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What to Expect

Utilize the following tips to learn what to expect during your symphony experience.

Enjoy the music

You have come to be entertained, moved, transported, or perhaps, to satisfy a loved one's plea. Anyway, you're there, so you might as well enjoy it. Some do this watching the orchestra or the conductor. Some do this with eyes shut. Experiment. Enjoy!
A key to enjoyment is...

Make a lot of noise in the lobby

We love to hear the lobby "buzz" before and after the concert. So, please limit your conversations to before or after the music. Oh, and anything that makes unwanted noise should be left at home or silenced. This includes: cell phones, pagers, wrist watches, crinkly candy wrappers, baby monitors, children under the age of two, most pets, and some distant relatives.
Speaking of children...

Bring Children listen to the KSO presentation of Berlioz the Bearyour young children to our Family Discovery concerts

But, also consider leaving young children in the care of a competent relative or baby-sitter during our Symphonic Series concerts. The Symphonic Series includes musical works lasting from 10 minutes to over one hour, and the concerts are up to two hours long. For this reason, we provide excellent programming for young children and encourage only the "mature-beyond-their-years, musically-oriented" pre-teens to attend the Symphonic Series.
Speaking of excellent programming...

Applaud whenever you feel moved to applaud

Most people applaud a performer to express their awe and appreciation for the performance. So, whenever so moved, please applaud. However, it may benefit your relationship to the loved one next to you to know that most symphony-goers feel bound to an unwritten contract to applaud only at the end of the entire musical work. For example, in a four movement work, people actually wait until the end of the fourth movement to applaud. But, they generally make up for lost applause by applauding a really long time. How long? Long enough for the conductor to bow, shake hands with some musicians, walk off the stage, pause, come back on the stage, invite the orchestra to stand, bow, shake hands with some musicians, and walk off again. So, when not wanting to totally embarrass your evening's companion, wait until others applaud, then follow their lead.
Speaking of taking the lead...

Come in and sit down regardless of what time you arrive

Our performance venues have seats in many different places, and most of them are very comfortable. However, if you want to be among the leaders of the audience and sit in the auditorium, you will need to arrive before the music begins. Once the music starts, the ushers will not allow you to enter until the first break. If you arrive after the break, then you will be sitting in the lobby until intermission. Orchestras all over the world do things like this to ensure the enjoyment of the vast, vast, VAST majority of concert-goers who arrive and take their seat on time. We know you'll understand.
Speaking of understanding...

Ask questions of our staff anytime day or night

Please contact KSO staff to ask your concert etiquette questions. Our voicemail works 24/7, so you may call anytime! However, if you want to speak to a person rather than a machine, call during regular business hours: Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm.
Speaking of speaking to a person...

Invite a friend or another couple to go with you to the next concert

You'll enjoy it all the better.

Some Irreverant Do's and Don'ts of the Symphony

  • Do drag your "sports-enthusiast" husband at least once a year;

    Don't allow him to listen to the game during the performance

  • Do freshen up before coming to the concert;

    Don't bathe in perfume or cologne

  • Do read the program notes prior to the concert;

    Don't read the program notes aloud to your spouse during the concert

  • Do unwrap your soothing throat lozenge prior to the concert;

    Don't shout "Ooooh, that's brisk!" when the mentho-lyptus kicks in

  • Do expose your young children to the thrill of live music;

    Don't change your child's diaper in the aisle

  • Do silence your cell phone, pager, etc. prior to the concert;

    Don't make a call just as the lights go down for the concert to begin

  • Do have a great time and enjoy the concert;

    Don't rush out the door to beat the traffic while the last note is still reverberating in the hall

Have your own "do's and don'ts?" Let us know and we may add yours!

©2015 Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra |
359 S Kalamazoo Mall, Ste 100, Kalamazoo, MI 49007 |
Phone: 269.349.7759