Frequently Asked Questions

Absence

Whilst we hope that members will wish to attend every rehearsal, inevitably there will be an occasional event or illness which will result in absence.  Please be proactive in comparing CMA and school/family events.  Where a clash occurs, inform the ensemble leader as soon as possible.  This is particularly important for final rehearsals and concerts.  In the case of absence due to illness, please email the CMA office.

Catering

Hot and cold drinks and snacks are available at the tuck shop on Fridays and Saturdays. In addition, to overcome the “when will I eat?” problem, pizza, pasties, fruit and cakes can be purchased on Friday evenings and toast, fruit and porridge on Saturday mornings.

Concert Dress

  • Junior Ensemble members:
    • Boys: Long sleeved white shirt, black bow tie, black trousers, black socks, black shoes
    • Girls: Long sleeved white shirt or blouse, black knee length skirt, white socks/neutral tights, black shoes OR black trousers, black socks, black shoes
  • Senior Ensemble members:
    • Male: Long sleeved black shirt, black trousers, black socks and black shoes
    • Female: ¾ or full length sleeved black shirt and long black floor-length skirt/ trousers OR long black dress, dark/neutral tights and black shoes
Senior EnsemblesJunior Ensembles
Symphony OrchestraSinfonia
Philharmonic OrchestraStringchronise
String OrchestraString Stars
Concert BandAcademy Wind Band
Symphonic Wind BandSupersonic
Big BandBlast Off
Youth ChoirJazz Band
Senior Chamber GroupsVocus
Recorder ConsortVocalise
Recorder EnsembleSpringboard Choir
Junior Recorders
Recorder Racers
Riff Raff
Percussion Pioneers

Occasionally, ensembles perform more informally wearing black CMA polo shirts. These can be purchased from the online shop.

Ear Protection

Any child playing in our wind/jazz bands and percussion ensembles should wear earplugs; children over 6 years old playing in other large ensembles may also like to consider doing so.

There are alternatives:

  • Noise attenuation earplugs: these should enable you to experience loud music at safe levels without loss of audio quality and are suitable for all CMA ensembles. £17-£20, available from Strings of Penn.
  • Low-density foam earplugs are a cheaper alternative. The wearer will not hear musical balance quite as accurately, but for the louder bands they will be sufficient. They are widely available, and can be purchased at the CMA tuck shop for £1 a pair.

Foam earplugs are most effective and comfortable if they are inserted correctly:

  • Always wash and dry your hands before fitting.
  • Roll the earplug between the thumb and finger until it is compressed into a thin cylinder.
  • Whilst compressed, insert the plug well into the ear canal. Fitting the plug is easier if the outer ear is pulled outward and upward during insertion.
  • With the fingertip, hold the plug in place until it begins to expand and fills the ear canal.
  • To remove, ease gently and slowly from the ear.

If you lose/forget your earplugs, spares will always be available at the tuck shop for just £1 a pair. Don’t forget to label them though- sharing is not recommended!

Gift Aid

Boost your fees and donations by 25p of Gift Aid for every £1 you donate! CMA can claim gift aid on 80% of membership subscriptions and 100% of additional donations. Please see our Gift Aid FAQs for details.

Instruments

If you need to hire an instrument, please contact us on an individual basis. CMA have instruments available to hire and, if the instrument you need is not available, we can advise you.

Membership fees

You will receive notification of your termly membership fees by email, usually a couple of weeks into each term.  Payments are managed on ParentPay.  Please remember to give half a term’s notice of any intention to leave CMA.

Scholarships and bursaries

The CMA would like to welcome all young musicians, irrespective of their ability to pay. Please contact the office in cases of financial hardship.

Special needs

If your child has special needs, please contact us. We have children with a variety of needs playing and singing weekly in our mainstream groups.