If you have never been to a symphony concert (or even if you have but still have some nagging questions) hopefully we have the answers to all your questions on this page. But if we don’t, you can always call the ticket office at 231.726.3231 and we will happily answer your questions.
I’ve never been to a symphony concert, what can I expect?
Expect to have a wonderful time! Set aside any preconceived notions you may have about classical music concerts. Like all new things, the experience may take a little getting used to, but when you are relaxed into your seat and letting the music wash over you, it will quickly feel just right.
How long will the concert last?
Most classical concerts last about 90 minutes to two hours with a 20 minute intermission. Take a look at the prélude concert magazine (your program) before the concert to get an idea of what to expect. You can even take the prélude home with you and study up before you get to the concert hall!
How early should I arrive?
You should plan on arriving at least 15-20 minutes early to find your seat, turn off your cell phone, chat with friends and people sitting near you and glance through the program book.
What if I’m late?
WMS makes every attempt to begin concerts on time. House lights are dimmed to indicate that the concert is about to begin. The ushers have been given instructions as to the best time to allow you inside so your arrival won’t disturb other concert-goers.
What should I wear?
There is no specific dress code for WMS concerts. Generally most people would say they dress business casual, but dress in what makes you happy and comfortable.
What is will call?
Most often when you order tickets they will be mailed to you. However, if the concert date is near they will be placed in “will call” for pick up prior to the concert. The will call window is located at the box office at the south end of the Frauenthal lobby.
Are children allowed at concerts?
Children are welcome to attend all classical, pops, jazz, special events and holiday concerts at the Frauenthal Theater, provided that they are supervised by an adult. Every child must have a ticket. If you’re wondering if a particular concert is right for your child, feel free to call the ticket office and ask about it. Also ask about discounted ticket pricing for students and children. Please, no infants.
Can I leave my cell phone on during a concert?
Cellular phones, alarm watches and other sound emitting devices should be turned completely off while in the hall.
When should I applaud during a classical concert?
Here are some general clues that the music is completely over and it’s okay to clap:
• The conductor puts down his hands and keeps them down.
• All the players on the stage put down their instruments.
• Everyone around you starts clapping.
• The concert hall lights come up.
• The players exit the stage, carrying their instruments.
• The entire audience leaves the auditorium.
• The cleaning crew comes in and begins to mop the stage.
Of course, you have more practical cues to tell you when the entire piece is totally over. For example, look in the program, it always tells you how many movements are in each piece, generally the applause comes at the very end of all of those movements. While some feel it’s best not to disrupt the continuity of the music by applauding between movements, there are times the audience is simply too thrilled not to applaud, and that’s okay too.
May I take photos or videos?
Cameras, cell phones, tablets or video recorders are not permitted at concerts. If you happen to have one with you, please turn it off and put it away before you enter the concert hall. These devices are not only disallowed because of licensing restrictions, but the light they give off disturbs the patrons sitting around you.
How can I learn more about the music?
There are program notes relating to each concert in your prélude concert magazine. Additionally we have lots of other ways for you to learn including free mid-week Lunch n’ Learn discussions held at The Block during concert week. Blue Lake Public Radio (88.9 and 90.3 FM) will often conduct interviews with Scott Speck and one of our guest artists, and program notes and listening clips are available via links on the concert pages on our website.
I love to come to concerts, but I also want to save money… what’s your advice?
All WMS concerts have special pricing for students and groups of 10 or more. Student tickets for WMS concerts can be purchased online or over the telephone at 231.726.3231.
Another great way to save is by purchasing a subscription to the WMS season. Not only will you save money over buying tickets individually, but you’ll get all the benefits that come from being a symphony subscriber, like free ticket exchanges and being able to sit in the same seats for each concert you attend.
Call 231.726.3231 x223 for more information about special pricing and subscription sales.
Do you permit smoking at the Frauenthal Theater?
WMS is pleased to offer a smoke-free environment (including e-cigarettes) at the Frauenthal Theater. Smoking is not permitted anywhere inside the buildings. Patrons who wish to smoke must do so outside the building and away from the entrances.
What provisions are made for patrons with disabilities?
A limited number of wheelchair seats are available. Call the Frauenthal Theater at 231.727.8001 to purchase or for more information. All WMS concert venues are handicapped-accessible.
For the hearing impaired, hearing assistance devices are available at the Frauenthal Theater. Please see an usher prior to the performance. There is also a hearing loop system that works with a feature on hearing aids. Patrons need to switch their device to the telecoil program.