WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Attending a classical concert can sometimes be intimidating – here’s the inside scoop on what to expect at a symphony concert!
We’re not sticklers for fashion—wear what makes you feel comfortable! Some audience members like to don business attire or slightly dressy casual clothes, but you’ll see everything from jeans to cocktail dresses.
We all love to eat, drink and be merry, but unfortunately, food and beverages (with the exception of bottled water) are not permitted in the ACC. But not to worry: There are vending machines and a cash bar available on site! (The NSO even has special feature drinks available for certain concerts—check the individual concert pages on the concert listing page for more info!)
And don’t get us wrong: It’s ok to bring food or drinks with you—we just ask that you refrain from feasting inside the concert halls. Eating or drinking in the hall can be very disruptive to others enjoying the concert.
Can’t tell a Brahms symphony from a Bach prelude? If so, don’t fret. You don’t need any experience or knowledge of classical music to enjoy a symphony concert. But a little background info always helps enhance the experience. That’s why we include information on musical selections and our guest artists as well as our Spotify playlists on the concert listing page for each NSO concert.
We also host a pre-show talk called “Listen Up” before each Masterworks show. Just follow your ears to the upper concourse of the Arts and Culture Centre! Listen Up begins at 7:15pm
We want as many people as possible to be able to share in the joy of music. The Arts and Culture Centre is fully wheelchair accessible. As wheelchair seating is limited, we ask that you please book in advance. We also have a limited number of hearing assist devices that can be reserved when ordering tickets. Please let the Box Office know of any special needs when ordering tickets.
DF Cook Recital Hall at Memorial University’s School of Music is wheelchair accessible with two spaces available at the back of the hall.
There are also accessibility accommodations available at our other venues. For further details, please contact the NSO office (722-4441).
We live to foster musical connections, but we’re not so great when it comes to WIFI connections. There is, unfortunately, no public WIFI available at the Arts and Culture Centre, First Light Centre for Performance and Creativity, Basilica of St. John the Baptist or Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.
You CAN however access WIFI at DF Cook Recital Hall on the Memorial University network.
We all need a break sometimes! Most of our shows at the Arts and Culture Centre include an intermission of about 25 minutes, and 20 minutes at other venues. There is no intermission during the Messiah.
If you’re the type that needs a breath of fresh air every now and then, note that some concerts have no intermission; details for each NSO concert are available on the concert listing page.
Looking to mingle? You’re in luck! NSO musicians and guest artists sometimes come to the lobby following performances. This is generally announced prior to each concert.
Sometimes, we can’t help but get carried away by the music. For this reason, performance length may vary. But a regular NSO concert runs approximately two hours with one intermission. Some performances may run shorter or longer depending on piece length or guest artist.
You can find the length of each individual piece on each concert description on our concert listing page and in our concert program.
A positive response from the crowd is music to our ears. That said, audiences tend to wait until the end of an entire piece to clap (following the completion of all movements). Waiting to applaud until the end respects the performers’ concentration as well as musical continuity. To signal the end of a piece, the conductor will lower their arms and turn to the audience, so make sure to watch to know when to clap! If you miss you cue, just follow the rest of the audience: If they applaud, join in!
Human beings need to cough sometimes. If you’ve got the urge, wait for a loud passage of music so you can try to fly under the radar. If you catch a bad case of the coughs, the appropriate thing to do would be to quietly exit the concert hall. For performances at the ACC, ushers will assist in getting you to the closest exit. They will also inform you when you are able to re-enter the auditorium during a suitable break in the performance. If you have lozenges for a cough, please unwrap them ahead of time to have handy during the performance.
There’s nothing like a symphony selfie to remember the night! You are welcome to take pictures inside the concert halls before and after the concert, and at intermission. We love to see the concert through the eyes of our patrons so please tag us on any pictures you post online. Check out our social media accounts here.
As a courtesy to musicians, guest artists, and fellow concertgoers, we ask that put your phone away during the performance. Flash photography is forbidden at all times. The use of cameras, smartphones, and/or other recording devices for commercial reproduction or sale is strictly forbidden without the prior written consent of the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra.
The use of mobile and smartphones and other electronic devices is extremely disruptive. Please be sure to turn off your cell phones, pagers, and all other electronic devices before the concert begins. Just sit back, unplug from the outside world, and enjoy the music!
A wonderful aroma can be hard to resist, but for the consideration of others, we strive to make all NSO events scent-free. We urge you to refrain from using any scented personal products when attending NSO events. Please keep in mind that the comfort and health of our patrons and employees can be compromised by the presence of scents in our environment as they can sometimes trigger asthma and other scent-related ailments.