musician’s availability to attend rehearsals. However, please be aware that significant numbers of absences can affect the rehearsal plan for that week. You may be an excellent player and think you can afford to miss some rehearsals. I ask that you please consider that the presence of experienced musicians at rehearsal has the greatest benefit to less experienced musicians seated around them and beyond. Therefore, If you will miss or be late to a rehearsal, please notify Denise Murray via email with a cc to your stand partner, section leader or principal. A musicians’ roster with email addresses is emailed out at the start of the session. A few hard copies are available at rehearsals too.
5. Music Director Philip Clark decides which musicians will play the solos within an orchestral piece. He also decides who will sit in first and second chairs, who will play first and second violins. There are no specific duties associated with any position within the orchestra. Bowings, for example, are not required of the principal string players. They are optional. Philip puts in the bowings he thinks are important. The rest are best worked out in rehearsal or in the string sectional. If someone has the time and desire to provide bowings, he/she is free to do so in collaboration with the principle.
6. The ASO has financial obligations, including the Music Director’s salary, the cost of purchasing music and other equipment, printing, advertising, compensation for soloists and substitute musicians, insurance and other expenses. We all share in the costs of running a non-profit orchestra in the form of an orchestra fee assessed for each concert cycle based in part, on the total number of participants. A limited number of scholarships are available to assist those with financial need. Please contact us at email@example.com or 434 260 7428 to ask about financial assistance.
7. All ASO musicians are on a path to realize their potential as musicians, though their personal journeys differ widely. The ASO strives to provide a safe, non-competitive, supportive environment for musicians of diverse backgrounds and experience. To that end, we encourage kindness, tolerance, camaraderie, a spirit of generosity and good, good fun.