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Our Organization

Choral Program, including choir auditions

Orchestral Program, including orchestra auditions

Ambassador Program



Most students are either accepted into our program or denied membership as a result of their audition. In some cases, students are offered Provisional Acceptance.

Provisional acceptance/membership indicates that in some skill areas the musician has been accepted with somewhat weaker than necessary skills. Any provisional acceptance is offered with the understanding that the musician can and should seek out extra assistance from the Conductor and private teacher in learning the repertoire. Further, at any point during the season the Conductor may request an assessment of the musician’s progress or may ask the individual to re-audition.

SMYOC reserves the right to ask ALL musicians in ANY of our ensembles to re-audition if there are any indications that the individual is struggling musically.

Our policies


Coming soon!




  • The SMYOC expects members and their families to be regularly logging onto our website to track down the most essential information they need. It is critical that members and/or their parents/guardians know how to log on and access what’s on our website and how to reach us if they have a question.
  • Essential information for members may also be communicated by email and on our private Facebook page.


  • Students and parents will receive emails from their ensemble Manager, Conductor and/or the SMYOC administrative staff on a regular basis regarding rehearsal schedules, performances and other important events. The expectation is that emails will be read!
  • Please keep us updated with changes in personal contact information.
  • We very much like to be able to send our general announcement emails to all student members who have their own email accounts (in addition to their parents) as that often alleviates the “middleman” in our communications. Direct connection with the students is ideal when trying to teach them to be responsible and committed members of a group.
  • Please use email as the means by which you communicate important information to us (such as absences) rather than texts, calls or conversations that may, inadvertently, be forgotten by busy Conductors and Managers.


When you have a question, please contact your group’s Manager or SMYOC Administrative Staff before you try to contact your Conductor. If it's a question that only the Conductor can answer, it will be redirected.

At this time, SMYOC is run from the homes of the staff and volunteers rather than from an office.


Concert Admission

Coming soon!


Weather Conditions

In the event that a rehearsal or concert has to be cancelled for inclement weather, the information will be posted on our website and emailed out to SMYOC families. Because we rehearse in public school facilities, we must follow the weather decisions made by the public school systems.

For groups which rehearse in Calvert, please consult the CCPS website to find out whether or not school has been closed.

For groups which rehearse in St. Mary’s, please consult the SMCPS website to find out whether or not school has been closed.


School Music Programs

SMYOC recognizes, personally and publicly, the importance of music education within our schools. SMYOC wishes to work in partnership with schools and private music instructors to the greatest extent possible to facilitate the musical development of our young people. In expanding and strengthening both school and community musical resources, our youth are offered the opportunity for optimum growth. In recognition of the importance of these partnerships, we strongly recommend that all members of SMYOC participate in their school’s instrumental and choral programs, as available.


Private Lessons

Private lessons for instrumentalists and advanced vocalists are strongly recommended, both to support the learning and mastery of the repertoire and also to advance technical skill on the instrument/voice at a steady pace.

If assistance is needed in finding a private teacher, please check our resource page and talk to your Conductor about your search.


Folders and Music

Students will be issued a folder and musical scores. Even while in use, these items remain the property of SMYOC. It is expected that students treat the materials with care, storing their music in their folders to protect the scores, and bringing these materials reliably to every rehearsal.

Students are encouraged to mark up their music according to the directions of their Conductor(s); however, ALL MARKINGS MUST BE MADE IN PENCIL.

Folders and music are collected again from the student at the end of every season.
If the folder is destroyed or lost, the student will be charged $20 to replace it. If an original music score is lost, badly marked up, or in any other way unsuitable to remain in the permanent SMYOC library, the student will be charged a replacement fee of $3.00.


Behavior Expectations for ALL SMYOC Members

Reasonable standards of behavior and dress are expected while rehearsing, performing, or participating in any event or activity associated with SMYOC.

  1. Demonstrate appropriate, respectful behavior toward SMYOC staff, fellow students and at all performance and rehearsal venues.
  2. Listen to instruction from your Conductor or Manager. Do not talk while your Conductor or Manager is speaking.
  3. Respect your rehearsal location. Leave it as you found it.


Arrival at Rehearsal Location

Musicians and singers should aim to arrive 10 minutes before the start time of each rehearsal. Use the time to warm up and prepare.


Restroom Usage

We recommend you use the restroom prior to rehearsal.



Nuts are not allowed in the rehearsal due to allergies.

If you must eat, please do so quietly and with respect for those around you.

At Calvert High School, no food or drink is allowed in the Band Room, Chorus Room or auditorium, except water. Food is permitted in the Lobby.


Orchestral Seating and Part Assignment

The Conductor determines part assignment and seating, and has the right to change it at his/her discretion.



Cell phonoes may be used to assist in tuning an instrument or recording a rehearsal as instructed by your Conductor. Otherwise, cell phones and other devices are to be turned off and stored out of sight with your belongings. If you have difficulty with this, the Manager will temporarily remove it from your sight!



The Conductor and/or Manager set expectations for rehearsal and concert behavior. Failure to abide by a Conductor’s expectations will result in the following steps:

  1. The Conductor and/or Manager speaks to the student and/or parents concerning the problem.
  2. If the problem persists, the student may be removed from a rehearsal or be asked to sit out of one or more rehearsals.
  3. Failing all else, the student may be asked to leave SMYOC on a temporary or permanent basis. Tuition is nonrefundable.


Parents in rehearsals

Generally, parents are discouraged from sitting in the rehearsal room while the rehearsal is taking place. However, parents may be permitted to sit in at the discretion of the Conductor.

SMYOC Resolution on Cooperation with School Music Programs and Instructors

SMYOC recognizes, personally and publicly, the importance of music education within our schools. SMYOC wishes to work in partnership with schools and private music instructors to the greatest extent possible to facilitate the musical development of our young people. In expanding and strengthening both school and community musical resources, our youth are offered the opportunity for optimum growth. In recognition of the importance of these partnerships, we strongly recommend that all members of SMYOC participate in their school’s instrumental programs.

SMYOC Statement of Non-discrimination

SMYOC admits students of any race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, and activities generally available to students in the orchestra. SMYOC does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, disability, national and ethnic origin or any basis prohibited by law in administration of its admissions, access, or treatment in its programs and activities.

SMYOC Statement of Equal Opportunity Employment

Southern Maryland Youth Orchestra, Inc. (d/b/a Southern Maryland Youth Orchestra and Choir) is an Equal Opportunity Employer. This organization does not and will not discriminate in employment and personnel practices on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, national origin or any other basis prohibited by applicable law. Hiring, transferring and promotion practices are performed without regard to the above listed items.

SMYOC Statement of Anti-harassment

It is the policy of the SMYOC to maintain a work environment that is free from harassment based on race, color, religion, sex (whether or not of a sexual nature and including same-gender harassment and gender identity harassment), national origin, age, disability (mental or physical), and sexual orientation and from retaliatory harassment based on opposition to discrimination or participation in the discrimination complaint process. No orchestra worker, volunteer, board member, or member may intentionally harass or abuse a person (physically, verbally or electronically) when the conduct is severe or pervasive and objectively and subjectively has the effect of: (1) unreasonably interfering with such person’s work or equal access to the orchestra, or (2) creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.

SMYOC Statement of Compliance with Section 504 for the Rehabilitation Act

It is the policy of the SMYOC to be in compliance with Section 504 for the Rehabilitation Act regarding access for persons with handicaps.

Guidelines for Public Comment at Board Meetings

Comments on a specific agenda item:

Agendas for Board meetings will be published on the website at least 5 days prior to the meeting. Persons wishing to speak on a specific agenda item at an SMYOC Board Meeting should notify the Board President 2 days in advance of the Board Meeting. The President will then allow adequate time in the discussion process for open public comment. Time will be allotted for comment following Board comments on the agenda topic.

General comments to the Board:

Note: If your public comment has to do with a complaint, the Board will first ensure that the dispute resolution process has been followed.

Once it has been established that the process has been followed, you will be permitted to bring your concern to the Board. General comments such as this will be brought forward at general public comment time at the beginning of the meeting. You will have 3 minutes to speak and should sign in at the beginning of the meeting. The Board may ask clarifying questions but will not use this time to offer solutions. The Board will let the person providing comment know how and when they should expect a response.

Dispute Resolution Process

It is the policy of the Southern Maryland Youth Orchestra and Choir (SMYOC) that parents, students, workers and volunteers have direct means by which disputes (i.e., concerns, issues, and complaints) can be discussed and resolved quickly, fairly, and equitably. This Dispute Resolution Process shall be used to address disputes from within SMYOC – disputes among or between parents of students enrolled in SMYOC, Conductor, students, and volunteers. It is SMYOC policy that disputes are resolved informally to the maximum extent practical, and that only after informal efforts have been fully utilized shall a complaint be brought forward to the Board. Disputes which arise from third parties outside SMYOC shall be resolved through Formal Resolution (Step 3); if a dispute is brought directly to the Conductor by a third party, the Conductor shall direct the party to the Board President.

1.Informal Resolution Process – Person the Complaint is About
The complainant should first contact the individual who is the object of the complaint and make best efforts to resolve the dispute with that individual directly. The complainant should feel free to utilize the assistance of another trusted person in attempting to resolve the dispute.

2. Informal Resolution – Conductor
If no resolution is reached in Step One process, a complainant may bring the complaint to the attention of the SMYOC Conductor orally or in writing. To discuss the issue, the complainant may make an appointment with the Conductor for a mutually convenient time. At the time that the complaint is made, the Conductor will document the complaint and inform the Board President. Documentation of a complaint will include the name(s) of the parties involved, the date, a brief description of the complaint, and a description of the action(s) taken. During or following that meeting, the Conductor will inquire into the disputed issue and will make best efforts to resolve the complaint through discussion(s) and meeting(s) with all involved parties. If resolved to the satisfaction of all parties involved, the Conductor shall follow-up with the complainant within 10 working days to ensure the resolution remains effective and satisfactory. If, however, the dispute cannot be resolved, the Conductor shall provide the complainant with a copy of this Dispute Resolution Process.

3. Formal Resolution – Board
If a complaint is not resolved via informal means, a complainant may choose to advance his or her complaint to formal resolution by requesting a Dispute Hearing. In this step, a complainant must file his or her complaint with the Board as soon as possible following the most recent attempt at informal resolution. The Complainant shall outline the following information in writing: a request for a Dispute Hearing, a detailed account of the disputed issue, a description of the unsuccessful steps taken to resolve the dispute, and a proposed resolution. This written complaint may be mailed to SMYOC, or presented to the Conductor for delivery to the Board.

The Dispute Hearing will be scheduled within thirty (30) days of the receipt of the written complaint. The hearing shall be held in an open session unless prohibited by law.

At least five working days before the Dispute Hearing, each member of the Board will receive all available documentation regarding the dispute. The Board members will review all documentation and hear from all parties concerned as part of the formal Dispute Hearing. The Hearing shall be scheduled for no longer than 1 hour, unless the complainant shows cause as to why more time is needed. A mediator from the Community Mediation Center may be present at the Hearing to help facilitate strong communication and uphold the conversation between the bodies at hand.

At the close of the Dispute Hearing, or at a subsequent special meeting, the Board will discuss the dispute. The discussion shall be in open session unless prohibited by law.

The Board will make a decision concerning the dispute within ten (10) working days of the Dispute Hearing. Written notification of the decision of the Board will immediately be sent to all parties concerned within five (5) working days of the decision.

The decision of the Board shall be the final decision in the dispute and, unless otherwise provided by law, shall be binding upon all parties.

As an alternative to a Dispute Hearing, the complainant may choose to resolve the complaint through use of the services provided by the Community Mediation Center. If the complainant decides to use these services, he or she must notify all involved parties of his or her decision. Mediation is completely voluntary. No one will be forced to participate. If the other involved persons are unwilling to mediate, the Community Mediation Center personnel will be available to talk with the other involved parties and explain mediation in more detail, to make sure they understand what mediation offers. If the other involved parties are still unwilling to participate, the complainant will not be able to use the services provided by the Community Mediation Center, but may still proceed with a Dispute Hearing.