What to Expect at a Concert

If you've never been to a symphony concert before, you may not know what to expect. We at the WCCO want you to feel welcome and comfortable, and we want you to have a fantastic evening of great music and great company with us! If you just simply sit back, relax and focus on the music we are certain that you'll enjoy the concert and want to come back again and again.

A chamber orchestra is only a little different than a full symphony orchestra. The music that a chamber orchestra plays is often very dynamic and brilliant and has great drama, beauty and excitement that all orchestral concerts provide. Our repertoire has something to offer every audience member; it spans from Handel to Beethoven and Brahms to works of our time. The ensemble may be smaller than a full symphony orchestra (about 50 players), but it is every bit as powerful!

Here are some hints to help your concert experience go more smoothly.

Early is good!

Arriving early, if you can, is always recommended. It will give you time to find a parking location, check in at the box office if your tickets are waiting, locate your seats and restrooms. If you've never been to the Grand Opera House or Alberta Kimball Auditorium directions can be found on our site by clicking here. Once you have your bearings you'll be much more comfortable.

If you ever feel out of place or unsure of what it is your are about to hear, try reading the program notes in the program book while you are waiting. Reading about the upcoming pieces may help you more fully experience and enjoy the music that is to come.

Know before you go?

Don't worry if you don't know everything about the music. Everyone who attends comes from a different level of involvement, background, and musical education. Chances are the person sitting next to you doesn't know everything either!

Some concertgoers enjoy the music better if they find out something about it before hand. If you wish to learn more about the music prior to the concert, there are several things you can do.

  • Read the program notes in your program book. Our program notes are easy to read and can provide insight on the music to be performed.
  • Attend the pre-concert conversation with the Maestro and other guest speakers. It's free, fun, and educational. These conversations help bring you closer to our musicians and music. Our pre-concert conversations are held one hour before each concert. Please check with the box office for the location. Feel free to just "show up".
  • Listen to recordings of the music prior to the concert. These can be found at stores, online and are our public library. Our website includes small excerpts from most of the concerts. One of the most wonderful aspects to classical music is that your appreciation and enjoyment of these great works only grows and deepens the more intimately you get to know the music.
  • Browse our entire web site. You may find helpful information on the upcoming events and other background about how we're connected to the community.

Hey I know this one!

After the concert begins you may be surprised to hear a familiar tune. Classical music is all around us from car commercials to Looney Toons. Mozart even wrote a variation of the popular children's song Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star! The music that you hear in almost every major blockbuster movie has been influence by the great classical orchestral music.

What am I going to wear?

Most of our concerts are business-casual to just plain casual. Woman may wish to wear a dress, skirt or slacks. Men may wish to wear khakis and an open collar shirt or a coat and tie. What's most important is that you are comfortable and can completely enjoy the concert! If you wish to dress to the hilt, or just go casual, you will feel comfortable at our concerts.

When do I put my hands together?

One of the most asked questions for new symphony listeners is when to applaud. In general:

  • At the beginning of the concert when our Concertmaster, the first chair violinist, Yuliya Smead enters the stage.
  • After the orchestra tunes, when Maestro Jeffery Meyer enters the stage.
  • In most situations, the audience generally applauds after the conclusion of each piece. Many pieces have several parts or "movements" which may be confusing. If you follow along in your program book, it is easier to decipher when a piece has concluded and it is "ok" to applaud.
  • In general, if others in the audience applaud, it is ok to applaud with them. Waiting until the rest of the audience begins to applaud is always a good plan. Sometimes, the silence after a beautiful work that ends softly is a most wonderful moment to share with your fellow concert goers.

What if I have more questions?

We're here to help answer them! If you have any questions prior to a concert just give us a call at 920.233.7510 or email us at . We hope to see you at our next concert!