JYO Guidelines


The Junior Youth Orchestra is an all-district orchestra for students in grades 6–9 in the Lincoln Public School District. Participation is by audition. The Junior Youth Orchestra is an extension of the instrumental music program of the Lincoln Public Schools. All students in Junior Youth Orchestra must be residents of the Lincoln Public School District and must participate in the instrumental music program at their school to remain eligible. Home-schooled students must be participants in a school instrumental music program in order to participate in JYO. Students whose schools (e.g. private, parochial) do not have an instrumental music program are eligible for JYO. Exceptions may be granted at the discretion of the JYO director, the school instrumental music teacher, the school principal and the Supervisor of Music.

JYO Membership Levels

The three levels of membership in JYO are: 1) Regular Member, 2) Permanent Member, and 3) Alternate Member.

Regular: Students audition for JYO and are accepted as a member of based on that audition. All Regular members are required to re-audition for a second year to participate.

Permanent: After a successful second year audition, students will then become permanent members and will only need to audition each year for chair placement.

Alternate: Alternates may be chosen at the auditions. They may either a) be given a regular spot if a regular or permanent member is unable to continue to participate; or b) an alternate may be temporarily appointed for the length of a concert preparation and performance period to replace a regular/permanent member for an approved major absence. Alternates will be required to attend only rehearsals and performances in the event an opening occurs. If Alternates are not appointed to fill a permanent spot, the alternate will need to re-audition the following year.

Attendance: Rehearsals, Absences & Tardies

Rehearsals will be Thursdays, 4:15 – 5:45 pm in Culler Middle School Band Room 1st semester, East High School Band Room 2nd semester. See complete schedule here.

  1. Acceptance into JYO is a privilege and a responsibility. Since rehearsals are only once a week, students are expected to attend and participate for the full length of each rehearsal and performance.
  2. The JYO director must approve all non-emergency absences. These absences must be presented to the JYO director for approval at least two weeks prior to the anticipated absence. Permission for non-emergency absences must be requested by e-mail to the director. Absences that are not approved may be grounds for dismissal from the orchestra.
  3. Emergency absences must be reported to the director by 3:30 on the day of the missed rehearsal. An e-mail message must be sent to the director to report the reason for the absence – this must be done before the next rehearsal. Examples of emergency absences include illness, injury, dire family emergency, or emergencies beyond the control of the student. NOTE to Parents: If you can not get your child to the rehearsal, then please do everything you can to make other arrangements for your child’s participation in the rehearsal.
  4. Except for extreme circumstances, students missing more than two rehearsals for a concert will not be eligible to perform in that concert.
  5. Students must be at the rehearsal the day of the concert AND the week before each concert in order to participate.
  6. Students may be excused from a rehearsal early to participate in other school performances as long as the JYO Director is notified in advance of that rehearsal – not at the beginning of the rehearsal.
  1. JYO members must be seated in their assigned seat five minutes prior to rehearsal time (4:10) or be counted tardy. Students are expected to notify the JYO Director when such tardies might occur consistently.
  2. Three tardies will be equivalent to one unexcused absence.

Inclement Weather

Rehearsal will automatically be canceled if LPS is canceled due to bad weather. If inclement weather occurs during the afternoon, log on to the JYO website (http://jyo.lps.org) or check email for the latest information about the rehearsal.


Each musician will be issued a folder. All music distributed should be kept in the folder. The student is responsible to bring the music, the folder, and a pencil to each rehearsal. NO markings shall be made in pen! Music will be collected at the end of each concert. For music that is not returned, a fee of $5 per piece ($50 maximum) will be assessed.

Additional Expectations

  1. Rehearsals and performances will be conducted in a professional manner. Students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times. Always show respect and consideration for the conductor, coaches, and all other members of the orchestra.
  2. Gum chewing, talking and disruptive behavior during rehearsals or performances will not be tolerated and may constitute reason for dismissal.
  3. Cell phone use during the rehearsal will NOT be tolerated. If a student is caught using his/her phone in any way (texting, calling, checking the time, etc.) the phone will be confiscated. The parent or guardian will need to see one of the directors to retrieve it.
  4. Transportation to and from all rehearsals and performances is the responsibility of the parent or guardian. If a parent/guardian is not able to get the student to rehearsal, then the parent/guardian should make other transportation arrangements for their student.

Chair Placement

String Section: Fall auditions will determine chair placement for the first half of the season. Additional chair placement auditions will be held in January to determine seating for the April concert.

Woodwind, Brass, & Percussion Instruments: Auditions for woodwind, brass, and percussion players will take place at the beginning of 2nd quarter. Check the JYO website October 1 for more information. Chair placement is determined at the fall auditions for the entire season. Placement may be adjusted during the season at the discretion of the director.

Concert Attire

Ladies: Below the knee dark skirt or pants (preferably black), dark shoes and socks, and white blouse. Please don’t hesitate to contact the director if you have any questions regarding concert attire.

Gentlemen: Dark dress pants (preferably black), dark dress shoes and socks, white dress shirt, and necktie.

Contact Information

  • Mr. Del Whitman (director/conductor): Email: dwhit@lps.org, day phone: 402-436-1302
  • Mr. Ian Wright (assistant conductor): Email: iwright@lps.org, day phone: 402-436-1217


Del Whitman
JYO Music Director/Conductor

Ian Wright
JYO Assistant Conductor