I recently attended a lovely concert performed by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s String Quartet and Brass Quintet. However, this concert reminded me of my responsibility as a professional musician to ensure that I am educating those within my reach about classical concert etiquette. With this in mind, here are five ways to be mindful as a concert attendee.
1. Come early and be prepared.
It’s good to get to the event at least fifteen minutes early so that you can find your seat and look over the program before the lights go down and the show begins. This will help your evening go as smoothly as possible and is also kind to the other concert-goers so that you’re not still edging your way through the rows as the music starts.
2. Do not talk during a performance.
Talking is probably the most distracting thing for other audience members. Many shows have an intermission about halfway through, so let that be your time to talk about the performance!
3. Do not enter/leave the performance hall during a piece— wait until the piece is complete and the audience is clapping to do so.
To ensure you’re comfortable the whole time until intermission, be sure to prepare in advance by eating/drinking/going to the restroom before the show begins.
4. Solely clap after all movements have been completed in a piece.
A movement is an independent section of a composition. Many pieces have multiple movements (usually three or four) and the correct etiquette is to clap at the very end of the piece, after all movements have been performed. To know when the symphony has reached the end of the piece, you can follow along in the program to see how many movements there are, or you can look at the conductor. Usually the conductor has at least one arm still raised if the piece is still continuing, even if the musicians aren’t actively playing!
5. Ensure that all electronic devices have been silenced.
This is a basic rule of thumb for most events, but especially any type of classical music concert! In addition to the distraction phones have for you and those around you, recording is usually strictly forbidden for these types of performances.
Upcoming shows at Bass Hall in Fort Worth: (click here for full calendar)
-Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird: 10/1
–Dracula: 10/6, 10/7, 10/8
–Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky: 10/20, 10/21, 10/22
-Johnny Cash: The Official Concert Experience: 10/28
Information about tickets at Bass Hall:
- Tickets can be bought in person, by phone, or online at http://www.basshall.com
- There are strict protections in place against third party websites reselling tickets. For this reason, it is best to buy the tickets directly from Bass Hall
- Lottery tickets are available for select productions and become available the day before the performances
- Gift certificates can be purchased for any events at Bass Hall that are presented by Performing Arts Fort Worth or Cliburn Concerts
- Bass Hall also hosts performances by Texas Ballet Theater, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and the Fort Worth Opera, but tickets must be bought from their respective websites
- Discount group ticket rates are available for groups of 10 or more
Upcoming shows at the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas: (click here for full calendar)
–Copland and Liszt: 10/1
-Rachmaninoff Symphony No.3: 10/6, 10/7, 10/8
–Brahms Piano Concert No. 2: 10/12, 10/14, 10/15
–Ben Folds in Concert with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra: 10/20, 10/21
-Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban in Concert: 10/27, 10/28, 10/29
Information about getting tickets at the Meyerson:
- Packages are sold for discounts. The current best offer is “Friday nights OUT” which is 3 concerts for just $99
- Tickets often sell out, so it’s beneficial to check often and buy tickets right when they are up for sale
- If you’re late, you will be seated in the most accessible seat, which may not be the seat you paid for!
- At the Meyerson, only credit or debit are accepted (it is now a cashless facility)
How to get discounts to shows in DFW:
- Tickets to select Texas Ballet Theater productions may be purchased on Groupon for discounted prices
- Students at University of Texas at Austin that are taking at least 6 credits hours can purchase a “Bass Pass’” for $25 that allows access to $10 tickets to certain shows
- The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra has Student Rush tickets that can be purchased for $10 on available seats!
- The Fort Worth Symphony also offers Student Passports- for $35 you can attend 10 symphonic concerts!
From Harry Potter to Brahms to Johnny Cash, there is something for everyone!
We hope this inspires you to attend a concert soon, and to remember these few courtesy tips to follow to make the experience great for everyone!
Molly Harrell, MT-BC
Crystal Lile, MT-BC
“Bass Performance Hall – Official Website | Home.” Www.basshall.com, http://www.basshall.com. Accessed 25 Sept. 2023.
“Dallas Symphony Orchestra | Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center.” Dallas Symphony Orchestra, http://www.dallassymphony.org/.
“Events | Concert Etiquette.” Fyo.uga.edu, fyo.uga.edu/events/events-concert-etiquette.html#:~:text=Be%20Silent%20During%20the%20Performance&text=After%20that%2C%20it%20is%20important. Accessed 25 Sept. 2023.
“Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra.” Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Www.fwsymphony.org. Accessed 25 Sept. 2023.
“Home.” Beth’s Notes Preschool & Elementary Music Lessons & Songs, http://www.Bethsnotesplus.com. Accessed 25 Sept. 2023.