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SSO Homegrown Video Series: Info, FAQ, and Guidelines

Since we have suspended our 2019-2020 season, we are starting up a new initiative – a weekly video offering called the SSO Homegrown Series that will be uploaded to our Facebook page, sent to our contacts via eblast, and embedded in a special section on the SSO website to keep our musicians, audience, and donors engaged and inject some positivity into everyone’s life in these uncertain times. Here’s how it works:

We are inviting SSO musicians, youth orchestra musicians, staff members, and perhaps even a few patrons to make a video of themselves and submit it to us. We will release videos regularly on Wednesdays.

Here is a basic FAQ:

What should I film?

Anything, but it should be musical or musically-related. Your video can be short (1 to 3 minutes) or slightly longer (up to 10 minutes). And don’t worry about submitting a fully-finished product. Our Marketing team will be editing everything together. Since they will be putting together a LOT of video content, please note that there may be editorial decisions made prior to releasing the videos.

Here are some ideas for content:

  • Play a short solo piece you’ve been working on
  • Play an excerpt from a piece on a canceled concert (and talk about it!)
  • Demonstrate your instrument and something cool about it
  • Chamber music: if you would like to team up and record a chamber music piece and feel comfortable/safe doing so, go for it! There is also an app called Acapella that, for those technologically inclined, provides a way for people to play from their respective homes.
  • Talk about how long you’ve been in the SSO and share about some of your favorite SSO memories
  • Share your musical influences

There are so many possibilities with this, and we’re leaving it intentionally open ended… if you’re not sure if something will fly, just get in touch with Paul Lambert to discuss.

What should I wear?

You don’t have to be in a tux or dressed in a particular color, but please remember that you are representing the SSO so dress appropriately. And please refrain from wearing an all white shirt or top which could be very glaring on camera.

Is there anything I must include?

At the start of your video please introduce yourself with the following information:

  • Your name
  • Your instrument and/or how you are involved with the SSO
  • How long you’ve been involved with the SSO
  • Where you live (city, state)

At the end of your video, please take a moment to say “thanks for watching.”

If you feel comfortable enough, include a donation ask for the Musicians’ Relief Fund. Say something like “Please consider making a donation to the SSO Musicians’ Relief Fund. Every dollar donated will go to help sustain SSO Musicians until we can be together again on the concert stage.” If you want to give the URL, it’s

Can I submit more than one video?

Yes, of course! We are looking to continue this series through the summer, so the more content the better.

When can I submit?

As soon as you’d like! We launched the series April 1st and have so far been including videos by Kevin, youth orchestra musicians, and staff members, but we would like to begin featuring SSO musicians as soon as possible.

Do I have to do this?

No, it’s completely optional.

When will my video be posted?

We have developed an editorial calendar for Homegrown and we are trying to balance the content, so specific videos will be slotted into the calendar with that in mind. We will be sure to let folks know when their videos will be used, but it may not be more than a week before. The SSO ultimately reserves the right about how and when to use your content. Note that we will be posting the videos to YouTube as unlisted so we can embed them in our website. They will not be searchable on YouTube. We will also be sharing on SSO’s social media.

General Filming Tips

These videos don’t need to be perfect: Please don’t feel the need to film a thousand takes – just send something that is genuine and YOU.

Set up:

  • If using a smartphone or tablet, please film HORIZONTALLY, not vertically, using your FRONT FACING camera. That means you won’t be able to see yourself when you are talking/playing, but it will make for the sharpest video possible.
  • Make sure we can see your entire face and most of your instrument.
  • Put camera/iPhone/iPad/computer camera somewhere stable. Make sure you look good (positioning the camera at or above eye level is usually the most flattering shot). Shoot during the day and use natural light.
  • After you finish, pause for a few moments before reaching to turn off your camera.


  • Record in a quiet area. Turn off fans, A/C units, TVs, etc.
  • If you have a mic or Zoom recorder please feel free to use It. Make sure to position the mic/recorder close to you and your instrument.
  • Let us know if you need recommendations for recording equipment


  • 3 – 5 minutes is ideal but can be slightly shorter or slightly longer


Note that if you’re planning to play a piece of music, that music either needs to be in the public domain or your use of it must fall under fair usage rules. If you have any questions about that, check this PDF – Tips for Determining Works in the Public Domain – that Orchestra Librarian Kim Collins put together.  If you have specific questions that aren’t answered, email Kim Collins at

To Send Files:

  • Google Drive: We have created a folder on our Google Drive where you can upload the file if you have a Google account (or Gmail account). It’s called SSO Homegrown and here’s the URL:
  • Use WeTransfer:

    • On your desktop:
      • Browse to
      • Click “no thanks” to opening an account
      • Then click the + sign next to Add Your Files (it’s in a white box on the left)
      • Upload the file
      • In the Email to: field put
      • In the Your Email: field enter your own email
      • In the Message field, please put your name
    • On your phone:
      • Open the browser on your phone and go to
      • When the site comes up, don’t sign up for an account or download an app, just click on the blue button that says Send a file?
      • Press the plus sign to add your file
      • Choose Photo Library and when your photo library comes up, click on the video to select it, then click Done
      • Add a message and click Next
      • Choose the link option and your file will upload
      • When the file uploads, copy the link for it and put that in an email to
      • Please put your name in the email

Please be in touch with Paul who can help troubleshoot if you have any issues.

Thank you and happy filming!