Know Before You Go

What do I wear? When do I clap?

Find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions and discover how to make the most of your concert experience.

Know Before You Go

What do I wear? When do I clap?

Find answers to some of our most frequently asked questions and discover how to make the most of your concert experience.

Questions & Answers

I’ve never been to an orchestra concert before. What should I expect?

Expect to have a good time, don’t be surprised if you find that you are utterly moved by the live music! It happens often! Let go of your preconceived notions about classical music or the concert experience. Be open to feeling the music with all your senses. Sit back and relax, watch the dynamics between conductor, musicians and soloists. We are pretty sure you will be really glad you attended.

What if I don’t know anything about classical music? Do I need to study beforehand?

No, just come and enjoy! Over time, concertgoers do find their enjoyment is deeper if they prepare for a concert. This can be as simple as reading the program notes on our website or listening to the works in advance of the concerts. Additionally, you can attend FREE pre-concert Behind the Baton talks before each orchestral performance one hour pre-concert.

Will I recognize any of the music?

You might! You may not know a full piece of music but you may recognize a section. Orchestral music is all around us: in commercials, movie soundtracks, television themes, cartoons etc.. Popular music often quotes classical melodies, as well.

What is the difference between the Orchestral Series and your Limited Engagements?

Our Orchestral Series at the Palace Theatre, is where you will experience our full orchestra and hear great orchestral music of the masters in classical music as well as music from some newer generations of composers. These concerts are offered twice within a weekend, on Saturday night at 8pm and Sunday afternoon at 3pm. Take a look at list of symphony events for more information.

Our limited engagements are just that! They are one-night-only events and can be a “pops” style concert, a recital with a world renowned artist, a smaller ensemble, or a couple of musicians in a brewery or bar! Check the website for locations, but they are all nearby in Fairfield County. Take a look at list of these other events.

What should I wear?

It’s up to you! Wear your jeans, or dress up. You won’t be the only one in the hall dressed in either way! Some people enjoy dressing up and making a special night of it. Often, the Sunday afternoon crowd is more casual than the Saturday night crowd. We just want you to be comfortable, just be you!

Where do I park?

Parking is conveniently located for just $3 across the street from the Palace Theatre at Landmark Garage.

Should I arrive early?

Plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before concert time, so you can check your coat, find your seat, buy a drink, silence your cell phone, take a look at your surroundings, absorb the atmosphere, and have time to glance through the program book, too. Most concerts start on time.

And if I am late?

If you’re late, you may end up listening from the lobby! If that happens, the usher will allow you inside during a suitable pause in the program, so your arrival won’t disturb other concertgoers.

How long is the concert?

Concerts are typically under 2 hours and include a 20 minute intermission.

Can I take pictures?

Yes please! Use your cell phone to take pictures and post them on your social media networks! We aren’t going to lie, you are our best methods of marketing! We do ask however that you silence your phones and refrain from taking any pictures or video during the actual performance. Cameras and recording devices can be distracting for performers and your fellow audience members.

To clap or not to clap?

Many people get confused about when to clap during a work of music. For example, a Beethoven Concerto or a Tchaikovsky Symphony have separate movements or sections (think chapters in a book). After each movement, there is usually a short pause, and it has become the norm, to not clap at these little breaks and save all the clapping for the end (have your program book open and handy to follow the movements). However, there are times when the audience cannot contain themselves especially after we experience a fantastic soloist who just dazzled us with his/her artistry for a whole movement, then, we just all clap! So the short answer is don’t worry too much about it. Hint – watch the conductor between movements—if his arms are still in position and not relaxed, chances are, there is more music coming your way.

Why is there an intermission, and what should I do during it?

It’s a short rest period for the musicians and conductor; they’ll need a break to re-charge their batteries for the second half! It’s also a nice break for you to use the facilities, enjoy a drink or a snack at the lobby concession. New in 2019! No need to down that glass of wine, drinks are now permitted in the concert hall.

If you are under 40, and attending a Sunday afternoon concert, be sure to drop into the #SymFUNySundays Spot on the Upper Lobby alcove at intermission to mix and mingle over a glass of wine or a beer.

Stamford Symphony Donors of $1,500 or more, have exclusive access to the Donor Lounge in the Founder’s Room during intermission on both Saturdays and Sundays for wine and light refreshments.

Can I bring my kids?

Kids ages 4 and over are welcome to the Sunday afternoon concerts for FREE with an accompanying adult ticket. Join us at 2pm to take advantage of MusiKids, an interactive program geared just for kids that will preview the concert and give them the opportunity to meet our guest soloist. You know your child best, concerts can be as long as 2 hours. This can be a long time to sit through a concert. We just ask that you be mindful of the audience around you and should you need to leave the hall for a bit, you are welcome to do so.

Where can I go to learn more about orchestral music?

There are so many resources! It depends what you are looking for. Here are a few of our favorite fun and interesting sites that won’t make you feel like you are studying back in college: – go to hear live stream of their classical music shows and various interviews – so much to explore! Live stream their music shows, learn about composers, get a list of the best classical music for beginners and more! – a veritable resource of all things classical! They even have a podcast called Classical Classroom that is hosted by Dacia Clay, a music librarian at Houston public media. She is not a music academic and is learning right there with you podcast to podcast. Great for newbies! Click here to get to the podcasts: – Speaking of podcasts, these two British twenty-somethings hosts will have you howling and learning a thing or two on their irreverent podcast called That Classical Podcast.

About Your First Concert

Things you’ll want to know about before you get here

Concert Duration?
Concerts are typically under 2 hours and include a 15-20 minute intermission.
What to wear?
Whatever you like! Wear jeans or dress up. You won’t be the only one in the hall dressed either way. Just be you!
Meet the conductor and soloist
at our FREE Behind the Baton talk one hour pre-concert for each of the five orchestral concerts.
Just for kids!
A FREE interactive Musikids program on Sundays at 2pm for kids ages 5-12.
Order a drink at the lobby concession pre-concert or at intermission and now you can bring it into the theatre.