Attending a symphony performance for the first time can often generate lots of questions.

There’s no such thing as too much information when it comes to attending your first (or your fiftieth) ISO concert! It’s important that you have a great experience and come back again, so here are some answers to a few of the ISO’s most difficult questions.

While the musicians in the orchestra will be in tuxedos and gowns, formal attire is not required for audience members. Most concertgoers will wear business or cocktail attire.

Doors open one hour prior to concert time. Patrons who arrive after the concert has started will be assisted by ushers to find an appropriate time to enter the theatre, usually during a pause in the program.

As a precaution during the COVID-19 pandemic, concerts are scheduled for one hour without intermission. That leaves plenty of time to enter and leave safely and minimizes bathroom visits!

Of course! Symphonic music is beneficial to brains of all ages. If you do bring littles, consider packing a quiet activity like coloring pages just in case they become restless.

The ISO also performs family concerts designed just for young children.

Silence in the venue keeps the distractions for the musicians and fellow audience members to a minimum. Because performance venues are built to carry sound all the way to the balcony, the same principles that allow the audience to hear soft solos played on stage also allow whispers, phone vibrations, watch beeps, candy wrappers and more to be heard… everywhere!

Yes! Please take photos (without the flash) and share them with the ISO on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It is important to stay mindful of those seated around you.

Unfortunately, no. Not only can the glare from the screen distract musicians and other patrons, the music that the orchestra plays is licensed specifically for the audience in the theatre.

Accessible seating is available by request at all concerts. Call the ISO office to make your request: (863) 688-3743.

The ISO is full of talented musicians who also give lessons. Please call the office for information on musicians for hire: (863) 688-3743.

It is traditional to welcome the Concertmaster, or first chair violin, with applause. She or he will walk out before the conductor to tune the orchestra. When Maestro Thielen and any guest artists arrive on stage, it is also appropriate to clap.

After a guest artist or soloist has performed, he or she will walk back on stage for a second time during applause to bow again and recognize the orchestra. The audience may give a standing ovation at this time if the performance was truly outstanding. It is supportive to keep clapping until the soloist and conductor have made their final exit.

Reading the program can help to identify when to clap. Typically, applause is held until the end of the final movement of the piece, typically signaled by the conductor by lowering his baton.

Here is a sample program with notes:

Energetic Opening Piece | Well Known Composer
Piano Concerto with Guest Artist | Well Known Composer
1. First Movement
(pause – no applause)
2. Second Movement
(pause – no applause)
3. Third Movement
(applause )
Symphony No. 1 | Classical Master
1. Adagio/Allegro
(pause – no applause)
2. Andante
(pause – no applause)
3. Scherzo
(pause – no applause)
4. Presto

What’s New for Physical Distancing and Health Safety?

Right now, we’re not totally sure how many people will be allowed to be in a concert hall at a time. So, we’re offering two seating sections and will assign seats once the venue releases capacity information. All our venue partners have increased cleaning procedures and added hand sanitizer stations.

To keep musicians safe, we’re gradually increasing the number of musicians on stage each month. They’ll always be an appropriate distance from each other, and we’ll check temperatures before each rehearsal or performance.

This also means that we have to be purposeful about entering and leaving venues, so doors will open one hour prior to performance time and we may be dismissed by sections, as the venue requires.

As we learn more from venue partners and health and safety agencies, we will share updates with ticket holders and update this website.

Keeping Patrons & Musicians Safe

  • Limited, physically-distanced seating for patrons
  • Reserved presale seating only
  • eTickets (on mobile device) or Will Call tickets only
  • Hand sanitizer available throughout venue
  • Enhanced, constant cleaning and disinfecting of restrooms
  • Concerts kept to one hour with no intermission
  • Face masks required of patrons until seated for performance
  • Smaller ensembles of musicians seated at safe distances
  • Musicians temperatures taken before rehearsals and performances