Know Before You Go

What to Expect
If you have never been to a live orchestral performance, expect to enjoy yourself! You may feel a little strange at first, but only because it is a new experience for you. Although many of us are familiar with classical music by listening to CD’s or the radio, live performances are unique. It is a shared experience that those of us in the audience can have with the conductor, musicians, and those sitting around us in the concert hall.

Open yourself up to the music. Let it trigger your emotions-maybe even your memories. Feel the rhythms; follow the melodies. Watch the musicians and the conductor, and see how they interact with each other.

What should I wear?
It is tradition that the conductor and musicians on stage wear tuxedos and formal evening dresses for the performance, but you don’t have to. Some concertgoers may dress up a bit, but most wear what they would wear to church, work, or out to dinner with friends. The most important rule is to be comfortable so that you can enjoy the concert.

When should I arrive?
Plan to arrive 20 minutes before the concert begins so that you have time to find your seat, turn off your cell phone and pager, get comfortable, and look at the concert program. When you first take your seat, you may notice that several of the musicians may already be on stage. Don’t worry; you’re not late. The musicians are warming up and reviewing their music before the concert begins.

If you arrive after a performance has begun, the ushers will do their best to seat you during an appropriate pause in the program. However, late seating is not always available at all performances.

How long is a typical performance?
The Symphony at WKU typically performs about 70-90 minutes of music with one intermission. Most concerts end in less than two hours.

When should I clap?
The concert music is divided into movements that are separated by a brief silence. It is has become customary to not applaud during these breaks until the final movement is complete. You can look at your program book to find out how many movements a piece has. The conductor should let you know, and usually does, when a piece is over. He or she will put his or her arms down and turn to face the audience. If you still aren’t sure, just wait for others to begin to applaud and join in.

May I take pictures?
Unfortunately, cameras or any other recording devices are not allowed in the concert hall, even if you have someone special on stage. If you are a member of the press, please call The Symphony at WKU one week in advance to make arrangements for press photography.

May I bring my children to a concert?
We love having students in the audience! However, we want everyone to have the best concert experience possible, especially the children. Please let your child know that they must sit still for at least 30 minutes and shouldn’t talk during that time so that others around them aren’t disturbed while the orchestra is performing. Please know that every child, regardless of age, must be accompanied by an adult and have a ticket for the performance.

How can I get help attending the concert?
The Symphony at WKU is committed to making its concerts accessible to all who wish to enjoy our live music. Accessible parking and seating accommodations are offered for patrons with disabilities and special needs. Please contact The Symphony at WKU at (270) 745-7681 or at [email protected] for further information or requests.