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Parent/Guardian Information

Communication

Our primary communication with you during the season will be through email. Please make sure you have registered under your primary email address and check to make sure email communication from gwyoa.org and SignupGenius.com are not being directed to your Junk or Spam folder.

Location

Rehearsals and the Winter Concert are located at Westchester Community College's Hankin Academic Arts Building: 75 Grasslands Rd, Valhalla, NY 10595, parking lot #4. Please see Contact Info for street and WCC Campus maps.

  • Westchester Elementary Strings musicians rehearse on the bottom floor in room 116

  • Westchester Junior Strings musicians rehearse on the bottom floor in room 104

  • Westchester Youth Symphony musicians rehearse on the second floor stage. Enter bottom floor from same location as ES and JS, go up staircase one floor. Elevator is down the hallway for large instruments, or follow handicap drop off instructions.

Drop off, Pick up, and Parking Directions

WCC students need to get to classes and have priority for all parking areas, please be considerate of their parking needs. Please respect and obey WCC Security personnel.

The directions below are for the safety of our children, consistently ignoring directions may result in expulsion from their orchestra.

Rehearsal Drop Off

Follow the BLUE traffic Flow Direction and use ONLY the designated GREEN Drop off Areas. Have your child use the cross walk through the parking lot. After dropping off your child, proceed to the Back Lot to park. You may park in Lot #4 when WCC classes are not in session or after 8:00 pm.

Rehearsal Pick Up

Please Pick up your child ONLY in the designated GREEN Pick up areas. Elementary Strings parents/guardians must meet their child in the hallway outside their rehearsal room, bottom floor of Hankin Academic Arts Building. Junior Strings and Youth Symphony musicians may meet parent/guardians in the parking lot, please arrange a meeting point in the GREEN areas.

What to Expect at Rehearsals

Westchester Elementary Strings

Rehearsal Time: 6:45 PM - 8:20 PM, on the Ground Floor. Please arrive by 6:30 PM for time to unpack and tune instruments.

What to bring to EVERY rehearsal: filled water bottle (no sugary drinks, no GUM), folding music stand, music folder (supplied) containing ALL the music, sharpened pencil, cellos and bassists rock stops.

On the first day of rehearsal, the conductor will dismiss the musicians 15 minutes early in order to speak with parents and guardians about the upcoming season. Parents/guardians are asked to help setup and put away chairs, tables, etc., before and after rehearsals, a schedule will be distributed at the first rehearsal. You are welcome to "swap dates" with another parent if you have a conflict on your assigned date, please make the arrangements and then let the conductor know.

The conductor sets up the Elementary Strings orchestra so that all areas of the sections are strong, thus stronger players are intermixed with weaker players. Please respect and do not question this arrangement, as it is critical to the advancement of the orchestra as a whole. You will understand this placement as the orchestra progresses and tours and concerts are performed.

Parents/guardians are welcome to stay during rehearsals, you may sit inside the rehearsal room. Please remember to silence all electronic devices, you may be asked to wait outside if the conductor feels you are a distraction. You may also sit in the hallway outside the rehearsal room, GWYOA folding chairs are available in the Elementary Strings closet, please make sure they are returned as soon as the rehearsal ends.

Parents/guardians must meet their child in the hallway outside the rehearsal room at the conclusion of rehearsals. If your child has a sibling or is carpooling with a musician in Junior Strings or Youth Symphony, you must meet your child at 8:20 pm and have them wait with you. The conductor, parent liaisons, and assigned parent helpers need to properly reorganize the rehearsal room and can not be responsible for watching your child.

Westchester Junior Strings

Rehearsal Time: 6:45 PM - 8:30 PM, on the Ground Floor. Please arrive by 6:30 PM for time to unpack and tune instruments.

What to bring to EVERY rehearsal: filled water bottle (no sugary drinks), music stand, sheet music, folder, sharpened pencil, and mute. Cellos and bassists bring rock stops.

Parents/guardians are not able to sit inside the JS rehearsal room, but may sit in the hallway outside the rehearsal room.

Westchester Youth Symphony

Rehearsal Time: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM, rehearsals are on the second floor stage of the auditorium. Please arrive by 6:45 PM for time to unpack and tune instruments.

What to bring to EVERY rehearsal: folding music stand, music folder and sharpened pencil. Cellos/bassists bring rock stops. You may bring a water bottle, however food and drink are otherwise not permitted in the rehearsal area. Members should put away chairs and music stands, and return music folders at the end of rehearsal.

Parents/guardians are welcome to stay during rehearsals, you may sit in the audience seating. Enter through the third floor doors at the back of the theatre. Please remember to silence all electronic devices, you may be asked to wait outside if the conductor feels you are a distraction.

Parent/Guardian Committee

The GWYOA is a volunteer-based organization, Parent/Guardian assistance is crucial to its operation. Please consider volunteering for our Parent/Guardian Committee.

Below are descriptions of the tasks that volunteers have handled in the past. - THANK YOU!

Click below to register:

Winter Concert

  • Beforehand: Purchase and prepare GWYOA Logo Snowflakes for Support the GWYOA sales displays - Ordered from Ponoko.com, snowflakes are laser cut from solid cherry wood, protective paper baking needs to be removed and ornament hanger attached. (Approx. time to prepare 36 snowflakes: 3 hours)

  • Beforehand: Prepare ticket table signage - (2) Winter Concert posters, (2) Support the GWYOA posters, (2) tabletop ticket pricing displays

  • Day of concert: Placement of exterior yard signs - Yard signs are stored in the YS cage next to the stage. Retrieve and store signs after the concert. Yard Sign Placement Map: Click here to View or Click to Download (Approx. time needed: 20-30 minutes before and after)

  • Day of concert: Placement of interior musician flow signage, placement directed by Parent Liaisons. Signs are stored in the ES closet. Retrieve and store signs after the concert. - (Approx. time needed: 20-30 minutes, before and after)

  • Day of concert: Hang holiday lights on front of stage - Lights and hanging hooks are stored in the YS cage next to the stage, hooks are placed in the cracks between boards and hang over the lip of the stage, plug in and begin stringing lights on the right side of the stage (facing stage). Take down and store lights after the concert. [stage size: 5' + 40' + 5' = 50' lights (hooks/clips for 3.5" + .5" lip) - (Approx. time needed: 15 minutes before and after)

  • Day of concert: Manage Support the GWYOA effort (see Fundraising below).

Fundraising

The GWYOA provides needed financial assistance to accepted musicians.

  • Winter Concert - Volunteers are needed to manage the Support the GWYOA effort at the Winter Concert. GWYOA Board members will also assist so that you will not miss your child's performance(s). Paper pledge forms and electronic donations via the website are accepted at the concert. GWYOA Logo Snowflakes are given to all that donate. A record of Winter Concert donors is kept as they are listed in the Spring Gala Concert Playbill program, contributors of Donor level and above are entitled to a Family Tribute, contributors of Sponsor level and above are entitled to a Family Tribute plus concert tickets.

  • Spring Gala Concert - An email solicitation for Support the GWYOA donations is sent out the last week of February, new donors are added to the Winter Concert donors list. Begin emailing ALL contributors to ask how they would like to be listed in the Spring Gala Concert Playbill program (Playbill program deadline is April 1), collect Family Tributes from contributors of Donor level and above, prepare Will Call ticket list for Lincoln Center for those that contributed at Sponsor level and above.

  • Create ideas for future Support the GWYOA efforts, including logo merchandise sales.

Member Gift Selection and Distribution

A gift is given to each GWYOA member near the completion of the season. Recent gifts have included GWYOA logo and Lincoln Center info short sleeve (2015-16) and long sleeve (2016-17) t-shirts, GWYOA logo sweatshirts (2017-18) and sweatpants (2018-19).

  • Choose GWYOA Member gift for this season and ideas for future seasons - A list of members T-shirt sizes is available, as it was required for this seasons registration.

  • Choose vendors and collect estimates.

  • Place order in time for distribution at April 13th and 20th rehearsals.

Social Media Presence

GWYOA currently has no actively managed social media presence. Last season (2018-19) a YouTube Channel was created.

  • Create and manage content and post to GWYOA YouTube Channel.

  • Create a social media poll for current GWYOA members. Based on poll results, select social media platforms: Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter, etc.

  • Identify GWYOA Musicians to manage accounts. (Example: YS Musician’s to manage Instagram).