Orchestra Handbook



Rehearsal Procedure

Your full cooperation during rehearsals is appreciated and expected. All school rules of conduct, behavior and use of the school facilities will be strictly enforced. Anything less is unacceptable. This means no food (including gum or candy) or drink (besides water) are allowed in the rehearsal room or the music building. If you have refreshments between classes, finish your refreshment before entering the building, and make sure you are not tardy. Anyone caught with food or drink in the classroom will have one point subtracted from their overall quarter grade. If you must leave rehearsal to use the restroom, only one student may leave at a time with the appropriate pass and you must leave your cell phone on the table in the front of the room.




Rehearsal Points

Rehearsal points are used to get more out of each rehearsal with a better use of time. You will receive 3 points for every rehearsal (class session). Points will be deducted for misconduct and not following proper rehearsal procedures. Full rehearsal points for the week will be posted on Monday and points will be deducted accordingly throughout the week. Lost rehearsal points or lowered concert grades will not able to be made up. Rehearsal points are worth one half of your total grade.




The whole idea of rehearsing is to prepare the ensemble for performance. Every performance is an opportunity for the orchestra to demonstrate its present level of skill and progress. Through performing, we share the enjoyment of music with others. This is why it's important to perform at the best of one's ability.



Performances are the orchestral equivalent of taking a major exam in an academic subject. Since a performance is a one-time occurrence, there are no make--ups for missed performances. Because your participation for every performance is crucial, participation for performances is MANDATORY and there will be NO extra credit or makeup work available for missed performances. Performance grades will be based on the Principles Of Performance criteria.


Etiquette and Dress

Call time (the time which you are to arrive at the performance site and sign in) for all performances is 30 minutes before the start of the scheduled performance. The same time frame will apply to any special rehearsal scheduled prior to a performance. At the beginning of a performance, the orchestra will stand as the conductor comes to the podium for the first selection. Unless otherwise instructed, the entire orchestra will stand for the applause at the end of each selection and will be seated at the discretion of the conductor or concertmaster.



 It has been a long and proud tradition that the Mountain View Orchestras wear special attire in performance. Because our orchestras have a reputation for excellence, I have decided that the orchestras will perform in the concert attire described below. It is recommended that every member of the Mountain View Orchestras willingly acquire their own approved apparel. If you have a problem acquiring the apparel, please do not hesitate to ask for help. I will be very happy to assist you.


Gentlemen:   Black tuxedo

            White dress shirt or tuxedo shirt

            Black bow tie

            Black cummerbund

            Black dress socks

            Black dress shoes


Ladies:  Black, ankle‑length dress with sleeves

            Black stockings

            Black dress shoes

 Flip-flops and tennis shoes are NOT appropriate concert gress.


Tuxedos and dresses are ordered through LeSueur Tuxedos.  

On a specified day during class, Mr. LeSueur will measure the gentlemen for their tuxes and an orchestra parent will be here to size ladies for their dresses.


 Regular playing test will be given in order to keep a running account of each student's progress. Playing tests will be graded on the following criteria: Tone (20), Intonation (20), Technique (10), Rhythm (10), and Musicality (10). Each exam is worth 70 points and all students begin the exam with all 70 points. Points will be subtracted when pitches or rhythms are played incorrectly, and when tone is inferior, posture is incorrect or there is no attempt to play musically. Playing tests may be retaken for higher scores at anytime during the week before the next playing test.




Your chair placement will be determined by the scores from playing tests. In each section, the highest score will determine the first chair and the remainder of the seating will follow each lower score in succession. Where you sit in the orchestra is not as important to me as how well you contribute to the overall performance of the ensemble.