Handbook & Policies

Membership Policy

Parent Liaison and Complaint Policy

Student Responsibilities
Orientation Parent Responsibilities
Rehearsal & Theory Class Attendance Policy
Tuesday Snack & Concert Night Dinners Punctuality
Concerts Financial Aid
Concert Dress Harassment Policy
Coordination with SF Bay Area Private and School Music Teacher Communities  

Membership Policy

Membership in GGP is open to any qualified person from grades K-12. All families are bound by the rules, policies, and procedures contained in the GGP Handbook. GGP students must maintain membership in their school orchestra (if applicable). Theory class, or its equivalent, is strongly encouraged for all students. We reserve the right to audition students to determine their level, placement and acceptance into specific ensembles, and to decline registration if we determine we are unable to meet the needs of a student. Members must understand and agree that failure to comply with GGP policies and regulations, or failure to pay tuition as agreed to during registration may result in dismissal from Golden Gate Philharmonic, at the discretion of the Executive and Artistic Directors, without refund of tuition.


Parent and student orientation is held on the first day of each season at Ruth Asawa School of the Arts.  All students and at least one parent/guardian must attend orientation.

Rehearsal & Theory Class

GGP students must attend rehearsals every Tuesday.

  • Cadet: 4:00 pm arrival, 4:30 to 6:00 pm rehearsal
  • Junior: 4:00 pm arrival, 4:30 to 6:30 pm rehearsal
  • Senior: 4:00 pm arrival, 4:30 to 7:00 pm rehearsal
  • Camerata: 4:00 pm arrival, 4:30 to 7:00 pm rehearsal
  • Symphonic Winds: 4:00 – 6:00 pm at the San Francisco High School of the Arts

Snacks are provided in the SOTA cafeteria at 4:00 pm.

Theory Assistance is available during this period and on weekends.

Please refer to the weekly schedule announcements for Rehearsal and Theory Schedule Details.

Tuesday Snack & Concert Night Dinners

On regular Tuesdays, snacks are available at the SOTA cafeteria at 4:00 pm.

GGP provides a pre-concert dinner at no cost to all enrolled students and faculty. Parents, siblings and guests who wish to attend the dinner can buy ticket at the Check-in Desk the day of the Concert.  


GGP hosts three Tuesday evening Orchestra Concerts and four Sunday afternoon Chamber Music Recitals each year. All orchestra concerts start at 7:00 pm and are held at Lakeside Presbyterian Church. All chamber recitals are on Sunday afternoons at 3:00 pm. Run-throughs for performers are at 1:30 pm. Please refer to the concert schedule on the GGP website for concert and recital dates and locations.

Being able to perform as a soloist is an important part of musical development. Each student at the Junior Orchestra level and above should prepare at least one solo piece each year. Each chamber group must also prepare at least one piece each year. To be selected to perform, students are required to audition their piece in advance of the recital date.

All performances are free admission, but donations are strongly encouraged and gladly accepted.

Concert Dress

  • GGP Concerts and Recitals

    • Camerata orchestra students wear all black, dress shirt and pants or skirt/dress; black shoes and black socks
    • All other students wear a white collared shirt (like an oxford or a polo shirt) and black pants/skirt; black shoes and black socks.
    • NO athletic shoes or skirts/dresses above the knee, NO sleeveless or low-cut blouses, shirts or outfits. NO bare shoulders.
  • Hotel Gigs and Wedding Receptions

    • All black, dress shoes. Skirt/dresses must fall below the knee. 
    • If requested, performance dress for wedding receptions may be dress shirt and cummerbund, black pants or skirt, dress shoes.
    • NO athletic shoes or skirts/dresses above the knee, NO sleeveless or low-cut blouses, shirts or outfits. NO bare shoulders.

Student Responsibilities

Students are responsible for the music and equipment issued to them. Orchestra or chamber music should be kept in the designated music folder provided by GGP, and theory books in a binder. Each student should bring their music, a well-maintained instrument, and a sharpened pencil with a good eraser to every rehearsal. Students will be charged $10 each for replacement folders or theory books.

The  Weekly Email Announcements contain important information about rehearsal schedules and upcoming events. All students and parents must read the announcement sent via email.

  • All students must learn — and follow — Rehearsal Etiquette.
  • All electronic devices such as iPods and cell phones should be turned off and stored during rehearsal.
  • Students must be in their seats on time, with music and instrument.
  • Be quiet when the conductor starts the rehearsal.
  • Tune softly, so you can hear your pitch.
  • Be attentive and listen when the conductor is talking.
  • Do not pluck, play or talk during rehearsal.
  • Be aware of when the conductor stops and stop immediately.
  • Copy bowings and fingerings when necessary; always have your pencil at your stand.
  • We expect that students who are not performing will attend at least two of the chamber recitals as it is a learning experience and it provides support to their fellow musicians.

Parent Responsibilities

  • Parent Voluntarism – GGP is able to keep its tuition low because of parents’ willingness to volunteer.  All parents are asked to volunteer 20 hours per season, with 10 hours being mandatory.  Volunteer opportunities will be announced in the weekly updates, and families completing their volunteer obligation will receive a $250 tuition credit towards the following season’s tuition.   
  • Communication– GGP will send out updates, important announcements and information to keep all families and students fully informed via both weekly emails and our website. We ask that you stay involved and up-to-date. Please email office@ggph.org with any questions or concerns.
  • Encouragement and Support– It is important that you show your support of your child’s hard work by attending your child’s performances and showing an interest in his or her participation. LOVE listening to your child play music!

Help your child structure his or her time to include home practice. To help every parent make home practice a pleasant and productive effort for both parent and child, GGP offers practice strategies that work. These are addressed in parent meetings throughout the year, beginning with the Orchestra Retreat in October.

  • Student Pick-up– GGP staff and volunteers remain on-site during rehearsal hours only.  Parents are responsible for picking up their children immediately following rehearsal. GGP encourages parents to carpool and make prior arrangements for emergency pick-up with other GGP families.
  • Siblings– Siblings who are not enrolled in GGP must always be accompanied by an adult at rehearsals and performances.
  • Fundraising– Tuition covers approximately half the cost of services provided to each student. Included in your tuition are:
  • The Fall Cazadero Retreat with free student accommodation and food
  • Weekly orchestra rehearsals, sectional instruction, and music theory classes and workbooks
  • Rehearsal snacks and concert dinners.
  • Accompaniment at recitals and family admission to all recitals and concerts (except the Grand Finale Concert).

We must rely on your continual volunteer and financial support to close the gap between tuition and expenses, and to ensure GGP is a fulfilling experience for your children. We ask that parents support our Annual Fund and Annual Benefit Gala. 100% participation to our Annual Fund can help GGP secure grants, and our Gala is one of our largest revenue generators for the organization.

Attendance Policy

Absences create a hardship for the student, their section, their ensemble, the conductor and the orchestra.   Please make every attempt at regular attendance at Tuesday rehearsals.  Attendance at concerts and recitals is critical and mandatory. Notification of an absence must be submitted in writing to office@ggph.org in advance of the rehearsal or event to be missed. One unexcused concert absence or two unexcused rehearsal absences may result in suspension from GGP for the remainder of the year, with no refund of fees.

Acceptable excused absences:

  • Illness
  • Out of town
  • Conflict with a school performance
  • Conflict with a school sports or academic activity


On-time arrival is expected and means being in your seat, ready to play.  This shows respect for each other and for our faculty. It also is consistent with our music education program where attendance at professional concerts and recitals demand early arrival for all performers.

Financial Aid

A limited amount of Financial Aid is available to qualified students. This is awarded primarily based on financial need and secondarily on orchestral need.

To be considered, families must fill out a Financial Aid application and submit it along with all necessary documentation by mid-September. Students entering the program later in the year must turn in Financial Aid applications two weeks after they enroll to be considered.

Financial Aid recipients are expected to be exemplary in their attitude and attendance at classes and performances; parents of Financial Aid recipients are equally expected to fulfill their parent participation obligation by taking on volunteer assignments.

It is hoped that Financial Aid recipients will demonstrate leadership by continuing in the program until high school graduation.

Final determination for Financial Aid awards will be made after the fall auditions. Participation requirements and exemplary attitude is expected of all Financial Aid recipients, and a follow up review will be conducted prior to the spring semester.

Harassment Policy

GGP values the diversity of its students, their families, and its faculty and is dedicated to creating a learning environment that is free from bullying and harassment of any nature. Actions that target a student’s actual or perceived gender, race, ethnic or socio-economic background, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or disability for the purpose of denigrating, intimidating, or harassing a student, a group of students, or the student’s family, are strictly forbidden. Any student engaged in such behavior, whether it takes place during GGP rehearsals, classes, or performances; at a GGP-sponsored function; or while a student is enroute to or from GGP, will be subject to disciplinary action. Students engaged in such behavior outside of GGP or online may also be subject to disciplinary action. Harassment includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Teasing or taunting
  • Verbal or physical intimidation of others; bullying
  • Unwanted touching or contact; assault
  • Unwelcome sexual flirtation
  • Obscene or threatening letters, notes, invitations, e-mail, posts on social media, text messages, or phone calls
  • Racial, ethnic, or religious slurs or comments of a demeaning nature
  • Comments that create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment
  • Sexually demeaning comments; sexual statements; demands for sexual favors; sexually suggestive questions, slurs, jokes, epithets, anecdotes, or materials
  • Sexually suggestive or insulting sounds or gestures, including whistling
  • Graphic or suggestive comments about an individual’s dress or body
  • Creating, transmitting, viewing, storing, or displaying any sexually suggestive objects, pictures, electronic images, or words
  • Graffiti containing sexually suggesting comments or racial, ethnic, or religious slurs written on walls, desks, or other areas

The GGP community must work cooperatively to stop harassment and foster an atmosphere of personal responsibility, self-discipline, and respect for others. Any student who is the target of harassment or the student’s parents must notify a GGP faculty member, Board member, or the Director. Similarly, students or parents witnessing an incident of harassment must notify GGP.

Disciplinary measures will depend on the severity of the incident and may range from suspension from some or all program activities to dismissal from the program. No person will be adversely affected as a result of bringing complaints or reports of harassment or bullying.

Coordination with SF Bay Area Private and School Music Teacher Communities

GGP seeks to work closely with the SF Bay Area private and school music teacher communities to ensure that our programs complement and extend both private and school music classes and experience, and to encourage all private and school music teachers to recommend their students to GGP.

To enhance coordination, we maintain the following —

  • All GGP students should continue to engage in training and lessons with private music teachers and participate in their school orchestra (if available) while participating in our orchestral and related programs.
  • All GGP faculty should respect the musical training objectives set by private and school music teachers for their students.
  • All GGP faculty should avoid taking on as private students GGP participants who are already receiving instruction from other private music teachers.
  • The GGP Artistic Director should maintain regular engagement with the private and school music teacher community and design GGP musical programs to complement and extend training objectives offered in both venues.