Rehearsal Etiquette

White Rock Community Orchestra

Rehearsal Efficiency and Etiquette

We are fortunate to have a talented and experienced conductor, as well as some of the finest music scores to perform.

Our rehearsals are meant to improve upon what we do at home when we practice. Rehearsals are not to be considered as practice time.

To be more efficient during rehearsal and improve the quality of the orchestra, it is respectfully requested that we are all aware of the following protocol:


  • If you are going to miss a rehearsal or performance, and you know ahead of time, let the conductor and membership registrar know as soon as possible.
  • Arrive in plenty of time, at least 15 minutes before rehearsals, so we being promptly. Coffee break is from 10:30 to 10:45. Coffee or food can not be taken into the rehearsal area. Please bring a reusable cup, if possible.
  • Be responsible for your own chair and music stand, both at the beginning and end of each rehearsal. Bring your own music stand for rehearsals and both music stand and light for performances.
  • Before rehearsal begins, use your tuner to tune your instrument so that it is easier to tune with the oboe or keyboard. Then warm your instrument as quietly as possible.
  • Stop playing or talking when the concertmaster stands to tune the orchestra.
  • Cell phones off or on mute.


  • When the oboe or keyboard plays the tuning note at the beginning of rehearsal, or after the break, stop what you are doing and be silent. No talking or playing your instrument while others tune.
  • Tune only when it's your sections turn to tune.
  • Before and after tuning, sit quietly until all others are finished tuning.

During Rehearsal

  • At the beginning of rehearsal, stop talking when the conductor steps up to the podium. Find the requested music quickly and be ready.
  • When the conductor indicates that we stop playing, stop right away so everyone can hear what is said. Have a pencil on your stand ready to mark rehearsal instructions. Do not use felts or pens.
  • When the conductor is speaking , please listen and not speak over her/him, whisper, nor carry on a conversation. If you need something clarified, raise your hand and ask the conductor, not your stand mate.
  • When the conductor is working with another section, pay attention to what she/he is telling the other section.


  • Watch the section leader for bowing, length of notes, style of bowing, entrances.
  • First and second violins, cellos, violas, should attempt to coordinate bowing.
  • The person on the outside plays the top part of the divisi parts. The person on the inside plays the bottom. They also turn the pages if sharing a stand.


  • The conductor makes all the decisions regarding the music and how it is to be played. Any questions regarding the music are to be directed to, and discussed with, the conductor.
  • No perfumes, colognes, scented hair products, after-shave, or lotions at rehearsals or concerts. Some musicians are highly allergic or sensitive.
  • Learn your material thoroughly at home and ready to fine-tune at rehearsals.

Thanks to everyone for making our orchestra rehearsals more efficient.