CHAT WITH THE MAESTRO – Plan to arrive early as you’re invited to attend “Concert Conversations with Christopher Confessore.” At approximately 7:15 p.m., prior to most performances, Maestro Confessore will provide an informal, ten to fifteen minute talk about the evening’s program. Main floor seating is open to anyone during the pre-concert chat.
CHECK OUT THE STAGE – Most orchestra stages are set in a fan-shaped arrangement, strings in successive rows – first and second violins to the left, followed by violas, cellos and double basses, usually to the right. The strings are always upfront, backed deeper in the orchestra by woodwinds (flutes, clarinets, oboes, English horn, bassoons and contra-bassoon) and brasses (French horns, trumpets, trombones and tuba), with the various percussion (timpani, side drum, bass drum, cymbals, etc.) toward the rear.
TUNING UP – Once the orchestra is seated, the last player to walk onto the stage is the first violinist, or “concertmaster,” who bows to applause, then asks the principal oboist to sound an “A”, to which the orchestra tunes. After the orchestra has tuned, the conductor will proceed onstage. Remember, once the concert begins, the audience should remain as quiet as possible. Rustling of gourmet nut wrappers or whispers to your neighbor can be distracting to the rest of the audience and the musicians. This is also a good time to remember to turn OFF your cell phones.
EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM…OR IN THIS CASE AVOIDS THE RUSH AT THE DOOR – By arriving early, you avoid the parking lot rush, long lines at the door and will call lines. Plus, you can enjoy a stroll through the King Center lobby gallery and purchase pre-concert refreshments.
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO – Listening to music online streaming services/CD/vinyl and reading the program notes is a great way to prepare for your musical experience.
STRETCH YOUR LEGS – Each performance is divided into two parts with an intermission in the middle. This is a great time to talk and get to know your seat neighbor or propose to a future fiancée.
ENCORE, ENCORE & WHEN TO APPLAUD AND WHEN TO KEEP OUT OF TROUBLE – For new symphony listener, one of the biggest worries is when to applaud. Before the concert begins, refer to your program. If a concerto or symphony has more than three or four movements (Allegro, Andante, Adagio, Vivace), don’t applaud after each movement; wait until the entire concerto or symphony is over. If in doubt wait – watch the conductor. He or she will lower their hands when the piece is complete. If you were thrilled with the performance and the conductor has turned to acknowledge the applause, at this time you may cheer or yell “Encore, Encore!”
WHAT TO WEAR, WHAT TO WEAR? – There is no official attire and formal dress isn’t necessary. However, most symphony listeners do dress up; with men in suits, coats and ties and women in dresses or suits. T-shirts and shorts would not fit the occasion. If you wear jeans to a concert, you would not be asked to leave, but you may feel a bit underdressed.
DON’T BE LATE FOR THIS MOST IMPORTANT DATE – It is the King Center policy to begin performances at the advertised time. Patrons arriving late will be seated when it is least disruptive to the performers and the audience.