2022-23 Musician Handbook: Attendance Policy

Student Commitment

Participation in GTCYS is a privilege and a responsibility. Regular attendance is at the heart of students’ own musical development and success, and that of the orchestras. Each GTCYS student is responsible for honoring their commitment to their orchestra community by consistently participating in all GTCYS activities, including rehearsals, retreats, and concerts. Students should subscribe to their orchestra’s calendar to understand the schedule and plan accordingly.

Absence Limits

A limited number of absences are allotted as described here:

  • Cycle 1 (September through the last activity in December): 2 absence limit
  • Cycle 2 (January through the February/March concert): 2 absence limit
  • Cycle 3 (after the February/March concert through Spring Festival): 2 absence limit 


Presenting excellent performances is the culmination of students’ individual and collective hard work. Missing a concert negatively impacts your orchestra community and detracts from your own experience. Performances are mandatory, and students must make every effort to honor their commitment to their orchestra with their presence at performances.

Reporting Absences

For every absence regardless of the reason, students must complete an online Absence Form as soon as they are aware that they will miss a GTCYS activity. Having a verbal conversation or emailing a conductor or staff member is not sufficient – an absence form must be submitted. Providing this information early helps conductors to plan rehearsals and orchestra activities.

Exceeding Absence Limits

GTCYS values all students’ individual contributions, and we’re committed to supporting their success. The attendance policy strives to balance rigor with some flexibility, yet relies on students to demonstrate their commitment to the orchestra and their ongoing progress.

If students exceed the absence limit, GTCYS’ staff will provide instructions to complete a check-in with their conductor to maintain their membership in good standing and determine eligibility for upcoming performances. The check-in may include a conversation and/or playing some of the orchestra’s music for the conductor in person, over Zoom, or by submitting a recording. Check-ins may result in the student continuing in the orchestra for the remainder of the concert cycle or taking a leave of absence until the next cycle. Excessive absences or missing a performance may lead to an extended leave of absence.

Other Absence Considerations

While we don’t categorize absences as “excused” or “unexcused,” we understand that some special circumstances may arise. Absences for the following reasons will still count toward the limits, but GTCYS’ staff will take this into consideration if a student exceeds the limit.

  • Illness: As we continue to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, we ask individuals to stay home if they are ill. Livestreams of rehearsals are discontinued this year, and we encourage students to use their time at home to practice individually.
  • Prioritizing School Band and Orchestra Concerts: GTCYS strongly encourages and fully supports students’ participation in school band and orchestra programs. If school band or orchestra concerts conflict with a GTCYS activity, students should prioritize attendance at their band or orchestra concert. Please complete an absence form as soon as you become aware of a school band or orchestra conflict.
  • Medical Leave of Absence: GTCYS can accommodate students who need to be absent for an extended period for reasons including but not limited to a mental health situation or physical illness or injury. Pro-rated refunds may be issued in the case of an extended medical leave.
  • Weather cancellations: Cancellations due to weather are rare. Please assume that a GTCYS activity will continue unless you hear otherwise. In the event of weather which might result in difficult conditions, GTCYS will email families and post the notification on the orchestra’s calendar at org/calendar. It is parents’ responsibility to check their email and the online orchestra calendars for an announcement. Online sessions may replace live rehearsals in the case of weather cancellations.

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