What should I wear to a Peoria Symphony concert?
There is no dress code. Anything that makes you feel comfortable is fine. Concerts are meant to be a social occasion and a fun outing with friends or family. Most people will be wearing business to business casual clothes, but you’ll see everything from khakis to cocktail dresses. Some people enjoy dressing up and making it a special night and you can as well.
When should I arrive?
Concerts begin promptly at the scheduled time. Most of our concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. or matinees begin at 3:00 p.m. Doors to the lobby open one hour prior to the concert and the performance hall opens thirty minutes prior to the concert for seating.
Plan to arrive so you have time to find your seat, and look through the program book, read the program notes, or just watch the orchestra warm up. You can also come early to attend the Pre-concert lectures which take place at 6:30 p.m. (see below.) If you arrive late, you will be seated by ushers during the next appropriate break in the performance.
What are the Pre-concert lectures before the concert?
Most concerts are preceded at 6:30 p.m. by a thirty minute presentation by Maestro George Stelluto or a guest presenter. Concertgoers are invited to an insightful conversation related to the music, composers, and guest artists featured on the evening’s concert. Watch for signs in the lobby directing you to the lecture location which will be near the performance hall.
How long will the concert be?
It varies with the music selection, but most Peoria Symphony Orchestra concerts are about two hours in length, usually with a twenty minute intermission at the halfway point. Generally there are several pieces on the concert.
Children’s Musical Discovery concerts are about sixty minutes in length, with thirty minutes of presentation and thirty minutes of an Instrument Petting Zoo. Sound Bites concerts in the studio are two thirty minute halves of concert and taping in the studio with a thirty minute intermission time to mingle with the musicians and fellow audience members.
When should I clap?
Many works in classical music have several movements or sections almost like chapters in a book. There is often a brief pause between each movement. Look at the program page in your program book to see if a piece has movements listed under the title. The tradition in the concert hall is only to applaud when the work is finished and not in between movements. The conductor will keep his hands up during the pause between movements. Your signal of when the piece is finished and it is time to clap is when the conductor drops his hands to his side and turns around to the audience.
What if I need to cough during the music?
Coughing can be an unavoidable problem. But there are ways to avoid coughing during the music. Please consider visiting a water fountain prior to the concert. Feel free to bring unwrapped cough drops into the concert hall. Unwrapping cough drops during a concert makes more noise than one might think. If there are no cough drops on hand, try to wait until the end of the movement.
If you can’t avoid coughing, please try to wait until a loud passage in the music or at the end of a movement. An un-muffled cough is often louder than any musical instrument.
Finally, please consider stepping outside if you do not have to disrupt too many audience members but remember that audience members who have to leave the hall before the conclusion of a work will not be reseated until a convenient break in the music.
What should I do with my cell phone, pagers, and other electronic devices?
We request that all cellular phones, pagers and beeping watches be turned off before the performance and when coming back from intermission. Noise of any kind, including unwrapping candy wrappers, talking, whispering, or rustling programs, can be distracting to the musicians as well as those around you.
Can I take pictures?
Peoria Symphony Orchestra prohibits the recording of its performances via camera, digital camera, cell phone, camcorder, audio tape, or with any other electronic device.
What happens during intermission?
Generally all Peoria Symphony regular season concerts have a twenty minute intermission. Concessions are available for purchase in the lobby at the Peoria Civic Center.
Can I bring my kids?
Most standard-length classical concerts are not appropriate for small children because they require an attention span that is difficult for youngsters to maintain.
The family friendly Matinee at the Movies concert is at Sunday at 3 pm is appropriate for families and children. All children require a ticket for a seat; children/student tickets which are a discounted price.
Our Musical Discovery series concerts are on Sunday afternoon and are specifically designed for children ages 5-10 and are shorter in length.
What if I don’t know anything about classical music?
There’s no need to study. The music will speak for itself. Just come and enjoy! Over time, many frequent concertgoers do find their enjoyment is deeper if they prepare for a concert. This can be simple, like reading the program notes beforehand; or it can be more involved, like listening to recordings of the music to be performed in the days before they attend a concert.
You know yourself best, so if research interests you, go ahead and follow your curiosity. But if studying isn’t your thing, there’s no need to be concerned about it. Just listen with an open mind.
What if I am unable to attend my performance?
If you cannot attend a performance, you may exchange tickets by 3 pm the day of the performance for an 7:30 pm performance or by noon for a 3 pm performance. You may exchange tickets by fax, mail, in person or by phone for another performance within the same season. There is an additional cost if seating upgrades apply, and all exchange requests are subject to availability. You may also donate your tickets back to the Peoria Symphony and receive a donation receipt for the value you paid. You may donate tickets, in person or by mail or by phone.
Can I bring a group to the concert?
Yes, we welcome groups to our concerts and offer a discounted ticket price for adults and special seating arrangements. Call our box office at 309-671-1096 for details and for seating options. For most concerts we offer a twenty percent off standard ticket prices for a group of ten or more when the tickets are purchased together. Student tickets cannot be further discounted but call us regarding special chaperone pricing.
Where do I park?
Free and convenient parking is available at Grace Presbyterian Church and there is street parking and a parking deck available for Riverside Community Church. There are several parking lots and parking structures located at or nearby the Peoria Civic Center.
The Peoria Civic Center Fulton lot located on the corner of Fulton St and Monroe St is ideal for patrons accessing the theater. There is a fee for parking.
What if my question is not answered here?
If you have additional questions, please email or call the Peoria Symphony Box Office at 309-671-1096.