Performing Mozart & More for Orchestra Day 2024

A symphony orchestra performance, string section that could be performing Mozart

Performing in an orchestra, or any large ensemble is quite different than performing as a soloist, or even in a small ensemble, like a duo. This article, full of lists and resources, aims to help students performing ‘Mozart and more’ in Orchestra Day 2024, feel prepared by understanding common practices of large ensembles, as well as details specific to this year’s performance.

Mozart & More: 10 Rules For Orchestras

Orchestra conductor hands conducting music, such as Mozart, against a dark background.

Most situations in life have unspoken protocols. This is also true of an orchestra. Here are 10 basic rules for orchestras:

  • The conductor is always right
  • If the conductor is wrong, refer to rule number one
  • Be in your seat and ready to play by rehearsal call time. This means that before call time you will need time to unpack, tune, collect your music, and find your seat.
  • Bring a pencil to your orchestra seat. Use it during rehearsal to mark any changes or anything that needs special attention.
  • Do not talk during the rehearsal unless necessary. Rehearsal time is precious. (You may ask questions of your section leader or teacher during the break).
  • Do not play unless the conductor is conducting.
  • If the conductor is working with a different section of the orchestra, do not play or talk. Listen to what is said; it may also apply to you. You may follow in your own music, and finger notes silently.
  • Do not run or jump in rooms with instruments.
  • Be courteous when sharing stands or keyboards.
  • Never touch another musicians’ instrument without their permission.

    Mozart & More: Preparatory Conducting Videos

    Whether is is your first time following a conductor or your hundredth time, reviewing how to follow a conductor prior to rehearsal is always a great idea. Here are a couple of videos to help you grasp the basics of what a conductor does and how to follow them:

    Conducting in 2/4, 3/4, & 4/4 Time Signatures

    This video, from Teton Music, contains the basics of how to conduct in 2/4, 3/4, & 4/4 time. All of these time signatures use a quarter note to represent the beat, which is why there is a 4 on the bottom of the time signature. The top number of the time signature shows whether there are 2 beats, 3 beats, or 4 beats in each measure.

    Conducting Motions Beyond The Beat

    Understanding how a conductor conveys the beat is important, but a conductor’s job goes well beyond keeping time. He or she must understand each work as a whole and help the ensemble create music which will elicit an emotional response from the audience. American conductor, Alan Gilbert, discusses the motions a conductor creates and the purpose of those motions in this video presented by

      Little boy learning about how to follow a conductor directing Mozart on his tablet.

      Mozart & More: Preparatory Listening Videos

      In love with classic music. Close up view of brown violin lying on music score sheet. Violin lessons

      Research is an important part of performing in an ensemble. Understanding how your part fits into the ensemble as a whole can be difficult without listening to performances containing the entire ensemble. This kind of research can be quite fun, as your ears get explore the world of various composers. Listening to performances can also bring down your stress level as a performer, since you will walk in the door to your first rehearsal with an idea of how each piece should sound. Grab your music and follow along as you listen to these performances of your pieces by other ensembles:

          Mozart & More: Sheet Music & Backing Tracks For 7 Songs

          All seven songs are arranged for Vance Music’s orchestra day. Sheet music and backing tracks were recently sent out in the newsletter. If you haven’t received the newsletter, you can access it online through this link.

          These songs are in the tentative program order. Prepare your music in a black, 3-ring binder in this order. Either hole-punch the music or tape it to cardstock that is hole-punched. Please do not use sheet protectors as the light may cause glare during rehearsal and the protector will prevent you from being able to take notes in rehearsal.

          • Menuet & Trio, From String Quartet No. 7, D. 95, By Schubert
          • Basin Street Blues, By Spencer Williams
          • Andante, From Divertimento in D, K. 136, By Mozart
          • The Best Things In Life Are Free, By DeSylva, Brown, & Henderson
          • Come Again, Sweet Love, By Dowland
          • Sea Fever, By John Ireland
          • I Am A Pirate King, By Gilbert & Sullivan
            A black 3-ring binder used to organize music by Mozart and other composers.

            Mozart & More: Volunteers, Keyboards, What To Wear, & What To Bring

            Small business Thank you sign in a cafe

            A huge thank you to all students and parents for the extra effort of preparing music, volunteering to bring equipment, and volunteering to work the event. Without your help, opportunities like orchestra day would simply not exist for our students. We appreciate each of you.

            Schedules For Volunteers & Keyboard Drop-Off

            If you did not already receive the newsletter detailing volunteer positions & keyboard drop-off times, please review it here. Volunteers should check-in with Marissa upon arrival at their scheduled time.

            What To Wear

            This dress code applies to both the rehearsal and the concert:

            • Closed-toed shoes
            • Jeans
            • T-shirt (Vance Music, plain black, or plain blue)
            • Closed-toed shoes

            What To Bring

            • Your instrument
            • Your music in a black 3-ring binder (see music order above)
            • Your pencil
            • Vocalists only: bottled water for rehearsal that seals completely
            • Keyboards & Power Cords (link to drop-off time above)
              • Cavell, Isaiah, Holly, Maika, Bailey, Ian, Elmeah
            • Keyboard Stands (link to drop-off time above)
              • Cavell, Isaiah, Holly, Ian
            • Keyboard Benches (link to drop-off time above)
              • Cavell, Isaiah, Holly, Ian
            • Keyboard-Attached Music Stands (link to drop-off time above)
              • Cavell, Isaiah, Holly, Bailey, Ian, Elmeah
            • Solid-Back Music Stands
              • Rebekah, Kim, Holly, Kathryn, Maika, Ben, Ian, Elmeah
            • Open-Back Music Stands
              • No longer needed

                Mozart & More: Tickets & T-shirts

                Concert Tickets

                The concert will be at 7pm at Tyler Road Baptist Church & is open to the public (see the Google maps link the event overview below).

                Concert tickets for orchestra day are $10.00 per audience member, and will be available at the door (cash only). Children 5 and under will be admitted for free. Vance Music parents may purchase advance tickets (cash or check) through May 30th.

                Parent volunteers will receive a name-tag which will serve as their ticket for the concert.

                If you wish to sell Orchestra Day tickets, but did not receive a ticket packet at the May recital, please email Marissa (

                Vance Music T-Shirts

                We still have t-shirts available! If you would like a Vance Music t-shirt, please email Marissa ( to see if your size is currently in stock. Students who wear Vance Music t-shirts for Orchestra Day can get a $5.00 discount applied to their participation fee.

                  Tickets sign for Orchestra Day 2024, where students will perform Mozart and more.

                  Event Overview

                  Tyler Road Baptist Church

                  571 S. Tyler Road Wichita, Ks 67209

                  Saturday, June 1st, 2024

                  1:00 PM Rehearsal Call Time

                  1:15 – 4:45 PM Rehearsal

                  6:45 PM Concert Call Time

                  7:00 PM Concert (tickets available at the door – cash only)