Frequently Asked Questions

do I have to wear a ball gown?

no. be comfortable. be yourself.  it’s the temple for me, so I wear a tie. you’ll be in a silent, acoustically sensitive room where even the sound of whispering can travel quite far. avoid noisy jewelry. unwrap the lozenge before the music starts. unless you are capable of reading and holding an intelligent conversation, avoid reading the program while the music is playing. plus it’s another noisy distraction.

is it expensive?

not necessarily. there are always cheap seats. special deals. rush tickets. I used to usher during  my impecunious 20’s.

can I  be on my phone during the concert?

no! the light itself is extremely distracting ushers tend to take this very seriously and you’ll get scolded like you’re back in grade school. 

will I be bored?

not necessarily, watching musicians with weird instruments is interesting, as is the people-watching. many halls also have groovy architectural details.

are there refreshments?

yes, bound to be a bit overpriced, but available. pro tip: order your drink for intermission before the show starts and beat the line.

how long is a concert?

with few exceptions, two halves that last about an hour each with a 20 minute intermission in between. ballet and opera are different, usually longer with 2 intermissions. 

when do I clap?this a biggie. it can be very awkward when you’re the only person clapping. once upon a time, people applauded during the piece like in a jazz or rock show when they liked the turn of phrase and after each movement. now, not so much. applause breaks up the flow of the music. the silence in between movements is often quite electric. the title page in the program will delineate pieces and movements within so you can know the sequence of movements in advance.