Concert Etiquette

What should I wear?

There is no dress code for KSO performances. Many concertgoers come to the concert in business attire or dressed for an evening out. College students attend in their school clothing. Others wear jeans or khakis with jackets, nice shirts or sweaters. Most importantly, we want you to enjoy the music.

When should I arrive?

Most plan to arrive 30 minutes before the concert begins, which give you time to park, find a seat in the Fine Arts Recital Hall, review the printed program and relax before the music begins. Seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis.

What if I am late? 

Out of respect for the musicians and other concertgoers, late seating takes place between pieces, not during the performance of a piece. Late attendees are asked to wait outside the Fine Arts Recital Hall until the orchestra has finished playing a selection, rather than entering the concert hall and finding seating while the performance is in progress.

What if I need to leave in an emergency?

Concertgoers should refrain from entering and exiting the hall while a performance is in progress. If you must leave your seat in an emergency, please proceed quickly and quietly to the door.

Can I bring children?

School aged children are welcome to attend KSO concerts. However, as a courtesy to both the musicians and other audience members, children are to remain seated with their parents at all times, and should be removed from the auditorium if they become disruptive.

Can I bring food or drink into the concert?  

Food and beverages are not permitted in the auditorium. Food and beverages may be enjoyed in the lobby before the performance or during intermission. Also, please avoid distracting others by opening plastic wrappers during the performance.

Can I take photos or record parts of the concert?

The use of cameras or any other recording device is strictly prohibited. The videotaping of any KSO performance is a violation of United States Copyright Law and an actionable Federal offense.

Can I bring my cell phone or pager into the auditorium?

Before the concert begins, concertgoers will hear a recorded announcement asking that cell phones, pagers, etc. be silenced. A cell phone or pager ring would be distracting to fellow audience members, the conductor and the musicians.

How long will the concert run?

Concerts vary in length depending on the music being performed. However, most KSO concerts last approximately 90 minutes, including a 10 minute intermission.

When should I clap?

The audience generally applauds to greet the performers as they come on stage, at the beginning of the concert when the concertmaster (the lead violinist) enters to tune the orchestra, and again when the conductor and any soloists come onstage.

Once the concert begins, applause is held until the end of each piece. Some pieces have multiple movements. Applause is held until all of the movements have been performed. The printed program will indicate how many movements there are in a piece, so you'll know when all of the movements have been performed, and it is time for applause.

Usually, the conductor will lower the baton slightly while pausing briefly between movements. That is not a signal for applause. Once the entire piece has been performed, the conductor will lower the baton all of the way and turn to the audience, a signal that the piece is complete, and it is time for applause.

How can I learn about the music being performed?

Program notes are provided with background information about the works, composers and guest artists on the printed program for each concert. If you would like to read the program notes in advance, they are also posted online at