phone 207-232-5327
Welcome to the PCO Member Handbook

an orchestra to enrich and grow your musical experience

icon PCO Member Handbook

Musician and Performance Expectations

Although we play for the joy of music, we also strive to project the importance of our art to our supporters and audiences. Therefore all PCO members should keep in mind these four principal points of professionalism:

 - Attend all rehearsals and concerts to the extent your schedule and health allows
 - Be warmed-up and tuned, with pencil, music and instrument ready for the downbeat at the scheduled rehearsal start time
 -  Come to rehearsals with all parts prepared
 - Give full and courteous attention to the conductor and your fellow musicians.

Practice and Preparation

All orchestra members are expected to come to rehearsals with their music and instruments in order. It is also necessary to spend time practicing your PCO music, since it is our goal that over the span of each concert session's rehearsal time   (be it 7, 8 or 9 weeks), each player will feel gradual improvement, and thus the overall sound and musicality of the orchestra will sharpen and grow.

Sheet Music

PCO’s music librarian will provide music for each musician prior to, or at, the first rehearsal for each concert of the season. If a musician loses music, it is their responsibility to pay the replacement cost.  Members are expected to have their own folder and music at every rehearsal.  If you have any questions about your music, please contact the PCO music librarian.

icon Rehearsals

Get Ready for the Downbeat!

All rehearsals begin promptly at the scheduled time. Musicians should arrive at least ten minutes before the start of rehearsals, so as to be seated, tuned, and ready to play. Rehearsals will conclude at the scheduled time. The conductor may, on rare occasions, extend a rehearsal for several minutes to complete the evening’s work. In order to participate in concerts, it is mandatory for musicians to attend dress rehearsals. This is required due to the possibility of any last minute changes that cannot be communicated to those who are not at the dress rehearsal.


An orchestra cannot properly prepare for a performance unless all its members work together at rehearsals. For this reason, attendance at all rehearsals and concerts is expected (again, to the extent your schedule and health allow), and musicians are expected to be punctual and to remain for the duration of all rehearsals and concerts.

icon Performances

Performance Etiquette

Some simple things to keep in mind:
 - Warm up with a full and strong tone, not tentatively (but please, not ff!)
 - Keep a good posture - spine straight, legs uncrossed
 - Jewelry should not be distracting - visually or audibly
 - At the conductor's first entrance at concerts, the orchestra should stand together and wait for the cue to be seated
 - During solo sections, keep focused on the music as a whole, anticipating your next entrance
 - At the end of each piece, remain seated until signaled to stand, and smile to acknowledge the applause, no matter how you may feel you performed!
 - Congratulate yourself for the hundreds of notes you played right, and don't berate yourself for the few you missed!
 - Our time together, whether in rehearsal or performance, is about the joy of sharing the wonders of music with family, friends and the community.

Membership Fee

The PCO will soon begin it's fouth season, and with that comes the challenges of how to fund the organization. Our goal is to raise funds through individual and corporate donors, as well as through grants and fundraising events. At the start, however, a membership fee is being used to help run the organization. This fee will be based on the number of musicians who are currently playing in the PCO. Last year's membership fees averaged around $66 per session (with 4 rehearsal sessions per season).

Please keep in mind that the orchestra has some funds available to help those interested in joining the PCO, but who may find the membership fee an undue financial burden. Please contact a PCO board member about applying for membership fee assistance. As our membership stabilizes and our fundraising progresses, we hope, over time, to bring the membership fee down to $0. But the more players we have, the lower the membership fee becomes - so tell your family, friends, neighbors, anyone who you think might be interested in joining, about the pleasures of playing in the PCO!

Trinity Episcopal Church, 580 Forest Avenue,
                  Portland, ME

Rehearsals take place Tuesdays from 5:30-7:30pm at Trinity Episcopal Church or various locations around Portland

PCO rehearsals take place Tuesdays from 5:30-7:30pm at Trinity Episcopal Church, 580 Forest Avenue, Portland, or at various outdoor locations in and around the Portland area (Fort Allen Park, Evergreen Cemetery, Payson Park, Bug Light Park/South Portland). To audition, volunteer, donate, or just find out more about the PCO, please contact us at:

icon 1 Portland Community Orchestra
         389 Cousins St, Yarmouth, ME 04096

icon 2 207-232-5327

icon 3Send us an email

I love your wide-ranging, interesting and very playable selections and arrangements. Please keep doing what you're doing!

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