/  First Timers Guide

What should I wear?

There is no dress code for Westerville Symphony concerts. Some wear their Sunday best and others are more casual. Since concerts are generally at 5 pm, many people go to dinner before or after the concert and dress accordingly.

When should I arrive?

Arriving 30 minutes before a concert gives you time to find parking, get to your seat, look through the program and perhaps read the program notes for the music you are about to hear. Our doors always open 30 minutes before the start of the concert.

Where do I sit?

We do not have assigned seating so you are free to sit anywhere. Our concerts are in either Cowan Hall or Riley Auditorium and both feature floor and balcony seating.

How long are concerts?

Concert length depends on the repertoire being performed, but our concerts are typically 90 minutes, which includes a 15 minute intermission.

When do I clap?

In classical music concerts the audience claps at the beginning of the concert when the concertmaster, the head violinist, walks out to tune the orchestra and when the conductor walks on stage to start a new piece. In general, if the conductor is walking the audience claps. It is tradition to save one’s applause to the end of a multi-movement piece, however sometimes the audience is moved to applaud after a certain movement and that is okay and much appreciated by the musicians on stage.

Do I need to know anything about the music before I come?

This depends on you. Some people prefer the experience of hearing a live performance of a piece new to them and others like to familiarize themselves with the music before the concert. Recordings are more readily available than ever before, so listening to a piece first will familiarize you for what to expect from the live performance.

Often times reading program notes before you arrive at the auditorium will enhance your listening experience by getting a better sense of the composer and the historical context in which the performed work was composed. The Westerville Symphony publishes one program for our entire season and, also, the notes are available on our website.