If you’ve never been to an orchestral concert before, you may not know what to expect. You may feel excited or even a little nervous and that is normal. It’s normal to feel nervous when trying something new. If you sit back, relax, and focus on the music, you’ll enjoy the concert more and feel better about the whole experience. Here are a few hints to help your concert experience go more smoothly.
If you can arrive early, plan on doing so. It will give you time to locate the box office, your seats, and the restrooms. You will feel more comfortable once you have your bearings in a new place. If you still feel out of place, try reading the program notes in the program book while you are waiting. Reading about the upcoming music may make you feel more prepared to experience the music.
Know before you go? Don’t worry if you don’t know everything about the music. Everyone who attends comes from a different level of involvement, enjoyment, and musical education. Chances are the person sitting next to you doesn’t know everything either!
Some concertgoers enjoy the music better if they research it before hand. If you wish to learn more about the music prior to the concert, there are several things you can do:
- Read the program notes in the program book. Program notes are usually fairly easy to read and can provide insight on the repertoire (music to be performed).
- Attend the pre-concert conversation with the Maestro at 7:50 PM on the concert evening. It’s free, fun, and educational. When purchasing your tickets, ask if a pre-concert conversation is scheduled!. Feel free to just “show up” and proceed to your seats.
- Listen to recordings of the repertoire prior to the concert. These can be found at music stores and online.
- Visit our website. You may find helpful information on the upcoming concerts page or in the news section.
Hey I know this one! After the concert begins, you may be surprised to hear a familiar tune. Classical music is all around us from car commercials to Looney Toons. Mozart even wrote a variation of the popular children’s song Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star!
What am I going to wear? Most of our concerts are business-casual. Woman may wish to wear a dress, skirt or suit. Men may wish to wear khakis and an open collar shirt or a coat and tie. Our opening night and Valentine Gala are more “dressy” occasions and are considered black-tie optional. Some people come in tuxedos and evening gowns, while others come in business casual.
To clap or not to clap? When to clap is a cause of worry for many concertgoers. Applaud:
- At the beginning of the concert when Concertmaster (first chair violinist) enters the stage.
- After the orchestra tunes, when Maestro Guzman enters the stage.
- In most classical music situations, the audience generally applauds after the conclusion of each piece. Many pieces have several parts or “movements” which may be confusing. If you follow along in your program book, it is easier to decipher when a piece has concluded and it is “ok” to applaud.
- At pops concerts (like the Patriotic Pops concert) the audience is a little more relaxed and may applaud after solos or following a moving piece.
- In general, if others in the audience applaud, it is ok to applaud with them.