The following guidelines enable the Thames Valley Youth Symphony to maintain a high standard of musical excellence. They encompass the basic considerations and responsibilities, which an orchestra member must show to his or her conductor and fellow orchestra members throughout the season.


You are expected to be in attendance and on time to every scheduled rehearsal. If you have an unavoidable conflict, the TVMS has a limited number of excused absences per semester. We ask that you and your parents review the Youth Symphony rehearsal schedule along with other planned activities on your calendar and note any conflicts. Please plan ahead so as not to exceed the number of excused absences. Please consider all of your sports and academic extracurricular activities, musical competitions, family vacations, SAT & ACT tests, college admissions interviews, etc. During this process, keep in mind that your school band or orchestra schedule takes precedence over Youth Symphony activities. If you find you must exceed the allowed number of absences due to your band or orchestra schedule, please bring your marching or orchestra schedule to the director (this is the only excuse for exceeding the allowed number of absences!). The membership status of any student exceeding the allotted absences in a semester will be subject for review. Excused rehearsal absences do not pertain to Dress Rehearsals or Concerts: You are NOT excused from any dress rehearsal or concert except with the expressed permission of the conductor. You must notify the conductor three weeks in advance of an absence from a scheduled dress rehearsal or concert. The conductor’s decision is final in all matters pertaining to absences from any dress rehearsal or concert.

  • You must call or send an email to the TVMS office 48 Hrs. in advance of an absence from rehearsal (illness is the only exception).

You are expected to devote enough time practicing your assigned music so that all notes and rhythms are learned before coming to rehearsal. Sufficient student practice is essential for the orchestra to spend its time efficiently rehearsing ensemble playing and style.

You are expected to be seated and tuned 5 minutes prior to the beginning of rehearsal. Rehearsals start promptly at the times posted on the rehearsal schedule. Rehearsal time is valuable and lateness is disruptive to the conductor and fellow orchestra members. As a show of respect for the conductor and your fellow young musicians please be prompt.

Thames Valley Youth Symphony: Rehearsals are held on Sundays at Connecticut College Cummings Arts Center – Evans Hall in New London, CT. There is an occasional rehearsal during the week. You will be notified well in advance of the day and time of these extra rehearsals. Thames Valley Youth Symphony performs two concerts per year.

Participation in School Music Program
Thames Valley Youth Symphony believes it is essential for all of its students to be a member of their school music programs and strongly encourages participation both for the advancement of their individual musical skills and for the promotion of the arts in their schools. Participation in a school music group is not only a vote for the continued inclusion of fine arts in the schools, it is important for the development of ensemble and leadership skills which in turn strengthens the TVMS Youth Symphony. Should a student not be in their school music program, the conductor may  wish to discuss this issue with both the student and their parents. Students must submit a signed form documenting the conflict that makes such participation impossible.

Responsibility for Music 
It is extremely important that you bring your music to each and every rehearsal. Forgetting your music creates gaps in the instrumentation of the orchestra and compromises the effectiveness of both the conductor’s and your fellow orchestra member’s rehearsal time.

Private Study
Thames Valley Youth Symphony asks that you study your instrument with a private teacher. Private music study is essential to your total development and successful participation in TVMS Youth Symphony. Don’t hesitate to ask for help from your private teacher. In the case of financial need, partial music lesson scholarships are available by contacting the TVMS office for an application.

Participation in disruptive behavior (profanity, harassment, etc.) will not be tolerated. It shows a lack of consideration and respect and reflects poorly on the whole orchestra.


  • New Member Auditions: Auditioning students are required to play a solo piece of their choice, to sight read, and prepare scales. All auditioning students are notified of their acceptance or non-acceptance by mail. After this first year, students will be considered permanent members based upon factors such as attendance, rehearsal preparation, attitude, and general musical development over the course of the year. Students can request an audition appointment by contacting TVMS at 860-439-2749 or email
  • Auditions for Chair Assignments:  Seating is at the discretion of the Music Director.

Concert Dress

  • Men
    Preferred: Black Suit or Black Tuxedo, white shirt, black bow tie, black socks, black shoes
  • Women
    • Dress: Solid black with sleeves, mid-calf or longer, black hose, black dress shoes
    • Top: Solid black blouse with sleeves tucked in at waist OR black sweater
    • Bottom: Solid black skirt mid-calf or longer OR loosely fitting black dress slacks black
      hose, black dress shoes

Rehearsal Cancellation
Inclement weather: In case of inclement weather, please check Thames Valley Music Schools voice mail at (860) 439-2749 for cancellation messages.  We will also post closings on FACEBOOK, NBC 30 ( and News Channel 8 ( In the case of an emergency cancellation we will attempt to call everyone.