What to Expect

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

The purpose of attending any concert is to have fun. Orchestra concerts are no different – relax and enjoy the music!  Let it trigger your emotions—maybe even your memories. Feel the rhythms and follow the tunes. Watch the musicians and the conductor, and see how they interact with each other. Notice how the music ebbs and flows—surging and powerful at some times, delicate and ephemeral at others, and everything in between.

What should I wear?

There is no dress code! Anything that makes you feel comfortable is fine. Most people will be wearing business casual clothes or slightly dressy casual clothes, but you’ll see everything from blue jeans to dresses and business suits.

How long will the concert be?

It varies, but most orchestra concerts are about 90 minutes to two hours long, with an intermission at the halfway point.  Our Family and Pops concerts are generally 60 minutes without an intermission.

What should I do with my cell phone during the concert?

Turn it off or set it to vibrate! And, no texting please!

When should I clap?

At the beginning of the concert, the concertmaster will come onstage. The audience claps as a welcome, and as a sign of appreciation to all the musicians.

After the orchestra tunes, the conductor (and possibly a soloist) will come onstage. Everyone claps to welcome them, too.

Then everything settles down and the music begins. Just listen and enjoy! The audience doesn’t usually applaud again until the end of the piece.

Some classical pieces of music are broken down into parts called “movements.” In between these movements the music will stop for a few seconds. Do not applaud until the conductor has dropped his hands and has turned around to acknowledge the audience.

Can I take photos or video?

Cameras, video recorders, and tape recorders aren’t permitted in concerts.

Can I bring my kids?

Children are welcome! Just please be courteous. Quickly and quietly step out into the lobby if your child becomes restless or is making noise. It is important to be respectful of the musicians who are concentrating and your fellow concert attendees who are listening intently.