Absences & Attendance

MEMBERSHIP AND ATTENDANCE

WYSO is committed to providing all members with the highest quality musical and educational experience possible and requires a serious commitment from all members and their families. The very nature of the orchestral experience requires that all members are present to rehearse together. By accepting membership in WYSO, members have agreed to fulfill the obligations associated with all rehearsals, performances, tours, and special events. Having chosen to participate in WYSO, members have made WYSO a priority.

ABSENCE NOTIFICATION PROCEDURE

  1. To assist with rehearsal planning for the orchestras and smaller ensembles, members should report planned absences by submitting a completed absence card, no later than one week before the affected rehearsal.
  2. Last-minute absences due to illness or other unexpected conflicts should be called in to the WYSO office, (608) 263-3320, or sent in an email, wyso@wyso.music.wisc.edu. Whenever possible, members should try to call before the rehearsal begins. Each orchestra has an assigned voice mailbox for last-minute attendance messages: x20 Youth/Philharmonia, x21 Concert/Sinfonietta
  3. An absence card should also be used to report planned tardiness and early departure from rehearsals. Members should sign in/out with the parent hall monitor stationed outside the rehearsal rooms if arriving at rehearsal more than 15 minutes late or leaving before rehearsal ends.

ATTENDANCE POLICY

The administrative and artistic staff recognize that members may occasionally have other obligations or unexpected conflicts on Saturday mornings; however, they firmly believe it is detrimental to the educational experience of WYSO to have different members missing each week. Whenever possible, members should avoid consecutive absences.

Absences exceeding two rehearsals for the November (Steenbock) concerts, three rehearsals for the March (Winterfest) concerts, and two rehearsals for the May (Bolz) concerts will prevent members from playing in that concert or tour. Members are still expected to attend all remaining rehearsals. Failure to do so will be grounds for removal from WYSO.

Planned absences should be kept to a minimum to allow for unexpected conflicts. Members are encouraged to work as a family at the beginning of the year to set priorities regarding extracurricular activities, college visits, school music activities and scheduling required college exams. This is possible with some effort and advance planning. For example, members may consider waiting to take the ACT or SAT until another concert cycle if they already have too many other conflicts. These tests are scheduled multiple times throughout the year and in different locations. For those with conflicts, conductors request you attend any part of the rehearsal you are able. It is better to attend some of a rehearsal than none.

The WYSO office carefully tracks absences, tardiness, and early departures from rehearsals to ensure everyone’s safety and to ensure that WYSO’s absence policies are consistently and fairly enforced. Each member is responsible for checking in with the attendance taker at EVERY rehearsal! Parent volunteers will call the homes of members who have failed to check in.

CONCERT ATTENDANCE

Attendance is required at all WYSO orchestra and ensemble concerts for members who are expected to perform. This includes the in-state tours, which require a full school-day commitment. An absence from a concert without reasonable excuse is probable cause for dismissal from the WYSO program. Members anticipating a conflict with a concert should inform the office as soon as possible.

EXCESSIVE ABSENCE POLICY

Members who exceed the number of permitted absences for a concert will be dismissed from performing in that concert. It is the absences themselves that are important, not the reasons. A member may be dismissed from membership due to lack of commitment as demonstrated by poor attendance during the year. This policy will be uniformly enforced among the orchestras and instrument sections.

LEAVE OF ABSENCE

WYSO does not grant leaves of absence for any reason. Prospective members who cannot commit to the entire season are discouraged from joining WYSO. Medical leave, as outlined above, is the only exception for a prolonged WYSO absence.

MEDICAL LEAVE

Medical leave may be implemented for members with a serious medical problem and a signed doctor’s note indicating the problem. Medical leave is determined on a case-by-case basis. If the amount of time needed to recover requires the member to miss too many rehearsals for a concert, they shall not perform in that concert. The health and safety of all WYSO members is of paramount importance.

PUNCTUALITY

It is very disruptive to have members arriving late, missing orchestra tuning, and crawling over others to be seated. All members should arrive 15 MINUTES before their rehearsal’s starting time. At starting time, members should be checked in, in their seat with music ready, warmed up and ready to tune and focus. Members are expected to be in place on time after scheduled breaks.

RELIGIOUS HOLIDAYS

Members who need to miss a concert for a religious holiday must fill out an attendance card stating this fact. Every effort should be made to avoid exceeding the number of permitted absences for a concert cycle; however, religious holidays will be granted exception upon conductors’ review of attendance record. Religious retreats and parties are not considered religious holidays.

WEATHER POLICY

Since WYSO is unable to make up a canceled rehearsal, the weather would have to be particularly treacherous to cause a cancellation. Any cancellations will be stated on the WYSO voicemail system by 7:00a.m. If rehearsal is not cancelled but a member decides the drive is too difficult, a voicemail message should be left in the appropriate orchestra’s mailbox, stating absence or estimated time of arrival. Absences due to bad weather will not be considered a commitment issue, but will count toward misses for a concert cycle.

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