2023-24 Musician Handbook: Parent Involvement


GTCYS greatly appreciates volunteers, both GTCYS parents and members of the broader community, who provide valuable assistance at concerts, retreats, special events, with day-to-day tasks, special activities, and fundraising. Please refer to the GTCYS Volunteer Handbook for more information on how to volunteer with GTCYS. We appreciate all our volunteers and will send information on volunteer opportunities as these opportunities arise. It is a meaningful way to be involved, meet other GTCYS families, and make a difference for students. Parents and family members may sign up for volunteer opportunities online or contact GTCYS’ Program Associate Katie Heilman at katie@gtcys.org for more information.

Parent Social Crew

Each orchestra has a designated committee of 2-3 parent/guardian volunteers who work with the staff and recruits other parents and family members to coordinate orchestra social activities. These activities include treat nights, orchestra social nights, year-end parties, and other orchestra activities. These committees are also valuable sources of information should you have any questions. Parent Social Crew members will be determined during the late summer/early fall. If you are interested in serving on a GTCYS Parent Social Crew, please contact GTCYS’ Program Associate Katie Heilman at katie@gtcys.org.

Family Etiquette at GTCYS Events

Parents and family members are welcome to observe regular rehearsals if space allows. To create a productive rehearsal environment, parents should not interact with their child or the conductor while the rehearsal is underway. Retreats and dress rehearsals are closed to parents and the public with the exception of volunteers who have signed up to help in advance.                      

Staying Informed

We rely on parents to help ensure that students fulfill their GTCYS commitment, and it is critical for parents to stay informed. Because GTCYS only uses electronic forms of communication, parents must subscribe to their child’s online GTCYS calendar, regularly check and read emails, and visit the website. Please set your spam filter to allow emails from GTCYS’ staff and info accounts, as well as Mailchimp. Look for weekly emails from your conductor in addition to GTCYS’ monthly News Notes for important updates. After rehearsal each week, parents should also ask students for any information that was shared. If you are not receiving regular communications from GTCYS, please contact Katie Heilman at katie@gtcys.org to ensure that we have the correct contact information on file.

Spread the Word About GTCYS!

Families are our best representatives! Your words of support to friends, family, and colleagues help get the word out about GTCYS. You can spread the word by inviting friends or families to attend concerts, encouraging other families with musical children to consider joining GTCYS, sharing our news on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn, and advocating the value of music education to school officials.

Parent/Guardian Gatherings

GTCYS strives to maintain open and ongoing communication with parents and guardians. Once or twice during the year, parents and guardians are invited to gather with members of GTCYS’ staff and/or Board of Directors to socialize, learn more about what’s going on at GTCYS, and ask questions. Details will be shared separately. 

Your Support Matters

As a non-profit organization, GTCYS relies on charitable contributions to create meaningful experiences for students and expand access for young musicians from all backgrounds. Unlike many other extracurricular programs, we will never ask families to sell goods or directly fundraise. Because tuition only covers about half the actual cost of participation, going above and beyond with a charitable gift directly supports your own child’s experience. Contributions also help provide more than $100,000 in tuition assistance so that all GTCYS students can experience the lifelong benefits of a GTCYS education. Make a tax-deductible gift here. Thank you!

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