youth playing in concert

Member Guidelines For BYSO Online

BYSO members are expected to fulfill the musician and parent responsibilities outlined below regarding commitment level, attendance, practicing expectations, and behavior

Musician Responsibilities

BYSO musicians must be on time to rehearsals and concerts, prepare their music as instructed by their conductor and coach, and maintain good standards of behavior and attitude.


We expect that all musicians will make the commitment to remain in the BYSO program for the rest of the year. In normal years, rehearsal and concert dates are announced well in advance, so that students and parents can arrange their schedules accordingly. In this time of COVID, we cannot predict what we will be able to offer, so patience and flexibility may be called for.

Musicians should contact the BYSO office or their conductor if they need to take a leave of absence for health or other reasons. An approved leave of absence does not require an audition to rejoin the ensemble if the student is rejoining during the same season.

School Program Participation

BYSO musicians are required to participate in their school’s performing arts program (orchestra, band, choir, theater, or dance), if available, in order for us to maintain a system of mutual support for arts education in Washington State. We understand that there are special circumstances in which even the most dedicated students cannot participate in their school’s programs. To those able however, we again press upon the importance of participation and even leadership in these programs.


BYSO musicians are expected to attend all of their ensemble’s online sessions. Missing more that one session, for any reason, may preclude the musician from participating in a final recording.  The only absences excused are due to illness, a family emergency, a religious holiday, extremely bad weather, or required student participation in a school performance. BYSO must be notified promptly for an absence to be excused.

BYSO follows the Bellevue School District calendar for holiday, mid-winter, and spring breaks. If you have BYSO rehearsal scheduled on a day that your school is on a break, you are still expected to attend.

Absence from a rehearsal

If you are unable to attend a rehearsal, or you will have to arrive late or leave early, you must contact your conductor or the BYSO office before 3:00 pm on the day of the rehearsal for your absence to be considered excused. Just use our online form here.

If neither the BYSO office nor your conductor are informed in advance, missing a rehearsal, arriving late, or leaving early are all considered unexcused absences.

Be Prepared


BYSO musicians are expected to spend a considerable amount of time practicing their music at home. We recommend that you take your BYSO music to one of your private lessons soon after you receive it, to get your instructor’s advice and insights. You can also ask your instrument coach during BYSO sectional rehearsals for tips on how to practice the music most effectively.

Be prepared technically as well: make sure your viewing equipment is set up and has access to the internet well before the scheduled session time.

Musicians who are consistently unprepared may, at the discretion of the conductor, be placed into a different BYSO ensemble with less challenging music or put on probation until they can demonstrate that they are prepared.

Check for conductors’ messages

BYSO conductors use our website to communicate with their students between rehearsals. Be sure to check your ensemble page each week to see if there is a new message.

Take care of your instrument & music

Keep your instrument clean and maintained in good working order. Promptly take care of any damage and replace any missing parts (tuning peg, mouthpiece, etc.) that make the instrument difficult or impossible to play.

Online Behavior

When you join an online session, please have your microphone on mute, and unmute only when the coach or conductor say to do so.  Give your coach and your fellow musicians your full attention, and do not have side conversations. If asked to give feedback, focus on positives and always be kind.

Zero-tolerance items

BYSO has a zero-tolerance policy toward tobacco, alcohol, illegal drugs, firearms and other weapons, and any type of physical violence or harassment. If something is not allowed at your school, you can be sure it is not allowed at BYSO either. Musicians will receive immediate suspension for possession of any of the above controlled items. Bullying or harassment will lead to probation or suspension.


Parent Responsibilities

Our behavior rules are designed to foster professionalism, teamwork, and respect for fellow musicians. Please encourage your musician to fulfill their responsibilities.

Stay in Touch

Read our announcements

Every Thursday we send out an e-mail newsletter and we post important, time-sensitive announcements on the website. Look for these emails and contact us if you aren’t receiving them.

Support BYSO

Help make sure the technology is working

Help your student make sure their connection to their online session is functioning smoothly before the scheduled start time.  The coach or conductor of the session will not be able to help with technical issues, only musical ones.

Volunteer at least once during the year

We ask each family contribute 4 volunteer hours per student. As volunteer opportunities become available, they will be publicized through our weekly newsletter.

Help us fundraise

To help keep BYSO tuition affordable, we rely on donations and sponsorships from our families. There are opportunities to give throughout the year including our annual Pass the Hat campaign, our Growing Musicians Garden Party fundraiser event, online, or at our concerts. Don’t forget your company match! BYSO is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, so donations are fully tax-deductible. You may learn about our operations by reading our most recent Annual Report.

Like us on Social Media

We use social media to engage our online community. Like our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram – your support of our social pages goes a long way in strengthening our community presence.


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