Membership Policies 2021-2022

The Ironhorse Consortium for Young Musicians is an educational program made possible through the hard work and dedication of talented music instructors and music students in and around Helena. Thank you for your interest in our organization; you are welcome to direct questions to Mr. Cleary at

Updated August 2021


The Ironhorse Consortium for Young Musicians (Ironhorse Youth Music or ICYM) exists to inspire, educate, and connect people through music. All ensembles introduce classical and contemporary music literature to student musicians of all ages and provide a strong foundation of rehearsal and performance techniques. Through repertoire and educational opportunities, ICYM brings students and audiences a community connection to other cultures and social issues facing our society.

Students involved in ICYM ensembles and other activities have a chance to develop their musical skills in collaboration with musicians of all ages and ability levels.


Ironhorse Music welcomes all students committed to our mission. Membership within each ensemble is also subject to the following regulations.


Fees are attached to most ICYM programs and are essential to the functioning of our organization. Please note that tuition is not tax deductible. For the first time this season, you can pay tuition online at! Please read instructions carefully to make sure you pay all necessary tuition.

Those who prefer to write a check should make it payable to Ironhorse Youth Music.

All enrollment forms must be printed and submitted on paper (regardless of payment method). You may bring paperwork and check payments to rehearsal or mail them to:

Ironhorse Youth Music • PO Box 1117 • Helena • 59624

Anyone concerned about the cost of tuition is encouraged to request a Fee Waiver. Ironhorse is committed to including every student who wants to participate in our programs, no matter their financial situation or ability to pay tuition.

During the 2021-2022 season, program tuition will be built around the following rate structure.


For each student, enrollment in a first ensemble costs $300 for the full year or $180 per semester. Enrollment in each additional ensemble costs $100 for the full year or $60 per semester. (There is no additional ensemble charge for Camerata Orchestra students who enroll in Youth Orchestra.) All siblings enrolled in ensembles receive a 10% discount on full year or semester tuition.

Students who choose the monthly payment plan will be billed $50 per month for a first ensemble and $20 per month for each additional ensemble. (Please note that this is a greater overall cost than the full year or semester option.)


For each student, enrollment in a class costs $180 per semester. Full year enrollment is not available for classes since curriculum is developed and delivered specific to each semester.

Students who choose the monthly payment plan will be billed $50 per month for a class. (Please note that this is a greater overall cost than the full year or semester option.)


Private instruction costs $50 per month for each student, but it is available depending on enrollment and instructor availability. Weekly lesson times are scheduled with each instructor.


Rehearsal times, dates, and locations differ between ensembles (you can find details at, but policies surrounding ensembles and their rehearsals are the same.

Attendance is required at all regular rehearsals and dress rehearsals--everyone is needed if the ensemble is to be properly prepared for performances.

All members of Ironhorse Youth Music must display courtesy and exhibit upstanding behavior at all rehearsals and at any events related to ICYM. If a student’s behavior becomes disruptive, parents will be called. If disruptive behavior continues, this will represent cause for dismissal from an ensemble.


Many Ironhorse ensembles are considered touring ensembles; twice a year, these ensembles travel around Helena to perform for members of the community. Tours are strongly encouraged for every member of ICYM, but they are not considered required concert performances because they often require missing a day of school.

There have been discussions around select Ironhorse ensembles touring and performing outside of Helena, but nothing is planned for this season. Such travel would require additional expectations that are not yet in place.

The dress code on most tours is Functional Concert Attire, but ensemble conductors have final say in defining appropriate attire for each tour.


Each semester concludes with a final concert for all ensembles held in the sanctuary of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church. This season’s final concerts are scheduled on the following days.

The dress code for concerts is Full Concert Attire. Any unexcused absence from a concert represents cause for dismissal from an ensemble.

The Ironhorse Opera Chorus will not perform on either of the semester concerts with other ICYM ensembles. They will only perform with the Helena Symphony when it presents Carmen on Saturday, April 30. Concert details and attire expectations will be shared with that ensemble in the spring semester.

Dress Code

Full Concert Attire is expected primarily at evening concerts, but students will be notified of other events that require this level of formality.

Functional Concert Attire is permitted during tours because students will be on and off a bus with equipment. They need to look presentable, but comfort is also important.


The music used by ICYM ensembles is purchased, rented, and/or borrowed. Because music is expensive, all of it must be handled with care.

Classes and Lessons

Because these programs are individualized and don’t have a performance component (like ensembles), participants can expect some policy adaptations. Attendance and respectful behavior, along with proper treatment of music, are still essential to success in classes and lessons, but there are no tours or concerts and no dress code for participation.

MET Live in Schools

In accordance with agreements between Ironhorse Youth Music, the Helena School District, and the Metropolitan Opera Company in New York, ICYM is planning to help administer the Live in Schools program this season. This unique program brings live, world class opera to students in the Helena School District and is entirely free for all participants. No enrollment in ICYM is required to join this program, and no required fees will be charged to students.