If you are attending your first performance with the CVSO below are some FAQs to help with any unanswered questions. If you don't see the answer to your question please let us know!
This is my first time going to the Symphony. What can I expect?
There can be stuffiness associated with classical symphonic music, but we would like you to remember that first and foremost the composers were musicians and were not always thought of as reputable. Due to his reputation, J.S. Bach had to sign a contract agreeing to " avoid all unseemly society and suspicious company " before they let him become the town organist in Mulhausen, Germany. (He then married a cousin, but that is another story.) Richard Wagner was so good at skipping school that when he was sixteen the school sent a note to his parents informing them that their son had not shown up for six months. Were they surprised! Later, when he went to the university, he gambled, dueled, drank, chased women and had to drop out. Beethoven was once thrown in jail as a vagabond because he was so unkempt the local policeman did not recognize him even though he was famous throughout Europe. Frenchman Hector Berlioz took so much... well, you get the idea.
When should I arrive?
The lobby opens one hour before the concert and the doors to the theater open 30 minutes before the concert. Come early: there are refreshments available in the lobby, including wine, soda, and cookies for purchase if you are the State Theatre. There are also people to watch. We recommend getting to your seats early so you can read the program notes!
What is appropriate dress?
The Symphony provides a sophisticated musical experience, without sophisticated rules. Comfort is the key to enjoying your favorite symphony music. We want your evening out to be as fun as possible, so dress up or dress down...as long as you dress comfortably.
The younger people in attendance often dress casually while many of our older concert-goers dress up somewhat, which might mean a jacket for men and a dress or suit for women.
For the most part, concerts have a certain amount of dignity and ceremony, but what you really need aren't pearls or diamonds, but ears and a soul. We are happy to have you here...and hear.
What if I am late to the concert?
Latecomers will be seated at the discretion of house management at an appropriate interval in the concert program. Those who wish to leave before the end of the concert are requested to do so between program works in order not to disturb others.
What if I can't attend a concert?
Please do not let your tickets go unused. If you cannot attend a concert, you can give your tickets away to worthy friends or return them to release your seat for resale. A receipt acknowledging the value of your ticket(s) will be issued enabling you to receive a full tax deduction.
Applause: To clap or not to clap?
When the piece is over then you can applaud. Here are some clues that the piece has ended and you may applaud:
The conductor puts his hands down and keeps them down.
All the players put their instruments down.
Having said that, clapping between movements is a very hot topic in classical music. Here in Eau Claire there is almost always a smattering of applause between movements: appropriate or not is open for discussion.
May I take pictures or record the concert?
The unauthorized use of cameras and recording devices is not permitted.
May I bring my child?
We definitely encourage you to bring your child to the concert. If a child is having a hard time with the music or sitting in the concert hall please feel free to bring them to the lobby.
Where can I pick up a concert program?
We distribute free programs at the door. Take a copy to learn more about the artist, orchestra and repertoire, and get even more out of your concert experience. The program is also an excellent master calendar for other classical music, theater and arts for the season. Take it home with you and bring it back for the next concert. You might want to read the program notes for the next concert and then enjoy it even more than you did the last one.