Common Questions and Newcomer's Guide | Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
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Common Questions and Newcomer's Guide

We are so glad to welcome you to Kalamazoo Symphony performances! Whether this is your first time at the KSO or you're a frequent attendee, we've compiled a list of common questions so you can relax and enjoy the performance.

First things first: your experience is yours!

There is nothing like a live concert! The interaction between the audience and musicians creates a special energy, which also influences the performance. Music is a shared experience, which means you are an important part of the performance. Your reaction to the experience will be as unique as you are, and we encourage you to react as you'd like. Clapping and cheering aren't frowned upon for our concerts. 

How much does a ticket cost?

If you are interested in attending three or more concerts during our season, you’re eligible to become a subscriber and save up to 15% over single-concert prices! Perhaps you're interested in only one or two shows? Great! Our single-ticket pricing for a majority of our concerts starts at $25. For all concerts, student tickets are $10 and are available in person with a valid student ID. Under 18 tickets are available for $18 at any time with the purchase of a regular-priced ticket. We also offer discounts for teachers, veterans, active duty military, and SNAP/EBT recipients. For more information about pricing, you can contact our office and we can answer your questions and send you a brochure with everything you need to know. You can also view individual concert information here! 

All ticket transactions are subject to a processing fee.

All ticket pricing is subject to change.

a full orchestra is on stage. The conductor's arms are spread wide and a percussionist in the middle of the back row has just completed a ringing cymbal crash. The orchestra is lit from behind with orange and yellow light.When do tickets go on sale?

Tickets to individual concerts, rather than subscription packages, go on sale on August 15! If you want to come to three or more concerts in a season, consider a Create Your Own subscription and save versus the price of individual concert tickets. 

What do I wear to the concert?

Come as you are; we want you to be comfortable! We find that most people dress casually for our concerts. The only people you’ll see in a tuxedo will be the musicians onstage! But feel free to get as dressed up or dressed down as you like.

Are masks or distancing required at the concert?

Masks and proof of vaccination are not required to attend performances in the 23/24 season. Although masks are not required, the Symphony does encourage you to do what makes you the most comfortable at our performances.

How long is a concert?

Depending on the programming, a concert can be anywhere from 60-120 minutes. If you want to know the time a specific concert will end, call our office at 269.349.7759.

I know nothing about symphonic music; is that ok?

Of course! A concert is a live event that's an interaction between the audience and musicians -- you don't have to know a thing to be an important part of the experience! The beauty of a live symphony concert is that your experience will be different than the person sitting next to you - and that's ok! 

An hour before each Masterworks concert, we will host a Prelude Pre-concert talk, so you can learn a little bit more about the artists and the music! Immediately after each Masterworks Series concert, remain in the auditorium for "AfterWORDS," an interactive discussion between the conductor, soloist, and audience.

May I take pictures during the performance?

We love it when you check in on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and tag us in photos from the lobby and receptions, but we ask that once the concert starts your phone is silenced and tucked away. Just like in a movie theater, that bright phone screen can be distracting!

I’m a student; do I get a discount?

Yes, students always are welcome, and encouraged, to join us for concerts! Student tickets are $10 for KSO concerts. Student tickets are available in-person with a valid student ID. Student tickets are intended for students 18 years or older.

Under 18 tickets are available at any time with the purchase of an adult ticket for children under the age of 18.

Does my child need a ticket?

Every person needs a ticket, even if your child plans to sit on your lap. We need to know the exact number of people in our concert hall so we do not exceed capacity.

But note the student discount information above!

When should I applaud?

Most people applaud a performer to express their awe and appreciation. So, whenever so moved, please applaud. Back when Beethoven was composing his symphonies, it was common for audiences to cheer and clap. Some symphony-goers still feel bound to an unwritten rule of applauding only at the end of the entire musical work, but we encourage you to react when you want to react. If you're unsure, follow the lead of those around you.

When should I arrive?

We recommend arriving early so you can grab a drink and get settled before the concert starts. Once the music begins, the ushers will not allow you to enter until the first break. If you arrive after the break, then you may be sitting in the lobby until intermission. This is common practice among orchestras all over the world, to ensure the enjoyment of the majority of concert-goers who arrive and take their seat on time. We ask that you plan accordingly to get the most out of your experience!

Is the venue accessible?

We strive to make all venues where the KSO offers concerts, both free community concerts and paid events, fully accessible to all. To request an accommodation or for inquiries about accessibility, please contact the KSO office at 269.349.7759.

What about fragrances?

To be respectful of those with allergies and environmental sensitivities, we ask that you please refrain from wearing strong fragrances. 

Bag policy at Miller Auditorium

To enhance the safety of guests, Miller Auditorium has adopted a best-practices policy, consistent with policies being implemented at performing arts centers across the nation. Please note, when coming to Miller, bags and purses should be no larger than 4.5" X 6.5" or approximately the size of small handbag/clutch purse. Anything larger than that may be subject to search, or you may be requested to return the bag to your vehicle. Backpacks of any kind are strictly prohibited.

Ask questions of our staff anytime day or night.

Please contact KSO staff to ask your concert etiquette questions. Feel free to leave a message if you call after hours and someone will return your call promptly. You can reach us during regular business hours: Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. At each concert, you can find us at the information table near the ticket office.

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

A concert can be even more enjoyable when shared with others. Take selfies to capture your experience, and tag us: #KalSym and #SymphonyStory. We look forward to seeing you in the concert hall!

Where can I eat before the concert?

Downtown Kalamazoo offers several great options for dinner before coming to a KSO concert! From casual bar settings to more formal restaurants, there is a lot to choose from on the Downtown Kalamazoo website. We encourage you to consider one of our sponsors or partners: Bell's Eccentric Café, Principle Food & Drink, Brick & Brine, or Old Burdick's.