Orchestral Fines

With all this Music Director discussion it seems like a good time to post something in a little more humorous direction. Several years ago someone sent me a wish list just in case a policy is ever put in place for monetary penalties during orchestral services, and I’ve updated and revised it a few times over the years. Those of you who work regularly in an orchestra may recognize some of these infractions; hopefully everyone can find something amusing here. It seems to be evolving every year or so, so feel free to email me with any suggestions for future fines…..

INFRACTION

FINE

IMPERSONATING A PROFESSIONAL
Stupid Questions

$    10.00

Really stupid questions

$    25.00

Really Stupid Questions Which Increase Rehearsal Time

$  300.00

PRESUMPTUOUS FIRST-YEAR BEHAVIOR
Musicological Elucidation

$    25.00

Historical Nitpicking

$    50.00

Obtrusive Foot Tapping

$    10.00

Uninvited Conducting

$    15.00

Questioning Concertmaster’s or Principal’s Bowings
(strings)

$    25.00

Comparing Concertmaster’s or Principal’s bowings with
what  Philadelphia did under Ormandy

$  100.00

TOADYING
Insane Cackling at Conductor’s Jokes

$    50.00

Loud and Forced Phony Laugh at Conductor’s Jokes

$    20.00

Unwarranted Beatific Smile While Playing

$    40.00

Ridiculously Minute Bowing/Breathing Questions

$    75.00

Conversing With Conductor in Language Other Than
English

$    95.00

Active and Public Nodding in Agreement With Conductor

$    35.00

Pencil Behind Ear

$    25.00

Conspicuous Part Marking

$    15.00

Pencil Clattering on Stand After Conspicuous Part Marking

$  300.00

Taking Much Longer Than Entire String Section to Finish
Minor Bowing Change

$  100.00

Obvious, Insipid Consultation of Conductor’s Score
During Break

$  150.00

Reference to Obscure Recordings/Performances

$    90.00

Pretending to Understand Absurd Metaphor During
Rehearsal

$    15.00

Actually Understanding Absurd Metaphor

$    25.00

Informing Conductor That They Have More Rehearsal
Time Than They Think

$  750.00

ANNOYING BEHAVIOR BY VETERANS
Playing High Notes Louder Than Possible (Brass)

$    25.00

Holding Same 1/4 Beat Longer Than Everyone Else

$  200.00

Discussing Technique During Rehearsal

$  100.00

Discussing Technique During Break

$  200.00

Discussing Technique With Guest Artist (at any time)

$  500.00

Tiresome, Time-Consuming Anecdotes

$    30.00

Tiresome, Time-Consuming Anecdotes About Famous
Musician (Second-Hand)

$    60.00

Tiresome, Time-Consuming Anecdotes About Famous
Musician (First-Hand)

$    90.00

Feigning European Birth by “lapsing” into Foreign
Languages

$  150.00

GENERAL OBNOXIOUS BEHAVIOR
Inviting Conductor to Party

$    15.00

Inviting Soloist to Party

$  100.00

Showing Pictures of Soloist at Party During First Service
Following Party

$  200.00

Warming Up Onstage More Than 30 Minutes Before
Service

$    50.00

Warming Up Onstage So Loudly No One Else Can

$  100.00

Warming Up Backstage So Loudly No One Else Can

$  250.00

Warming Up Loudly With Solo Part of Concerto To Be
Performed by Guest Artist

$  400.00

Continuing to Tune Loudly After Everyone Else Finishes

$    10.00

Unnecessarily Obvious Insertion of Earplugs

$    15.00

Habitual Use of Earplugs Regardless of Repertoire
(e.g. Pachelbel Canon)

$    65.00

Conversing With Management (non-hostile)

$    25.00

Forwarding “Funny” Email to Other Musicians

$  200.00

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2 thoughts on “Orchestral Fines”

  1. I would simply have to disagree with the pencil-behind-the-ear fine… that technique avoids the higher penalty of the pencil clanking on the music stand.

    Reply

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