How to Enjoy Great Music

If this is my first orchestra concert, what should I expect?

An SPO concert is the first concert for a number of our guests. Our Music Director usually introduces concerts by sharing his insights about the work and what inspired some of the composers featured.  Then it’s up to you to sit back and feel the rhythms, enjoy the tunes and notice how the music varies in intensity to trigger a range of emotions.  Don’t forget to also watch the musicians, their expressions, actions and interactions with each other and the conductor.

Can I take videos or photographs? Can I use a cell phone?

You may not take videos, flash photography or use a tape recorder during the concerts. You may however take still photos discretely without using a flash.  These rules also apply to mobile devices and smart phones, which should be turned off during the concert.

When should I arrive?

If possible, try to arrive up to 30 minutes before concert time, so you have time to find a good seat, take in the atmosphere and review your program. Most concerts do start on time. If you arrive after the concert starts, you will need to wait for a suitable pause in the program, before being seated so you don’t disturb others.

What should I wear to an SPO concert?

Our concerts are relaxed and casual. Many people will wear neat but casual clothes, while others will be slightly dressed up.  You are likely to see everything from dress jeans and blazers to party dresses with bling.  Please however avoid wearing perfume or cologne so that everyone can enjoy the performance, even those with allergies and scent sensitivities.

Is there an intermission and what happens at it?

Most concerns have a 20 minute intermission and refreshments are sometimes available.  Unlike most orchestras, our musicians actually mix with audience members at intermission and enjoy each other’s company.

Will I know any of the music?

Sometimes, you may hear something you recall from a special occasion, a movie soundtrack, cartoon or a commercial. It may not sound exactly as you remember it or match something known in its entirety but something may strike a familiar chord.

How long is the concert?

Most SPO concerts are about 90 minutes to two hours long, with an intermission at the halfway point.

When should I clap?

A classical music piece is often made up of several parts and each has its own ending. As tempting as it may be to clap after each part, you should wait to the very end of the last part before you clap. A long pause and gestures from the conductor and performers often help you tell when a piece actually ends.

Can I bring children?

It depends on the age of your children and the type of concert.  SPO often features some young performers, which can inspire a love of music in others. Some SPO concerts are designed with families in mind.  However, young children (under 12 years of age) often find standard length classical concerts too long to sit and focus.