2022-23 Musician Handbook: Expectations & Conduct


GTCYS’ culture welcomes students and celebrates families of all backgrounds. With students’ and parents/guardians’ participation, together we create an environment that is safe, respectful, diverse, equitable, and anti-racist. By understanding and abiding by GTCYS’ expectations and upholding high standards of conduct, students help to create a positive experience for themselves and their fellow students and a healthy learning community.

Please read the following carefully and inform your conductor, rehearsal assistant, or GTCYS staff of any concerns or questions. Individual and collective success depend on students’ actions and positive contributions. 

Students, GTCYS expects you to:

  • Be kind and considerate to one another and challenge yourself to be a supportive peer. Think about how your words and actions may be perceived by others. If you have said or done something that may be perceived as hurtful, racist, prejudiced, or discriminatory, apologize and work to be better.
  • Be upstanders to help create and support an inclusive and anti-racist community. If you notice others being disrespectful, tell a GTCYS conductor or Rehearsal Assistant.
  • Be an engaged member of the musical community: listen and participate attentively during rehearsals and practice your part at home. Ask questions and seek to improve for your sake and the sake of your orchestra. Attend your GTCYS rehearsals regularly and avoid scheduling events or activities which conflict with your GTCYS commitments.
  • Be a good steward of the rehearsal space: Keep food (including gum) and drinks out of rehearsal and performance spaces. Students may eat and drink in designated areas only during rehearsal breaks.
  • Stay home if you are ill and follow any all COVID-related policies set by GTCYS and/or its program venues.


GTCYS prohibits discrimination with regard to race, ethnicity, color, religion, national origin, citizenship status, migrant, immigrant, and refugee status, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and mental or physical abilities. Each student’s gender identify will be respected, and the student’s preferred name and pronoun will be used. As we strive to create an equitable and inclusive program for all, we encourage every member of the immediate GTCYS community (students, parents/guardians, staff) to help by identifying and challenging individual or systemic acts of racism and other forms of discrimination if they arise. 

Bullying and Harassment

GTCYS strictly prohibits bullying or harassment of any kind. GTCYS will investigate, respond to, remediate, and discipline any reported acts of bullying. Students who have been bullied or harassed, or individuals who have witnessed another member of the GTCYS community being bullied or harassed, should immediately inform the conductor. If the individual does not wish to communicate with the conductor for any reason, the individual should contact GTCYS’ Program Director or Executive Director.


The distribution, possession and/or un-prescribed use of narcotics, alcohol, cigarettes, and other controlled substances by members is unlawful and strictly forbidden. Any violation will lead to disciplinary review, including probation or dismissal.

Probation and Dismissal

A musician may be put on probation or dismissed from GTCYS at the discretion of the conductor and/or Executive Director for reasons including, but not limited to: lack of musical preparedness, behavior/conduct concerns such as, but not limited to: non-compliance with COVID-19 risk mitigation protocols, bullying, harassment, vandalism, theft, use of illegal substances, violence, the possession of a weapon, or any behavior that undermines the integrity of the organization. 

Positive Ambassadorship

GTCYS members represent the GTCYS community at all times, whether at rehearsals, retreats, concerts, special events, or on tour. All participating musicians are representatives of the organization, and the behavior of each musician reflects upon the entire group. We are guests at our rehearsal and performance venues. 


Anyone who is ill should stay home from GTCYS. Rather than completing a health screening, we will trust families to gauge their individual health and attendance for each GTCYS activity. Refer to our full attendance policy for additional details and bookmark the absence form for easy access. 

Musical Preparation

Coming to rehearsals prepared is essential for you and your fellow musicians’ success. This includes bringing your music, a pencil, music stand, and all necessary accessories (e.g. reeds, rock stops, mallets) to every GTCYS activity, working with your teacher on difficult passages, and practicing and learning your part outside of rehearsal. Home practice is to learn your own part and rehearsals are for learning everyone else’s part. As a general guideline, devote at least 10 minutes of dedicated practice to your GTCYS music daily. Conductors will refer to this concept as the “GTCYS 10” throughout the season.

Cell Phones

Cell phones are prohibited during all GTCYS activities except at breaks or if otherwise asked by a GTCYS conductor, such as times where select students may be allowed to use tuning apps on their phones. Cell phones will be confiscated if used at inappropriate times. Repeated violations may lead to probation or dismissal without refund.

Instrument Liability

Students are responsible for the safety and care of their own instruments and accessories during all GTCYS activities. Lost, stolen, or damaged instruments/accessories are not GTCYS’ responsibility. Should any damage occur to a student’s instrument during a GTCYS activity, the involved student(s) must notify the Rehearsal Assistant immediately. GTCYS staff will inform the parents/guardians about the incident to the extent of GTCYS’ knowledge and share parents’ contact information so they may work together to resolve the issue. The conductor and GTCYS staff may schedule a meeting with the students’ parents to determine restorative actions. GTCYS strongly encourages all members to insure their instruments. Students should keep instruments in their cases when they are not rehearsing and maintain great care around other students. 

Participation in School Band and Orchestra Programs

GTCYS and schools share a common goal of educating student musicians; GTCYS supplements and does not replace school music programs. Though we cannot make it mandatory, GTCYS strongly encourages its members to actively participate in school band and orchestra programs. If a school band or orchestra concert conflicts with a GTCYS event, GTCYS students should prioritize their commitment to their school ensemble and notify GTCYS as soon as the conflict is known. 

Payment and Refunds

GTCYS families must pay all tuition and fees by the deadlines outlined in the enrollment form. Special payment plans can be arranged if flexibility is needed: Contact katie@gtcys.org with questions about payments.

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GTCYS Summer Camps

Have you signed up for GTCYS Summer Camps yet? Join one of our exciting summer programs taking place July 17-21, 2023 including a new Mariachi Camp! Have fun making music with students from around the Twin Cities. Click here to learn more!