Course Policies for University of Illinois Orchestras
Regulations for attendance at orchestra rehearsals and performances are different from those of other University classes because (1) the experiences gained from interaction within an ensemble cannot be made up at another time, and (2) the quality of experience for those students in attendance is adversely affected by the absenteeism of other members. Thus, members of ensembles are expected to be present at all rehearsals and performances.
- Website and Orch-List
-Students are expected to check regularly the website for rehearsal schedules and other information.
-Email will also be sent via each orchestra’s list-serve, only to the address within the “illinois.edu” domain, unless otherwise indicated on their information sheet at auditions in the fall.
-All orchestra members, particularly those wind and percussion players who cover auxiliary parts in a particular piece of repertoire, need to be sure they are members of the appropriate list.
-Hard copies of the rehearsal schedule will not be posted on a bulletin board. Students must check for electronic notices.
- Grading Policy
-The Music Director will administer all grades based on attendance, promptness, professional deportment, and musical preparation. The highest possible grade is an “A.”
The following guidelines and penalties will be maintained:
-One letter grade will be cut for each unexcused absence from rehearsal.
-One-third of a letter grade will be cut for every unexcused late arrival.
-One-third of a letter grade will be cut for every instance a student is discovered using a cell phone during rehearsal.
-Absences from concerts and dress rehearsals are not excusable and will result in a failing grade and dismissal from the orchestra.
-Failure to deliver your music to the rehearsal when you are absent for any reason will result in the loss of one-third of a letter grade (i.e., grade of A reduced to an A-).
Orchestra members will be seated for concerts by the Music Director. Seating assignments will be posted on the orchestra website as soon as possible before a rehearsal set and orchestra members are responsible for knowing this information. Seating will not be changed once they are posted on the website, except when done by the Music Director.
The schedule for each rehearsal will be posted on the orchestra website and will be sent to members via email. Assigned orchestra members are expected to be available during the entire rehearsal period; other school commitments should not be scheduled during that time.
Members shall be considered late to a rehearsal if not tuned and in place by the commencement of the tuning routine. Procedures for excusing tardiness are the same as those for absences.
On campus: If a member has a particular rehearsal day or days that involve difficult travel time from another part of campus, he/she should notify the orchestra manager
Off campus: Orchestra members should expect to be available to play in orchestra on all days when school is in session. The purchase of nonrefundable airline tickets or the making of travel plans do NOT excuse orchestra members from their obligations. It is possible, though unlikely, that a concert may occur after the last day of classes for a particular semester. This would be due to the extreme demands made on the KCPA concert facilities. When this is the case, students will be notified at the beginning of the relevant academic year
It is suggested that orchestra members schedule their recitals and important chamber music performances on non-orchestra rehearsal or performance days.
-Temporary Physical Disability:
If a student is physically able to attend a rehearsal but unable to play due to a temporary physical condition, such as tendinitis, that student must attend the rehearsal and sit in his/her chair in the orchestra. A student must play in at least 50% of the rehearsals to be eligible to play that concert.
Absences and Illness
Orchestra members must attend all rehearsals and concerts for which they are assigned except in the following circumstances:
-serious illness or injuries requiring medical attention (these circumstances require corroborating statement from a medical authority)
-funerals or weddings within the immediate family (includes spouse, parents, grandparents, children, siblings/step-siblings, and in-laws)
-job interviews or auditions (not paying jobs, or “gigs”).
The following does not apply to music majors because large ensembles are a required activity within the music major degree program:
Students whose major is other than music, when they are required to attend and centrally participate in an educational activity required in their major or minor field/s of study, are allowed a single excused absence from a rehearsal (not a dress rehearsal or concert). Then, the student may take an additional absence from a rehearsal (not a dress rehearsal or concert) in exchange for the lowering of their grade by 1/3 ( i.e., A to A-)
-Orchestra members who are unable to attend a rehearsal due to illness are expected to provide the notated part (their “music”) at the rehearsal.
-A student unable to attend because of illness must telephone the orchestra manager at least two hours before a rehearsal or 24 hours before a concert. E-mail is also acceptable.
-Players who are absent for any reason must submit an Absence Request Form, via the orchestra website.
-Players who are absent due to illness must turn in a note from McKinely or another medical authority to the General Manager, not the conductor, at or before the next rehearsal. Otherwise the absence is “unexcused.”
-There is no limit to the number of excused absences available to a student provided that proof of serious illness or other serious extenuating circumstances is furnished to the Music Director via the General Manager.
-However, a player must play in at least 50% of the rehearsals for a concert in order to be eligible to play that concert.
Absences for Exceptional Reasons
Other absences may be approved by the Music Director and will be judged on their individual merit. The student must discuss the situation in person with the Music Director. E-mail is not acceptable. The student should petition for this absence no later than two weeks before a rehearsal, and six weeks before a performance.
As a condition of approval, the Music Director may:
1) require the orchestra member to provide an acceptable substitute player and/or
2) also be required to attend a coaching session with the Music Director on the music covered at the missed rehearsal.
-The decision of the Music Director is final and not subject to appeal.
-An exception is made for wind and percussionists who rehearse with the Wind Symphony when there is a conflict. These players are expected to arrive on time immediately following Wind Symphony rehearsals.
ALL excused absence request MUST be accompanied by an Absence Request Form, via the orchestra website.
- Learner Accommodations
Any student with a documented learning disability should contact the conductor and general manager so that an appropriate response may be devised
- Concert Attire
-Men: Black tuxedo, white shirt, black bow tie, black shoes and socks
-Women: Black closed-toe shoes, minimal jewelry, long sleeves, and any of the following choices:
Floor-length black dress with long sleeves or any combination of Floor-length black skirt, floor to calf length black skirt, or black dress slacks with long-sleeved black blouse.
-NO strong perfumes, colognes, or other heave scents