Policies for Soloists, Composers, and Conductors

Revised September 2016

The Chelsea Symphony is a non-profit, self-governing orchestra that aims to provide performance opportunities for its musicians while operating at an affordable scale. Soloists, conductors, and featured composers all come from within the ensemble’s ranks, and earn this benefit by playing with the orchestra. Our policies for featured musicians, as well as general information about how we work, are described below.

Soloist and Composer Policy

1) TCS offers a solo or composition opportunity for musicians who accrue 60 points with the orchestra. Each concert and rehearsal count for 2 points. In order for the rehearsals and/or concerts on a series to be eligible for points, a musician must perform on all concerts and may miss no more than one rehearsal for that series. Prior notice (preferably 3 days before the rehearsal date or with reasonable notice for extenuating circumstances) must be provided for the missed rehearsal. In such instances, the musician will not earn points for the missed rehearsal but will earn points for the other services provided during that series. If prior notice is not provided, the absence will be considered unexcused and no points will be earned for the series.

2) Points are cumulative across seasons; a solo/composition benefit may be earned across multiple seasons. Points have been awarded retroactively for previous seasons (up through 2014-15) in the following ways: a regular concert series with 3 rehearsals, 2 dress rehearsals and 2 concerts (7 services) = 14 points; a holiday concert series with 2 rehearsals, 1 dress rehearsal and 1 concert (4 services) = 8 points; an education concert series with 1 rehearsal and 1 concert (2 services) = 4 points. As of the 2015/2016 season, it will be possible to earn partial points for a series, e.g., if a musician subs on a rehearsal but is not rostered for the concert.

If a musician is more than 15 minutes late for a rehearsal or part of a rehearsal on which he/she is scheduled without prior notice to the rosterer, only one (1) point may be earned for that rehearsal. Our intent is to have clear and transparent expectations on who will be at a given rehearsal.

3) All solo/composition benefits are earned after accruing all the necessary points.

Once a solo/composition benefit is earned, a musician’s points accruals reset to zero. Points earned in a season where the benefit is already earned will count towards the next benefit.

4) Representatives from the TCS board keep attendance records.

5) In the late spring or early summer, the Artistic Director(s) will contact all musicians who are eligible to perform a solo or have a composition performed with TCS in the following season. Musicians who intend to exercise this benefit should communicate their wishes with the Artistic Director(s) at that time. If a musician has redeemed their benefit within the last two seasons, the Artistic Director(s) reserve the right to defer to the following season.

6) Solos and new works are programmed in collaboration with the Artistic Director(s), with considerations given to length, instrumentation, and artistic accord with the program and season theme.

7) Individual solo works will be performed on one of the two dates of a concert series. Collaborative works (concerti with more than one soloist using a TCS solo benefit, or a solo work written by a TCS composer) and composition benefit pieces may be performed on both concert dates if availability permits. Every effort will be made to accommodate date preference.

8) Soloists/composers are required to play in the orchestra for the second half of the concert of the related series, and attend all rehearsals for that half. He/she is also required to play for all of the performances on the series in which he/she are featured.

9) Soloists and composers are responsible for providing a biography, an 8x10 (or similar ratio/size) digital headshot for the program at the beginning of the season for which the benefit is scheduled, and program notes for the piece no later than four weeks before the first rehearsal.

10) The orchestra will subsidize either 50% or $100 (whichever is less) of the cost of rental music. The Artistic Director(s) will assist with determining rental costs, and rental orders will be placed by TCS. You are required to submit your portion of the rental fees to Christine Todd prior to the first rehearsal of the series.

In addition, if the desired instrumentation for a benefit piece exceeds what is required on the concert series otherwise, the beneficiary (soloist or composer) is responsible for recruiting extra musicians and any additional costs associated with the added instruments.

11) Once scheduled, your benefit opportunity is a firm commitment that you are expected to fulfill. Cancellation will generally result in a loss of your benefit opportunity. In order to be considered for another solo or composition, you will need to earn the benefit again as described above.

12) Soloists and composers will not earn points for their benefit series.

Composer-specific Policy

1) Prior to or in conjunction with earning points as outlined above, prospective composers should submit a work sample to the TCS resident composer and Artistic Directors who have discretionary rights to allow for performance. This vetting process will be complete within 4 weeks of work sample submission.

2) The length of the compositions should not exceed 8-10 minutes. Works that feature a musician who has earned the solo benefit described above may be longer. The length of a collaborative work will be determined in consultation with the Artistic Director(s), but will generally not exceed 25 minutes.

3) Compositions should be playable by a chamber orchestra [2222-2220 timp str]. Additional musicians may be used depending on the other repertoire on a given program. Exceptions to these guidelines will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

4) Composers are expected to arrive early to each rehearsal (30 minutes) to help set up and distribute music.

5) A completed score must be submitted to the conductor and Artistic Director(s) four weeks in advance of the first rehearsal. PDF parts must be submitted to the conductor and Artistic Director(s) two weeks in advance of the first rehearsal. The conductor must approve a change in the deadline for score or part submissions in advance. The composer is responsible for providing hard copies of the conductor’s score and all parts to the orchestra, and for having an additional hard copy of each part readily available at all services.

Conductor Policy

1) A prospective conductor is added to TCS’s conductor roster when an existing conductor leaves or the need arises, as determined by the TCS board. At that point a formal process to select a TCS conductor will be announced.

2) TCS conductors are to earn 60 points per season in order to receive the benefit of a premiere during that season. Failure to earn the minimum number of points will result in a review of appointment by the TCS board.

3) TCS conductors will conduct a first half of one series (concerti and new composition) and a second half of a different series (significant orchestral work).

4) Every effort will be made to accommodate schedule preferences and repertoire choice although neither is guaranteed.

5) The conductor whose responsibility it is to conduct the first half of a given concert is also expected to create a specific rehearsal schedule for that series with input from soloists, composer, the other conductor, and the board. This schedule should be finalized no later than the Wednesday of the week prior to the first rehearsal.

6) Conductors are required to play in the orchestra for the half of the concert series in which he/she is not conducting, and attend all rehearsals for that half. He/she is also required to play for all of the performances for the series in which he/she is featured.

7) Conductors are responsible for providing a biography, an 8x10 (or similar ratio/size) digital headshot for the program at the beginning of the season, and program notes for all pieces no later than four weeks before the related first rehearsal.

8) The orchestra will subsidize either 50% or $100 (whichever is less) of the cost of rental music upon documentation of rental costs. Please consult with the Artistic Director(s) prior to programming/renting music.

9) Conductors are expected to arrive early to each rehearsal (30 minutes) to help set up and distribute music.

10) Conductors are expected to represent TCS in a manner consistent with the orchestra’s brand and mission.

11) Once scheduled, all conducting opportunities are a firm commitment. Cancellation will generally result in a loss of conducting opportunities and a full review by the TCS board with a potential to terminate the appointment.

Miscellaneous

1) Prospective conductors are encouraged to play with TCS in order to develop a relationship with the orchestra. TCS tries to promote from within as often as possible.

2) TCS reserves the right to review the reappointment of conductors at the end of each season.

3) TCS records concerts for archival, promotional, and fundraising purposes. By performing in the orchestra you consent to TCS’s use of that recording for such purposes.

4) Conductors, composers, and soloists will receive a complimentary recording of the piece(s) in which they were featured. Contact Christine Todd at christine.todd@chelseasymphony.org to obtain a recording. 5) TCS carries general liability insurance, but musicians are responsible for personal insurance for their instrument and personal belongings.

6) Musicians performing with TCS or associated with TCS in any capacity are expected to follow all applicable laws and guidelines from the venue, governing organization, or verbal instructions by TCS board members. Any behavior that conflicts with such laws or guidelines or puts TCS or other TCS members/musicians in jeopardy is the sole responsibility of the individual.

Music

When available, PDFs of parts are emailed prior to the first rehearsal. Hard copies will be distributed at the first rehearsal. All music must be left on the stand at the completion of the final concert for each series. If a musician chooses to remove music from the performance venue, he/she is responsible for returning it or replacing if lost.

Rehearsal Protocol

In general, rehearsals are held at St. Paul’s Church on West 22nd Street in Chelsea from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday of the concert week. Midway through rehearsal, musicians receive a 20-minute break. Because we are a self-sufficient orchestra, we are responsible for logistics such as setup, teardown, and folding programs. TCS appreciates and encourages member help in these areas. If a musician cannot attend a rehearsal, the contractor must be notified at the time the musician commits to participating in the series, and make every effort to find a substitute.

Performance Protocol

Although there are exceptions, most of our concerts are held at St. Paul’s Church on West 22nd Street in Chelsea at 8:30 PM on Friday and 7:30 PM on Saturday. Dress rehearsals take place on Fridays from 5:45 to 7:45 PM and Saturdays from 5:30 to 6:30 PM. Concert dress is all black. Instrument cases and belongings should be kept in the dining room/green room of the church. Tickets are available for each performance for $25 for unassigned seating in a reserved area or available at the door for a suggested donation of $20. TCS members and musicians are encouraged to publicize TCS performances in order to ensure a full house.

Extra Performances

Proposals for extra performance opportunities may be brought to the board at any time. The board will vote on whether to pursue the idea, factoring in artistic merit, financial considerations, exposure/publicity, educational benefits, and accordance with TCS’s mission statement. Please feel free to submit a proposal to any board member and we will gladly consider it.

Paid Performances

In the event that TCS is contracted for a paid service, contracting preference will be given to musicians who have performed regularly with the orchestra in the past year. For services that require travel outside of New York City, preference may be given to individuals with access to a car.

Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment

It is The Chelsea Symphony's policy to ensure an environment free of discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, gender, ancestry, national origin, religion, pregnancy, sexual orientation, age, disability, medical condition, marital status, gender identity or expression, veteran or military status, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. The Chelsea Symphony will not tolerate any such discrimination or harassment. Under this policy, harassment is unwelcome verbal, non-verbal, or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or his or her relatives on the basis of these legally protected classifications.

Volunteering and Donations

The orchestra thrives with your support and extra help is always appreciated. If you or a friend would like to volunteer before or during concert weeks or donate, please feel free to speak to any board member or email us at info@chelseasymphony.org.
The Chelsea Symphony is an IRS-recognized 501c3 non-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible.