WCC Policies and Procedures

MUSICIAN ETIQUETTE

  • Registration and Attendance

    • Registration

All members must be registered in order to participate in class. Registration is to be done online. Visit www.cityofpalmdale.org > Departments > Parks and Recreation > Activity Registration > Activities > Search: West Coast Classical. 

  • Signing In

Members must sign in and out for every class. This is a City of Palmdale requirement. Those under the age of 12 must have an adult sign them out. If your name is not found on your class sign in sheet, this means either you are not registered, or you are registered in the wrong class. 

  • Attendance

Each member is permitted up to 3 excused absences per semester. All absences should be communicated to the instructor at least 1 week prior to the absence. Exceeding 3 absences may result in exclusion from a concert. An unexcused absence from a dress rehearsal will result in immediate exclusion from a concert.

  • Punctuality

Punctuality is a necessity. Your designated class time is your start time. This means members should be seated with their instruments out and ready to play by that time.

 

  • Rehearsals

    • Preparation

      • Be prepared! All musicians are expected to bring a pencil and their music to rehearsals. It’s important to note that even if you share music with a stand partner, you are expected to bring your own music. 

      • Music must be kept neatly in a black binder. This prevents loss of music as well as pages flying off of music stands. 

      • Prepare your music before you come to rehearsal. Rehearsals are not the time or place for individual practice, but rather to rehearse all the parts together in an ensemble.

    • Rehearsal Conduct

      • Rehearsal has officially begun as soon as the concertmaster/concertmistress has given the tuning note. All attention must be given to the conductor at this time.

      • Cell phones must be put on silent and put away for the duration of rehearsal. 

      • Questions regarding the music should always be referred to your section principal. Principals that have questions should refer to the conductor. 

      • Woodwind and brass players must transpose their own parts if needed. Principals are not responsible for transposition of parts. 

      • String principals decide on the bowings for their sections. Section players are then responsible for transcribing those bowings into their own parts. Note that bowings will often be refined after they’re initially written. It is the responsibility of section players to be aware of those changes and adopt them. 

      • At the conclusion of rehearsals, members may be asked to stay and put chairs and stands away.

  • Concerts

    • Member Performance Obligation

Performing is a very important aspect of a musician’s training and is an obligation. If a member is unable to participate in a concert for any reason, he/she must communicate this with their instructor.

  • Dress Rehearsal

This is the very last rehearsal before a concert. As such, it is imperative not to miss it. Missing a dress rehearsal, if not cleared by your instructor, will result in exclusion from the concert. Members do NOT need to dress in concert attire for dress rehearsal. 

  • Concert attire

Note attire requirements can be found on the Members page on westcoastclasscial.org and are also sent via email prior to concert week. Members that are dressed in unsuitable attire on concert day will not be allowed to perform until dressed. 

  • Call Time

This term refers to the time at which musicians are expected to be in their seats, instruments out, and ready to play. Musicians should plan on arriving no later than 15 minutes prior to a call time. Tardiness is not tolerated.

  • Backstage

Musicians are required to remain backstage and are prohibited from going into the lobby and auditorium for the duration of the concert. They must also stay alert and make their stage entrances on time. 

  • Dismissal

Appropriate stage conduct at the conclusion of a concert requires musicians to remain seated until the concertmaster/concertmistress stands up from his/her chair. At that point, the orchestra is dismissed. 

 

MEMBERSHIP POLICY

  • Member Obligations

Members (Parents/Legal Guardians)...

  • Are required to attend 1 membership meeting per year .  

  • Agree to be added to an email list to receive informative emails regarding WCC (email is WCC’s primary way of communicating to its members).

  • In addition to the registration fee, must contribute a minimum of $100 annually by way of participating in WCC hosted fundraisers and/or by donating a tax-deductible, self-contribution.

  • Scholarships

    • To apply for a scholarship from WCC, applicants must submit a scholarship form and handwritten letter to PATRICIA GRAHAM. The letter must include:

      • Your reason for needing a scholarship

      • A statement saying that you would be absolutely unable to participate in WCC without a scholarship

    • Members on scholarship…

      • Must maintain a good attendance record and exhibit exemplary musician etiquette while attending WCC.

      • Are allowed up to 2 excused absences per semester and are required to participate in all relevant concerts. 

    • Any disregardment of this policy may result in having your scholarship revoked.

  • Closed Rehearsal Policy

All rehearsals and dress rehearsals are closed rehearsals. This means parents, family members, friends, etc., are not allowed to sit in and observe.

ANTI-BULLYING, ANTI-HARASSMENT

& GRIEVANCE HANDLING POLICY 

 

West Coast Classical (WCC) seeks to provide a work environment that is safe and enjoyable for all.

 

Bullying has a detrimental effect on WCC and its people. It can create an unsafe environment, result in a loss of members, cause the breakdown in relationships, increase absenteeism and reduce efficiency and productivity. People who are bullied can become distressed, anxious, withdrawn and can lose self-esteem and self-confidence. Bullying is also, in some circumstances, against the law. For these reasons, bullying will not be tolerated by WCC.

 

WCC  recognises that bullying may involve comments and behaviors that offend some people and not others. WCC accepts that individuals may react differently to certain comments and behavior. That is why a minimum standard of behavior is required of members. This standard aims to be respectful of all members.

WCC recognizes that bullying can take place through a number of different methods of communication including face to face, email, text messaging and social media platforms. As such, this Policy applies to all methods of communication through which bullying can take place.

This Policy applies to behaviors that occur:

  • In connection with WCC, even if it occurs outside WCC hours and/or facilities. 

  • During all rehearsals, concerts, classes, and meetings.

  • At WCC related events and functions (i.e. fundraising events, tours, parties, etc.).

  • On social media platforms where WCC members interact.

This Policy applies to all WCC members including contractors, volunteers, board members, teachers, students, and parents/legal guardians. In so far as this policy imposes any obligations on WCC (i.e. those additional to those set out under legislation), those obligations are not contractual and do not give rise to any contractual rights.

WCC may unilaterally introduce, vary, remove or replace this policy at any time.

WHAT IS BULLYING?

Bullying occurs when an individual, or a group of individuals, repeatedly behaves unreasonably towards a member, or a group of members, and the behavior creates a risk to health and safety. It includes both physical and psychological abuse.

Bullying behaviors can take many different forms, from the obvious (direct) to the more subtle (indirect). The following are some examples of direct bullying:

  • Abusive, insulting or offensive language or comments

  • Violent, aggressive or intimidating conduct

  • Belittling or humiliating comments; victimization

The following are some examples of indirect bullying:

  • Unjustified criticism or complaints

  • Deliberately excluding a member from a rehearsal, concert, or WCC activity 

  • Making changes to the music, parts, or seating arrangements to deliberately inconvenience, humiliate, or exclude a particular member or members

  • Showing favoritism, partiality, or bias towards a member or members to spite another member or members.

  • Withholding information that is vital for effective performance

  • Spreading misinformation or malicious rumors

The above examples are not an exhaustive list of bullying behaviors. They are indicative of the type of behaviors that may constitute bullying and are therefore unacceptable to WCC.

 

WHAT IS NOT BULLYING?

Reasonable action taken by teachers or directors to direct and manage the way a rehearsal is conducted is not considered to be bullying, if the action is taken in a reasonable and lawful way.

The following are some examples of reasonable action:

  • Enforcing WCC Musician Etiquette standards

  • Assigning parts, seats, or class placement based on the abilities demonstrated by the student and/or by the audition process.

  • Giving critiques about a member’s or members’ performance in an honest, fair and constructive way

  • Informing a member about unreasonable behavior in an objective and confidential way

  • Taking disciplinary action, including suspension or terminating membership where appropriate or justified in the circumstances.

OTHER UNACCEPTABLE CONDUCT

Single incidents of unreasonable behavior (such as harassment, violence or threatening behavior) can also present a risk to health and safety and will not be tolerated.

Harassment is considered to be any form of behavior that is:

  • Unwanted

  • Offends, humiliates or intimidates

  • Creates a hostile environment

Where such conduct occurs towards a person due to a particular characteristic of that person (such as when based on sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marital status, age, disability, ethnicity, religion, or race,) this may be unlawful under discrimination and equal opportunity law, even if it is limited to a single incident. For example, sexual harassment is unlawful even where it is not repeated conduct. 

WCC will also not tolerate any form of violence. Violence is considered to be any incident where a person is physically attacked or threatened, whether this is directed toward a contractor, volunteer, board member, teacher, student, parent/legal guardian, classmate, visitor, or colleague. 

It includes (but is not limited to):

  • Any type of direct physical contact such as punching, pushing, tripping, spitting or blocking of someone’s way;

  • Any form of unwanted physical contact.

TEACHERS AND VOLUNTEER ROLES

Teachers and volunteers have an important role to play in terms of fostering a culture that does not tolerate or encourage harassment, bullying or violence and should ensure that they do not engage in any conduct of this nature themselves.

Teachers and volunteers should also ensure that members understand this Policy and consequences of non-compliance. When teachers and volunteers observe harassment, bullying or violence occurring, they should take steps to prevent this conduct from continuing and warn the person or people involved of the consequences if the behavior continues (including disciplinary measures up to and including termination of membership).

Teachers and volunteers must also treat all grievances raised by members in accordance with WCC’s Grievance Handling Policy.

MEMBERS’ ROLE

WCC expects members:

  • Not to engage in harassment, bullying or violence

  • Not to aid, abet or encourage others to engage in harassment, bullying or violence

  • To behave in a responsible and professional manner

  • Treat others at WCC with courtesy and respect

  • Listen and respond appropriately to the views and concerns of others

  • Be fair and honest in their dealings with others

 

HANDLING GRIEVANCES

A grievance can be about anything done, or not done, by a teacher or fellow member which you feel affects you unfairly or unjustly. A grievance can also be about discrimination, harassment, bullying or any other related decision or behaviour that you think is unfair, unjust or upsetting.

This policy outlines the procedures you should follow to try to resolve a grievance and also outlines the steps WCC will take to resolve your grievance if you make a formal complaint.

WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS IF YOU HAVE A GRIEVANCE?

In general there are three options to consider if you have a grievance, being:

  • Deal with the matter informally – A grievance can be dealt with informally by approaching the person involved in your grievance, if you feel comfortable in doing so. You can tell them that their behaviour, decision, actions, etc. was unfair, offensive, discriminatory etc., and why you believe this to be so. The person may have been totally unaware of the effect of their behavior or decision on you. By telling them you will give them a chance to redress the situation. This may not be appropriate in some cases, particularly if you do not feel comfortable speaking to the person.

  • Speak to your teacher, director, or person in charge – If you do not want to speak to the person directly, you can tell your teacher about your grievance. They should be able to tell you what your options are. They may approach the person complained about and talk to them informally about your grievance. They may decide to take more formal action. Generally, they will seek your approval before doing anything – although sometimes they may decide that taking action will be necessary even if you do not wish them to do so (for example where failure to do so poses a health and safety risk). If your grievance is about your teacher, you may wish to speak to another WCC staff member. Alternatively, you may decide to make a formal complaint. If you’re an adult, and your grievance involves a minor, you must go through this option or make a formal complaint. You may not approach the minor without another WCC staff member present.

  • Make a formal complaint – If you do decide to make a formal complaint, this can be done by putting the complaint in writing and reporting it to the WCC Board of Directors. The written complaint should contain a description of the incident(s), decision/behavior in question, the time and date of the incident(s), the names of any witnesses, your signature and date of the complaint. Formal complaints can be emailed to any member on the Board of Directors with the subject line “Formal Complaint.”

IF YOU MAKE A FORMAL COMPLAINT HOW WILL YOUR GRIEVANCE BE HANDLED?

Grievances will be handled in accordance with the following guidelines:

  • Grievances will be treated with the utmost confidentiality (except where the board deems it is necessary to disclose the complaint for the purpose of dealing with it effectively; disclosure will be no wider than is strictly necessary). It is important that you also maintain confidentiality and do not discuss your complaint with others, unless the board gives you permission to do so.

  • Any grievance will be taken seriously, handled impartially, and any steps taken will be in accordance with the principles of procedural fairness.

  • Members who raise grievances are protected from victimization and retaliation.

  • Grievances will be dealt with promptly, taking into account all the circumstances.

  • Members (especially minors) may have a support person with them at any stage of the process.

 

THE INVESTIGATION

  • Where a grievance cannot be resolved informally, and the board of directors deems an investigation is required, the matter will be investigated by such a person as WCC deems appropriate. This may be an external investigation.

  • How the investigation is to be conducted is at the complete discretion of the board of directors. The following are general guidelines only.

  • During the investigation, you will generally be interviewed first, followed by any witnesses, the person against whom the complaint is made, and any other relevant people who will be independently interviewed. Both you and the person against whom the complaint is made will be allowed to have a support person present when the interview is being conducted.

  • If the complaint is substantiated, appropriate action will be taken (see below);

  • If the complaint is unsubstantiated, you will generally be given an explanation as to why that finding was made;

  • If the complaint is found to have been fabricated or vexatious, appropriate disciplinary action may be taken against you up to and including termination of membership.

WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE OUTCOMES?

  • If the investigation reveals that your complaint is valid, a number of actions may be taken, depending on the nature of the complaint. The person against whom the complaint is made may be issued either a written warning, suspension, demotion, membership termination, or even be banned from WCC events and premises.

  • If the investigation is inconclusive, i.e. the complaint cannot be proved due to lack of evidence or the conduct is not sufficiently serious to justify disciplinary action, WCC may nevertheless take a number of actions. These may include monitoring of relevant members.

  • If the complaint is found to have been completely fabricated or raised vexatiously, the aforementioned disciplinary actions may be taken against you depending on the seriousness of the circumstances.

WHAT IF YOU ARE NOT SATISFIED WITH THE OUTCOME

If you are not satisfied with the way in which your grievance was handled, you may have the option of raising your complaint with an outside agency. You may also be able to take further action in the court. In appropriate circumstances you may wish to seek advice from a lawyer.

WHERE DOES YOUR MONEY GO?

 

West Coast Classical is a 501c3 non-profit community platform designed to foster the advancement of musicians from all backgrounds through pre-professional and professional orchestral achievements, ensemble experiences and educational programs.

Often Members want to know how their registration money is used. It is important to understand that your registration fee is divided between the City of Palmdale and West Coast Classical. Below is a brief description of how our portion of the money received is spent during a fiscal year. Oftentimes there are unexpected expenses that must also be covered not outlined below.

  • CLASS REGISTRATION 

  • Funds received are used for Palmdale Playhouse facility use, professional music instruction, and sheet music.

 

  • FUNDRAISERS/GRANTS/DONORSHIP 

  • Funds received are used for scholarships for members, performance opportunities for resume building (past opportunities have included Disneyland, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Carnegie Hall, Palmdale Amphitheater, and European Tour), purchase of instruments, upkeep and repair of instruments, basic office supplies, and brand merchandise.

 

  • CONCERT TICKET SALES 

  • Funds received are used for professional hired musicians, production staff, and production expenses.

2022 - 2023 FUNDRAISERS

 

Each member must contribute $100 minimum during the fiscal year, September 2022 through June 2023. Members who choose to raise this amount are offered a variety of fundraisers to participate in during the year.

 

Fundraisers scheduled for 2022-2023

  • October: Popcornopolis Sales

  • December: Holiday See’s Candy Sales

  • December: Musical Christmas Card

  • February: Valentine’s Day Gala

  • March: Easter See’s Candy Sales

  • March: Musical Chairs Silent Auction

  • Annually: Business ads for Concert Programs

VALENTINE’S DAY GALA

 

Valentine’ Day Gala is an annual dinner/dance event held at the City of Palmdale’s Larry Chimbole Cultural Center Ballroom on Valentine’s Day. This ticketed event includes live music, dinner/dessert, dancing, beer, wine, silent auction, raffle baskets, and donor appreciation. This is our largest fundraiser of the year and all members are required to participate in gala ticket sales, silent auction collection, and raffle basket gathering. A limited number of members will also be asked to work the event.