Senior Symphony Members Only

This is the place to visit for important member updates, schedule information, concert dates and rehearsal times/locations... essentially everything you need to know about the Senior Symphony 2020-21 Season!

Rehearsal/Attendance Expectations and more: SYMPHONY GUIDELINES

REMIND APP: If you haven't already, please sign-up for the Remind app! If there is a last minute sectional room change, an update to a schedule, or other reminders that need to get sent out quickly, Remind is very handy. Please text @sym2021 to the number 81010 to be added to the message list. Or add yourself online:


Absences, Music, Lost & Found: Katie ( or Keith (

Payments, Promotion Auditions, Concert Tickets: Deepika ( or Lori (

Donations, Gift Matching, or Ad Sales: Joanne (

Board Membership: Seth (


3:15 - 5:45pm


  • All Zoom video sessions will be monitored by GSYO faculty and staff. GSYO will utilize breakout rooms for small group learning and team building activities. GSYO faculty and staff will drop in and out of these rooms as necessary. Musicians are expected to act appropriately and respectfully of all musicians at all times.
  • Zoom virtual sessions are designed for GSYO musicians only.
  • To prevent disruptions to the rehearsal, parents/guardians should not actively participate in the sessions, although parents/guardians may assist their child with technology and/or remain nearby if necessary.
  • Parents/guardians should refrain from engaging with their musician(s) during Zoom sessions.
  • Parents/guardians of this student must take full responsibility for their children's equipment and digital resources and hereby release GSYO from any liability incurred by their child’s online interactions.


  • All participants will adhere to the following rules or they will be removed from the session. Recurring incidences of bad behavior will result in dismissal from the program.
    • Offensive or inappropriate language is not to be used in any form of communication.
    • Use of any profanity - written, drawn, displayed or spoken - during a meeting is unacceptable.
    • Videos are required to be on during active rehearsal time. If you have technology challenges, please notify the Orchestra staff ahead of time.
    • Zoom backgrounds/backdrops should not be offensive, distracting, or negatively impact the experience of other participants.
    • As expected of any class interaction, musicians are to treat each other with courtesy and respect.
    • GSYO does not tolerate bullying of any kind.

Sharing Orchestra Links

  • In order to maintain the privacy of the students and faculty and the integrity of the program, Zoom links may not be shared with those not registered for the program. Infringements could result in dismissal from the program.

Sharing Music

  • Parts or scores should not be shared with anyone outside of GSYO. Sharing music outside of the organization conflicts with current copyright laws.

Privacy Policies

  • Every precaution will be taken to ensure student privacy. Anyone not in compliance will be removed from the session.
  • Every Zoom session will be password protected.
  • When signing on, the device being used should be identified by the student’s first name and last initial and instrument. For example: Lori B. [flute]
  • The private chat function will be disabled, and screen sharing will be limited to faculty only (unless enabled by faculty during the class, only if necessary).
  • Any confidential or personally identifiable information related to musicians participating during rehearsal virtual sessions should not be collected, discussed or shared.
  • Participants should not video record, audio record, photograph, live stream, or transmit in any other way any part of a Zoom virtual session, including not posting on any social media platform. GSYO may record or document rehearsals for archival as well as marketing purposes. Student names will not be shared.

Cell Phones

  • Cell phones, tablets, smart watches, or any other forms of technology are not to be used unless they are being used to host Zoom, or to virtually read music/scores. Please respect your coaches, conductors, and fellow musicians by not spending time on anything other than the rehearsal.

Technology Logistics

  • Zoom - All virtual classes will be held as Zoom meetings. Devices used for Zoom sessions should have video and audio capabilities.
  • Tech Support - If you have concerns or questions about your technology set-up, please contact GSYO at


Just as there are various levels of orchestra for our musicians, there are various ways for parents to be involved with GSYO. We are a large, diverse, and a widely-recognized music education program that has a devoted but, nevertheless, small staff; therefore, we deeply appreciate your contribution of time and efforts in support of our young musicians. We welcome everyone's participation during the year so that our season is a success, for all concerned - musicians, parents, faculty, and staff alike.

Ad SalesOpen Rehearsal SnacksOpener Concert
Tour CommitteeMailing CrewHoliday Concert
Concert PromotionMiscWinter Concert
 Phone-a-thonFinale Concert

Reporting Absences

If your musician is unable to attend rehearsal, please notify the Artistic Operations Manager and the Orchestra Assistant as soon as possible by submitting an Absence Notification through the GSYO website. You may also call the GSYO Musicians' line at (650) 665-9047. If there is no answer, please leave a message. Note: the online form is preferred. Students should not miss more than two rehearsals in a concert period.

If a musician will miss a progress check, dress rehearsal, or concert, A PARENT MUST submit the Absence Notification form through the GSYO site.

  • Only two absences are allowed per concert schedule - regular rehearsals only.
  • The only excused absences for progress checks, dress rehearsals, or concerts are severe illness, loss in the family, or a school music performance.
  • Missing more than 30 minutes of a rehearsal is considered an absence.

GSYO Supports School Music

GSYO members are encouraged to take an active role in their school music programs; it strengthens and enhances student musical development within the school community and in their progress through the GSYO ensembles.
GSYO members are ambassadors for the organization in their community. You can make a tremendous contribution to these programs by serving as a role model and sharing your talents with others. While not a requirement for GSYO participation, all GSYO Conductors expect that you will be a member of your school music program.

It is important that our families understand that we support their mandatory school music performances and that the school music directors feel comfortable communicating with the GSYO Conductors and Administration when conflicts arise.

Support School Music Policy >>
School Music Director Notification Form >>

Concert Dress Code

Girls: All attire should be black. Formal black top, long or short sleeved (not sleeveless), with a long black skirt (below the knees while sitting) or ankle length dress pants. Long black dresses are also acceptable. Black panty-hose should be worn with all skirts/dresses and all girls should wear black dress shoes.

Guys: Black suit with white button-up shirt, black bow tie, black socks, and black dress shoes. Please NO white socks or athletic shoes.

***Concert dress is required for concerts only! Do not wear concert dress to dress rehearsals.

Annual Auditions

Members of the Violin II section who wish to audition for promotion to Violin I should submit the Audition Application online through the Members Only section in January/February. Auditions take place during March and April. Send your application in early as appointment slots fill up quickly. Payment is due at the time the application is submitted.

College Recommendation Letters

Music Director John Eells and/or the Executive Director are pleased to provide Senior Symphony members with college recommendation letters. All Symphony members are eligible to request letters of recommendation. In order to ensure that we are able to respond to your request in a timely manner, please observe the following guidelines:

  • Do your homework: research carefully the requirements from each college.
  • Submit all materials to the GSYO office no later than 3 weeks prior to the college deadline (do not bring to rehearsal).
  • Include any necessary addressed and stamped envelopes.
  • Include a copy of any required forms.
  • Include a list of letters to be issued, with instructions (some are digital submissions, some still request a hard copy).

From the Top

Be on the NPR radio show! Musicians between the ages of 8–18 and have not enrolled in a college or conservatory. Solo instrumentalists and small and large ensembles will be considered.
Deadline: Rolling; no specific deadline
Learn More

The Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award

Jack Kent Cooke Young Artists are awarded up to $10,000 to help offset the often prohibitively expensive costs of studying classical music at a high level. Each year, From the Top chooses approximately 20 exceptional pre-collegiate musicians ages 8-18 to receive the Award. All recipients also appear on NPR's From the Top.
Deadline: Rolling; no specific deadline

The John Philip Sousa Foundation Dr. Robert Hawkins Memorial Scholarship 2020-2021

Student working toward a degree in instrumental (BAND) music education and attending a college/university in the United States.
Deadline: November 5, 2020

The John Philip Sousa National Young Artist Solo Competition

For high school wind band instrumentalists entering their senior year in Fall 2019. A $1,000 scholarship and an opportunity to perform with a military or major university band.
Deadline: Taking a year off; will be back in 2021
Learn More

The David Weiss Scholarship Program

The David Weiss Scholarship Program grants multiple cash awards to talented young musicians, ages 8 - 26.  As private music instruction continues to become more and more expensive, Young Musicians Foundation Scholars receive awards to use for private music instruction, music camp/school tuition or festival attendance.
Deadline: TBA - Application not available at this time
Learn More 

Glen Miller Scholarship Competition

Scholarships will be awarded to graduating high school seniors and first year college students who intend to make music a central part of their future. Those who have entered as high school seniors are eligible to compete again as college freshmen, unless they have been previous first place winters. Awards $1,000-$3,000.
Deadline: Cancelled due to Covid-19; check back in 2021

Wilshire Quinn Musical Arts Scholarship

To qualify, applicants must be between the ages of 17–24, enrolled full-time at a U.S. university or college, and be studying music either as a major or minor. Funds will be used for tuition only and paid directly to the educational institution. Awards $10,000
Deadline: May

International Double Reed Society - Oboe and Bassoon Competitions

The IDRS sponsors two international competitions for oboe and bassoon that take place each year during its annual conference. The Fernand Gillet-Hugo Fox Competition is for bassoonists and oboists who have not reached their 31st birthday by the date of the final round of the competition. The Norma Hooks Young Artist Competition is for those who have not reached their 22nd birthday by the date of the final round of the competition.

Both competitions alternate each year between oboe and bassoon.

Deadline: TBA

GSYO does not specifically endorse any of the scholarships or competitions listed, nor can we confirm the accuracy of information provided by these sites. This list is simply a reference.

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