Music Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
May I bring my children to a concert?
Yes! You might first introduce them to music at home - playing the radio or a CD player can make classical music just one more of the kinds of music your children can enjoy. When they are mature enough to sit quietly you might introduce them to the orchestra by attending only the first half until they're ready for the entire program. If you're unsure they are ready, sit in a seat near the exit, so you can address their needs without feeling embarrassed. We want to have young people experience our music, so we encourage you to bring your children. At times, we have concerts with music very suitable for youngsters.
How long do the concerts last?
A typical concert will be divided into halves of 40 to 45 minutes each. All our concerts have an intermission of to to fifteen minutes.
What do I wear?
Anything you want, this isn't a fashion contest! Wear what makes you feel comfortable. Some people will dress up because they feel it is traditional and some will wear jeans or other casual attire. As long as everyone enjoys the music we have achieved our goal. Hint: when the stage is lit up, the musicians can't hardly see the audience!
I don't know much about classical music. Is there anything I can do to prepare myself?
Honestly, you can just come and enjoy the sound of the orchestra, but if you want to do more, here are some suggestions. You could come to the concert a bit early (maybe 15 minutes before it begins) and read the notes which often appear in our programs. You can talk to other attendees in the atrium while waiting for the concert to begin. There is also a tremendous amount of information available on the internet. Mostly, just listen with an open mind.
Anything else I should know?
Arrive a few minutes early, so you can find a good seat. Turn off your cell phone or pager. Relax and have a good time!
What is the role of the Concertmistress (or Concertmaster)?
The Concertmistress is the assistant to the Conductor. She ensures everyone is in place, with instruments in tune before the Conductor take the podium. She also performs the violin solos if there is no designated soloist.
How do I know when the piece is finished?
The musicians will relax, moving their instruments from the ready position and the Conductor will bring down his baton (or hands) and turn around toward the audience. Then it is time to show your appreciation for the performance.
When is applause appropriate?
When the Concertmistress or Concertmaster enter the stage and at the conclusion of each piece of music. Please do not applaud between movements, as it disrupts the mood and timing of the piece.
Can I come up on stage to talk to the musicians when the concert is over?
Yes, but please be careful of the instruments - some of them are quite valuable, and all of them are somewhat delicate. There is a lot of turmoil at the end of a concert, so just be watchful.
Why do the musicians wear black?
It presents a uniform appearance, and does not draw attention away from the music.
Why is the Conductor always waving his arms?
He is giving instructions to the musicians! Obviously he can't do this with spoken words, so by using hand and body signals, he communicates with the different sections of instruments or individual musicians. Each conductor has their own style, which makes them quite interesting to watch.
Can I give flowers to my favorite musician?
Of course! They love being appreciated...they might get embarrassed by the public recognition, but they'll still love it!
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