UNI Suzuki

NIJO Policies and Procedures



The name of this organization will be the Northern Iowa Junior Orchestra or NIJO.  All programs and correspondence will be identified as follows:

 Northern Iowa Junior Orchestra

An affiliate of the UNI Suzuki School



The purpose of this organization will be to fulfill the need for a potentially superior musical organization which will challenge, educate, and stimulate the advanced students of music in northeast Iowa; to extend the school music programs, never substituting for them; and to contribute to the cultural life of the participating students and their communities.



String students in grades 5 - 8 will be eligible to audition for the junior orchestra.  A student must be a participant in good standing in his/her appropriate school performance group (orchestra), if such a performance group is available.



NIJO is directed by Mr. Tom Schilke.  Mr. Schilke is the former Orchestra Director at Hoover Intermediate School. Players for the WCFSO and UNI School of Music may assist with the rehearsals at the music director's request.



Eligible students will be invited to play a prepared selection for the audition staff on audition day (tba--September).  Students will be notified of the results at the audition or by mail or phone.



Use of the facilities is being donated by UNI School of Music School and are subject to availability.



There will be one local concert this season in April.


Usually held the Wednesday before the Concert date.


  • Dress for men:  black pants, white shirts, dark socks and shoes
  • Dress for women: black pants or skirts with white blouses, dark shoes



Rehearsals will take place at Russell Hall, room 111 on Fridays from 5:00- 7:00 and one Saturday morning from 9:00 - noon.  Alternate location for rehearsals will be in Davis Hall at Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center.

Fall rehearsals are the first Friday in October, November and December.  Spring rehearsals will be every Friday from 5:00 - 7:00 and one Saturday morning, 9:30 - noon. 


Members are asked to submit their conflicts with the rehearsal schedule in writing at the audition or as soon as possible after receiving the schedule. Members should call or email Cathy Craig at 273-2508 or cathy.craig@uni.edu in the case of unforeseen absences.  When a rehearsal is missed, it is the member's responsibility to contact the administrator or fellow section member to be advised of the week's assignment.   



You are expected to be at every rehearsal.  By joining you have indicated that NIJO is a priority and you will refrain from adding activities to your busy calendar that conflict with rehearsals. When adding activities that may conflict, it is your responsibility to notify the other activity that you will be unavailable on during NIJO rehearsal times.  It is at the discretion of the director if the number of absences warrant a dismissal from the orchestra.



All orchestra members are expected to spend time practicing the assignments during the weeks between rehearsals.  All orchestra members are expected to attend rehearsal on time (be in your seat ready to play at 4:55 or 9:25).  All members should bring a pencil. Cello and bass students should bring a rock stop.



Your folder of NIJO music is your responsibility.  If the music is lost or damaged you will be charged the cost of replacing the music.  This will be based on the current market price. This may be as much as $60 per piece because single part music for orchestra works is usually not available. A lost part means we must buy the entire set.  KEEP YOUR MUSIC SAFE! 



Administration of NIJO activities will be the responsibility of the UNI Suzuki School and the musical director, Mr. Tom Schilke.  In addition, the musical director will hold auditions, select the music, set the concert dates, schedule rehearsals, and attend to any ancillary business of the orchestra.



The orchestra will be self-supporting and is solely responsible for raising funds.  Participating students will be charged a feeto cover administrative costs and staff considerations.  Payment is due at the first rehearsal.   Checks should be made payable to UNI Suzuki (NOT NIJO) and can be mailed to UNI Suzuki School, School of Music, Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0246  OR  given to Cathy Craig at the start of the first rehearsal.  Students will be responsible for their housing, food, and transportation costs on trips or tours taken during the season.  Contact the administrator to arrange for installment payments of fees.



Members will be asked to bring treats to rehearsal.  A reminder email will be made on Monday before each rehearsal. The member bringing the treats will be asked to clean up the treat mess after rehearsal.



If Waterloo, Cedar Falls or UNI cancels school for the day or dismisses classes early, NIJO rehearsal will be canceled.  An email will be sent, the announcement will be posted on the website and a cancellation message will be left on the school’s answering machine (273-2508).



All announcements and cancellations will be sent via email unless other means is requested by the student or student's parents.  Information will also be available on the UNI Suzuki School website. 

http://www.uni.edu/music/suzuki (Click on the NIJO logo.)




  • Mr. Tom Schilke                                                         

Music Director                                        



  • Cathy Craig

Suzuki School Coordinator & Orchestra Administrator