Plan your visit

Know Before You Go

This is my first time at the symphony, what do I do?!

You enjoy yourself! Our conductor Mark Russell Smith has chosen some timeless music to captivate your imagination. To help you make the most of your experience here are some answers to common questions people have about their first symphony experience.

What should I wear?

There is no dress code here at the QCSO, wear whatever makes you feel the most comfortable. If you want to just relax and enjoy the music no one will mind you coming in jeans. If you feel like dressing up and making the symphony part of a special night you are more than welcome to do that as well.

Can I bring my kids? 

QCSO concerts are a family affair and we welcome people all ages. However many younger children find It hard to sit quietly for extended periods of time and it is a courtesy to others to not bring children who may be a disruption and we leave it up to the judgement of parents to decide what age they think is best for their children for a first concert.

When should I arrive?

Because parking at both the Adler Theatre and Centennial Hall fills up quickly we recommend that you plan to arrive at least a half an hour early. This will aid in finding parking as well as give you time to settle in your seat and glance over the program notes.

Will I recognize any of the music?

Many pieces of classical music are integral parts of popular culture, including some that you will be hearing at the QCSO. Phrases of classical music are often quoted in more modern forms of music.  Most of the music used to highlight emotions in films is a direct decedent of classical music, and songs such as Beethoven’s 5th and Pachelbel’s’ Canon are ingrained in the minds of many.

Do I have to do homework?

Only if you want to. You can come in knowing nothing about what the concert is about and let the music speak for itself. You can study the program notes before the concert starts to get some background on the music and let the context help you understand the moods of the symphony. On the webpage for each concert we often have links to videos of performances that other groups have done that you can listen to before you come to the symphony so you know what you want to listen for. There’s no right or wrong way to appreciate great music, choose what works for you.

When do I clap?

It is standard etiquette to wait until the end of the piece to clap and to leave silence between the movements (subdivisions) of pieces. You can follow along with the program to know when each movement ends, wait until the conductor turns around to face the audience, or just wait until everyone else is clapping.

Can I use my phone during a performance?

The use of electronic devices during a concert is distracting to both you and others around you and is therefore prohibited out of respect for the musicians and the other patrons. Photography and video and audio recordings are also not allowed.