Concertgoers Q&A

How long will the concert last? Concerts vary in length depending on the music being performed. Most concerts last between 90 minutes and two hours, including one intermission.


When Should I Arrive?

Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before concert time, so you can purchase your ticket, pick up your tickets at Will Call, find your seat, turn off your cell phone, take a look at your surroundings, absorb the atmosphere, and have time to glance through the program book. Most concerts start on time. If you’re late, you may end up listening from the lobby! If that happens, the usher will allow you inside during a suitable pause in the program, so that your arrival won’t disturb other concertgoers.


Are children allowed at concerts?

We love to see children in the audience! A live performance does require the ability to sit quietly in order to avoid disturbing the people seated around you. Some children are ready by age 6, while others take a bit longer. You know your child best, so we leave it up to you.

Here is a wonderful article by Holly Mulcahy about how to prepare your children for a concert, “Kids at the Symphony? A How To Guide”.

to read article


How should I dress?

It is commonly believed that there is a formal or informal dress code, but in fact there is no dress code. Most people will be wearing business casual or slightly dressy casual clothes, so you’ll see everything from khakis to suits & ties. It is your experience – anything that makes you feel comfortable is fine. If you do decide to dress up though, please go easy on the cologne and perfume. It can cause discomfort to someone with allergies seated near you.


When should I clap?

Once the music starts people usually reserve their applause until after the final movement of each piece. However, this can lead to some confusion because most pieces have movements which have periods of silence. A hint that may help you decipher a movement from the end of the piece: look at the conductor’s arms, when they go down–there is a good chance the piece is over! If in doubt, cheating by watching your neighbor is perfectly acceptable. Should you find yourself moved to clap in a place that your neighbor does not clap … no worries … the Maestro and orchestra appreciate your enthusiasm!


I’ve never been to an orchestra concert before. What should I expect?

Expect to enjoy yourself! This is the time to let go of any preconceptions you may have about symphonic music or the concert experience. Some things about the concert may seem strange because they’re new to you, but if you just focus on the music, you’ll have a great time. Watch the musicians and Maestro; see how they interact with each other. Open yourself up to the music…feel the rhythms…follow the tunes. Notice the ebbs and flows, sometimes delicate and ephemeral….other times surging and powerful.


I want to help! How do I volunteer?

Support and Volunteer opportunities are detailed on the Donate/Support tab of our website.   See our Volunteer/Support page for more information.