If you are attending your first symphony performance, below are some frequently asked questions to help make your experience more enjoyable.

What should I wear?
Wear whatever makes you comfortable. Contrary to what many people think, formal attire – such as tuxedos and evening gowns – are not required at Symphony concerts. In fact, most people only wear formal clothing to our Opening Night Gala. At our other concerts, you will see patrons in suits, sweaters, open collars, skirts, slacks, khakis, just about everything. Jeans, shorts, and t-shirts are discouraged. After all, the musicians will be wearing their finest (tuxedos or suits on the men and gowns on the women). It is also recommended that patrons refrain from using strong perfumes and colognes so as not to distract the patrons sitting around you.

When should I arrive?
We try our best to begin all concerts on time. To help reduce distracting noises during the performances, there are designated pauses in each program when late arrivals will be able to be seated. If you arrive late, we recommend that you wait close to your seating area's entrance so that we can seat you as soon as the pause occurs. Unfortunately, some concerts have no late seating. To confirm a particular concert's late seating policy, please call us at (209) 523-4156 for updates. If you have to leave a concert before its end, please do so between program works.

How long is a typical performance?
Program length varies, but a typical Modesto Symphony Orchestra performance lasts about two hours, including one intermission. You can always call us at (209) 523-4156 for an estimated length.

When do I clap? 
When in doubt, wait until lots of people clap but if you feel moved to show your appreciation please do! We prefer overzealous applauders than SHHHushers. The idea is to wait until the orchestra has completed a piece so that everyone can fully experience the music.

Many works in classical music have three or more movements or sections. A short pause usually falls in between each of them. It has become customary over time not to clap during these short pauses. To find out the number of movements (and corresponding number of pauses) in a piece, turn to the program page in your program book. You will find that each work is subdivided by movement (usually indicated by tempo markings in Italian). After the last movement, clap to your heart's content.

Why should I order my tickets in advance?
Many of our best seats are sold before the week of the concert. By purchasing tickets in advance, you can avoid lines at the ticket office and have a wider selection of seats. Of course the best way to insure great seats (and save money!) is to become a subscriber. Click here to learn more.

Can I take pictures? 
Cameras as well as other recording devices in hall are strictly prohibited and can create major distractions for the musicians and audience members around you. As a result, no still, video cameras or tape recorders are permitted. All equipment should be checked with the house manager prior to entering the auditorium.