Below you will find answers to some commonly asked questions about the GSO and attending performances.

I've never been to a classical performance. What do I wear?

While many people take the opportunity to wear suits and formalwear to performances, others feel more comfortable in jeans and a button-up shirt. You should wear whatever you feel comfortable in, but we would recommend leaving flip-flops at home (unless it's an outdoor performance!) 

When do I clap?

At classical performances, history has seen applause between movements and after movements. If you feel so moved to applaud the performers after a movement, go ahead! The conductor will give a small acknowledgement and get the orchestra ready to continue. Or if you want to wait until the end of the complete piece, that is perfectly fine too.

Now, if you're at a jazz performance, people tend to clap not only after every piece, but if they liked a particular solo they clap in the middle of the music.

Will I get to meet any musicians?

It's no guarantee, but for classical performances some musicians and the conductor will often come to the lobby after the performance. 

How can I help support the GSO?

We have many opportunities available to support the GSO; from volunteering as an usher, to serving on our board or fiscal sponsorship and donation. You can find all this information under the "Support" section in the top menu of this website.

I've heard classical concerts are intimidating. Are they?

Only if you make them! If it's your first time at a performance, then have a seat and get comfortable. Be sure to read the program notes to get an idea what the music is about, and the people making the music.

During the performance, feel free to not only listen but look at the different musicians performing. You can usually see what is important to listen to in the music by observing where the conductor is focusing in the orchestra.

If you liked a piece of music, that's great! If you didn't like a piece of music, that's also great! But importantly, be sure to listen to understand why you didn't like something. Was it too loud, too difficult to follow, too many notes? Not enough notes? These observations will help you in understanding your own likes and dislikes (it's a bit like learning if there is too much salt on your French Fries, you learn through experience.)

Is parking free?

Free parking is available at certain venues. Before you attend a performance, you should check out the venue information available here.

How many ensembles does the GSO have?

Between our orchestra, chorus, jazz ensemble, and youth ensembles, the GSO is comprised of sixteen ensembles, usually totaling between 500-600 individuals making music with us every season!

Still Have A Question?

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