Concert Courtesies

When will I be seated if I’m late?
As a courtesy to performers and audience members, if you arrive after the Concertmaster has entered the stage, you won’t be seated until an appropriate interval in the show. Our helpful ushers will guide you! But please try to arrive on time if you can. Thanks!

Can I take pictures of the performers?
You know the drill: the use of cameras and any kind of audio or video recording equipment is not permitted in the concert hall unless authorized by the Cape Symphony management in advance and in writing. It goes without saying that the use of flash is prohibited at all times. And if you don't want to annoy everyone in the place, turn off all electronic signals on watches, cell phones, pagers and other equipment before the show starts! We do encourage you to take pictures in the lobby - of yourself and your companions as well as with guest artists and musicians - and post them to social media with the hashtag #capesymphony.

Is it okay to talk during the performance?
Talking while the musicians and the conductor are hard at work performing is rude; there's no way to sugar coat it! We would ask that you respect the performers and the people sitting near you by not talking while the orchestra plays. If someone near you is talking, feel free to speak to an usher and ask them to address the situation.

When do I applaud?
This is a more controversial issue than you may think. Just try Googling "clapping during classical concert." Apparently, composers like Mozart expected and hoped for applause after each movement (section) of a piece. This tradition changed with certain composers during the 19th century, like Schumann and Mendelssohn, who wrote music in such a way as to leave no pauses where the audience could sneak in a clap or two. In the 1930s, conductor Leopold Stokowski suggested that it would be more appropriate if audiences didn't applaud at all. He hoped people would sit in awe, rather than express their emotions by clapping.

Here's how the Cape Symphony is different. Clap when you feel like clapping! If you are moved by the music, by a soloist, or by anything else to put your hands together, then do it. We want you to enjoy the experience and applaud when you want.

In general, just before the concert begins, the orchestra members will all be seated on the stage, except for the Concertmaster. That's the violinist who sits in the first chair of the first row of the Orchestra. Applaud to greet the Concertmaster when he or she comes onstage to tune up the orchestra, and again a few moments later when the Conductor comes onstage. Soloists who will be performing may or may not come onstage with the Conductor; when they do come on, you applaud to greet the soloist as well. These are not rules, just suggestions. We appreciate your applause!


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