Frequently Asked Questions
When should I arrive?
We suggest you arrive 20 to 30 minutes before the concert is scheduled to begin. That will give you ample time to find your seat, relax, read ENCORE our program Magazine and watch the musicians as they take the stage. Jacksonville Symphony concerts begin promptly at the announced starting time. Ticketholders who come late will not be seated in the hall until after the conclusion of the first work on the program. Concertgoers who must leave the hall before or during the playing of a piece will not be reseated until after that piece is concluded. In consideration of the performers and fellow concertgoers, we ask that you remain in your seat until the concert has ended.
When do I applaud?
There are two reasons to applaud at a Jacksonville Symphony concert: as a greeting, and to show appreciation. Just before the concert begins, the Orchestra members will all be seated on the stage, except for the Concertmaster – the violinist who sits in the first chair of the first row of the Orchestra. You can applaud to greet the Concertmaster when he or she comes onstage. You can applaud again a few moments later when the Conductor comes onstage. Any soloists who will be performing will usually come onstage with the Conductor; you can applaud to greet the soloist or soloists as well. You do not applaud again until the end of each piece of music, to show your appreciation to the performers. Some longer pieces may have several sections, or movements, separated by a brief, silent pause. The audience does not applaud between movements of a piece. The program will list the movements in each piece, so you will know how many there are; applause is usually reserved for the end of the last movement
Can I bring my cellular phone or camera?
The Jacksonville Symphony requests that you turn off all cell phones, pagers, beeping watches, and other electronic devices before the performance begins – and that you check to see that they are again turned off after the intermission, before the second half of the performance begins. In addition, keep in mind that this is a live concert. Noise of any kind – talking, whispering, rustling pages of programs – can be distracting to the musicians, and diminish the audience’s enjoyment of the music. Please try to be as quiet as possible.
What is classical music?
The term “classical music” generally refers to music written for a group of musicians who play orchestral instruments: strings (such as violins and cellos), woodwinds (such as flutes and clarinets), brass (such as trumpets and French horns), and percussion (such as the timpani, or kettledrums).
Most orchestral music is written in one of two forms: a symphony or a concerto. A symphony is a major work, played by the entire orchestra. Most symphonies have two or more parts, called “movements.” Some of the best-known classical symphonies have four movements: the first is fast; the second is slow; the third is music for a dance, such as a minuet; and the last movement, or the finale, is fast. A concerto is a musical composition performed by the orchestra and a soloist – who play in dialogue with one another. Most concertos have three movements.
During the performance, there is a short, silent pause between each movement of a piece. You can determine how many movements there are in a piece, and how many silent pauses there will be, by looking at your program – the movements in each piece will be listed there. Applause is usually reserved for the end of the final movement of the piece, after the conductor has signaled the end of the final note with his or her baton or hand.
What is a symphony orchestra?
An orchestra is made up for four sections: strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion. The instruments featured in each section include:
Strings: violin, viola, cello, bass
Woodwinds: flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, English horn
Brass: trumpet, trombone, French horn, tuba
Percussion: timpani, harp, xylophone
The members of the Jacksonville Symphony all earn their living as full-time musicians. They rehearse and perform with the Orchestra at Jacoby Symphony Hall during the regular season (September to June).
Will I recognize the music?
It is very likely that you will recognize parts of many symphonies, concertos and choral works (classical music performed by an orchestra, vocal soloist, or choir). Music written by the great classical composers is often used in movie soundtracks, television shows, and commercials.
Do I need to know the music before I attend a performance?
No. One of the great joys of going to a Jacksonville Symphony concert is being introduced to a wonderful piece of music you’ve never heard before, or listening to a superb performance of a piece you haven’t heard in years. Some regular concert-goers do find they appreciate the performance more if they listen to a recording of the piece before the concert, so they can better anticipate their favorite parts, or listen for virtuoso playing of the more difficult passages. And many audience members find it enhances their enjoyment of the music if they take the time before the performance to read the notes in the program about the composer and the pieces that are to be played. On the Jacksonville Symphony website, we post each concert’s Program Notes and Video Program Notes by Courtney Lewis before the performance.