If you have never been to a professional orchestra concert before, don’t worry. We are here to help guide you and ensure that you have an enjoyable and stress-free experience.
What should I expect at a symphony orchestra concert?
You should expect to hear music that you have heard before but may not know the name of. You should expect to hear some music for the first time. Experiencing live music is very different that listening to a recording. You get to see the performers in action. You can feel the music throughout your body-every beat of the drum, every note from the horns. It’s a full experience that you can’t get anywhere else.
What if I don’t know anything about classical music?
You don’t need to know anything about classical music to enjoy yourself and appreciate the music and musicians. If you want to learn about the music before you hear it, we offer a Backstage Glimpse free of charge before the concert. This program begins at 6:30 pm and focuses on the music you are about to hear, the composers and the impact this music has had historically. We also include notes about the program in advance on our website and in our program booklet to inform our audience about the music being performed. If you follow the JSO on Facebook, we post information about our upcoming concerts and videos talking about the music. Often, during the performance, our Music Director and Conductor, Matthew Aubin, will point out some things to listen for in the piece that you are about to hear.
Will I recognize any of the music?
You might. Movies, tv shows and even commercials are filled with classical music. You may not know the name of the piece or the composer, but chances are you will recognize some of the music. But, if not, that’s okay too as you will still be able to enjoy the performance.
What if I don’t own a gown or a suit?
The days of formal gowns and tuxes have long since passed. Today’s symphony orchestras welcome you to experience the music however you want. A majority of the audience will be dressed in business casual, but you may see some people in cocktail dresses and suits because some people like to dress up and use our concert as a date night out. Feel free to wear what you are comfortable in, and you will be just fine.
I don’t know when to clap.
How am I supposed to know when a song is over or it’s just a break in the piece, I don’t want to clap at the wrong time. This common misconception occurs daily. If you felt moved by a piece or loved a soloist, it’s perfectly fine to clap but if it makes you feel uncomfortable, do what I do-follow the lead of the people in the first few rows. These are usually long time season ticket holders and experienced in classical music. I just clap when they do.
How long is a concert?
Our concerts are 1 hour and 45 minutes long with a short intermission. The intermission is a chance for the musicians to take a quick break and for our audience to have the opportunity to stretch their legs or use the restroom.
How early should I arrive?
If you want to attend the Backstage Glimpse, then plan on arriving between 6:00 pm and 6:15 pm, if not plan on arriving by 7:00 pm. Concerts start promptly on time at 7:30 pm and if you arrive late you will not be able to go to your seat until after the first piece of music is played. Walking through the performance hall and having lights on distracts the musicians.
What else do I need to know?
The most important part of any concert, show or activity is just attending it and enjoying it. Trying things for the first time can be scary, but don’t let that stop you. Jackson is fortunate to have a professional symphony orchestra. When you attend a concert you are not only supporting our orchestra but you are supporting our musicians and education and outreach programs, but you are also supporting the arts overall. So, take the plunge and purchase your tickets to the next Jackson Symphony Orchestra concert.