Code of Conduct


This document outlines how Newcastle Strings (NS) expects its members to behave at all times when they can be identified as orchestra members. It’s not a general guideline, it’s a firm expectation. You’ve joined Newcastle Strings and being a member of an orchestra is a privilege, making a commitment to yourself and your colleagues. This code of conduct outlines how we expect members of the orchestras show that commitment, and show the respect due to everyone involved with NS. 


From the outset, we encourage you to behave as a professional orchestra member would behave. This means having a level of integrity and courtesy in what you do, and showing respect to your fellow orchestra members, your conductors and tutors, to your audiences and to the organisation which supports the orchestra. 

We take the issue of conduct very seriously as the reputation not only of the organisation, but of each of you individually, can be greatly enhanced or damaged depending on your behaviour. 

Like any team, an orchestra only works when everyone contributes and helps each other to contribute; and like any team, when you don’t contribute, you’re not just letting yourself down; you’re also letting everyone else down. A lot of people put a lot of effort into giving you the opportunity to play in the orchestra and perform in public – people like your conductor, your family, your tutors, the orchestra management and of course the audience and supporters; and it’s out of respect for them and respect for yourself that you need to play your part as an orchestra member. 

A lot of what you see below is what would be expected of you in any orchestra. We intend to treat you as young professionals, and we expect you to behave as young professionals. 


· Rehearsal schedules: It is the player’s responsibility to ensure that they know their rehearsal schedule and have checked for any changes or updates within 24 hours of each rehearsal and/or concert. 

· Arrival time: Players must arrive at any scheduled call in time to prepare for the commencement of the call. The minimum time is 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time (or ‘call’ time). The call time is when the rehearsal/performance will commence and all players are expected to be seated and ready to rehearse. 

· Non-attendance: If any Player is unable to attend a scheduled call, he/she must seek permission, at least a week in advance of the call. 

· If, on the day, you are running late you must telephone the designated committee member prior to the commencement of the call and advise of your situation and your anticipated arrival time so that the Conductor may be informed. If you arrive late, you should apologise to the conductor. 

· If you are absent/late for more than two rehearsals in a term, it is entirely at the discretion of the conductor whether you are permitted to perform in the concert being rehearsed.

· Attendance at rehearsals is vital in order for the orchestra to develop and play properly. NS will make every endeavour to give as much notice as possible of rehearsal schedules and to change them as little as possible. 

· You should not leave a rehearsal unless you absolutely have to – this means illness or some other emergency. Other commitments are not an acceptable excuse. If you need to leave a rehearsal, you must ask the conductor to excuse you, and you must tell a member of Newcastle Strings management. 

· Mobile phones and electronic devices must be switched off and out of sight during rehearsals. 

· You are expected to follow rehearsal etiquette, paying full attention and not talking when the conductor is working with the orchestra. 

· Rehearsal rooms, dressing rooms and performance venues should be kept tidy, and you should help clean them up when you have finished using them, as you would with any work space. 

· At the end of rehearsal all players are expected to assist in pack-up. This means stacking your chair, putting away your stand, and clearing any rubbish and water bottles. 

· A pencil and eraser is essential for every player at every rehearsal. 

· Always come to the rehearsal with your parts prepared. If you do not know your part you are not ready to rehearse. 


We expect you to: 

· Protect and promote the positive reputation of Newcastle Strings; 

· Perform all your duties to the best of your ability with honesty and care; 

· Treat others as you would expect them to treat you and to show compassion and empathy when dealing with anyone facing a challenging situation; 

· Protect the privacy of colleagues; 

· Maintain confidentiality about the business of the organisation and not disclose unauthorised or inappropriate information in any public arena, including Facebook, Twitter or any other online forum; 

· Understand that your behaviour in and out of the orchestra can have a direct impact for Newcastle Strings and the reputation, marketing ability and viability of any concert or other event with which NS is involved; 

· Be aware that to keep our membership fees as low as possible and provide scholarships, NS depends on sponsorship and philanthropy. At times you may be asked to meet and/or perform for donors and sponsors. NS will ensure that you are fully informed for these events and in return we ask that as a member of NS you are always positive ambassadors for the organisation. 

· Abide by reasonable instructions, organisational policies, Workplace Health and Safety Regulations and common law; 

· Newcastle Strings has a zero tolerance policy towards the abuse of drugs and alcohol. 


· Newcastle Strings is an organisation which recognises and encourages talent, and wishes to ensure that its members feel safe and supported in their activities. 

· Discrimination or vilification on the grounds of anyone’s race, colour, gender, sexual orientation, language, religion, social origin, political or other opinion and/or disability will not be tolerated. 

· Nor should anyone cause, instruct, induce, incite, aid or permit any hatred toward, show serious contempt for or severely ridicule either by means of physical harm (threaten or actual) to their fellow players, participant or other person. 

· NS will not tolerate any form of intimidation, bullying, cyber-bullying or victimisation, and perpetrators will have their membership of NS revoked. 

· If you feel that you have been the subject of victimisation, discrimination or bullying, please report it immediately to your conductor or a member of NS staff, who will deal with the issue. 


· It is the player’s responsibility to ensure that NS management and staff are aware of up-to-date personal information, including address, contact details and medical information. Please make sure you keep this current. 

· Newcastle Strings cannot be held responsible for acting on information which is out of date if you have not advised us of your updated details. 

· All music parts (written or printed) are the property of Newcastle Strings and need to be returned to the Operations team at the conclusion of each term or relevant special event. 

· It is important that players comply with the rules of any venue at which the orchestra/s may be rehearsing or performing. 

This document only covers basic elements of conduct which are necessary for mutually respectful and productive work. It should be everyone’s aspiration to actively contribute to the goodwill and mutual support which members of the organisation have for each other and the people they deal with in the course of their activities with NS. If everyone works in this fashion, NS can achieve great things and become an organisation which others aspire to. 

The Management team of Newcastle Strings, in consultation with the relevant conductor(s) and staff, has the discretion to deal with any breaches of this code in an appropriate manner, and may impose disciplinary measures such as the exclusion from the orchestra for any program, event or activity on a short-term or permanent basis. If a player is excluded from any program, event or activity there will be no refund of participation fees.