What to expect at a Long Beach Symphony Orchestra concert
A guide to help maximize your enjoyment.
CLASSICS AT THE TERRACE THEATER
Planning Your Evening
What to wear? Many guests wear business clothes or slightly dressy casual clothes, but you'll see everything from khakis with a nice shirt to dresses and suits. Although you won’t be turned away if you arrive in shorts or jeans, you may be more comfortable dressing up a little. It’s a grand affair and a who’s who around town, so go ahead and dress up for a nice night on the town. Strong perfumes can be distracting to those around you, so please take it easy.
All ages are welcome, but experience tells us that small children do not have the patience to sit through an entire concert without disturbing others. Please use your judgment. We don’t recommend classics concerts for children under about eight years old.
If you are two minutes late, you might have to wait until a piece is finished so you may be seated without disturbing others. Because the parking garage entrance gets a little backed up closer to the concert start time, it is best to arrive at least 20 minutes early.
The Long Beach Symphony presents a Pre-Concert Talk one hour prior to the concert start time, featuring local musicologists discussing the composers and their works. These talks provide insight that enhances one’s enjoyment of the music. Some people like to park downtown and have an early dinner, walk over to the theater for the Pre-Concert Talk one hour prior to the concert, then chat with friends in the theater lobby or have a quick drink at the lobby bar before the concert starts.
The Long Beach Symphony also provides live music in the lobby before the concert, featuring young local virtuosos. The music starts when the doors open, so come early and have some social time!
There is usually one 20-minute intermission and the concerts are over around 10pm. Ahead of time, you might want to read the program notes online or in the Seasonal Program, which will compliment the Pre-Concert Talk by providing additional insight into the artists, the composers, and their music. The 2014-2015 Seasonal Program is available in the lobby and has artist bios and program notes for current and upcoming Classical and POPS! concerts.
Before the music starts, settle into your seat and make sure your phones and other electronics are in silent mode. If you have a cough, you might want to have a cough drop unwrapped and ready in order not to disturb others around you. Prepare yourself for a wonderful opportunity to simply "be" with the music.
During the Concert
A classical music concert provides you with an opportunity to experience the lush sounds of the orchestra as they wash over you in an acoustically superior environment. There is little that compares to being one of nearly 3,000 people enjoying a transcendental experience together in silence, leading to the eventual jubilation at the triumphant finish. Thus, it is an important part of the experience to remain silent and somewhat still during the performance. If for any reason you must leave your seat, please do so in between selections—preferably when the audience is applauding. This is especially important at the Terrace Theater because we have no center aisle.
Eating or drinking is not permitted in the Terrace Theater. There are concessions (snacks, coffee, and full bar) in the lobby, available before the concert and during intermission. You may also order drinks ahead of time so they will be ready for pick-up at intermission.
Generally, the best rule of thumb is “don’t be the first one to clap.” Usually, long symphonies are divided into distinct “movements,” and the conductor will keep his hands raised during the silence between movements so the audience knows that the piece is not yet over. At the end of the piece, the conductor will slowly lower his hands and the audience will then recognize the musicians for their performance.
ORCHESTRA POPS! AT THE LONG BEACH ARENA
The Long Beach Symphony POPS! is a fun and friendly way to enjoy an entertaining night out. There are two ways to experience the POPS!—either at a table of 10 on the Arena floor, or from the upstairs loge or balcony in a theater-style seat.
The concert itself starts at 8 pm, but the doors open at 6:30 pm and people are encouraged to come early and bring a picnic dinner—along with your favorite libations—to enjoy before the show. If you can't bring your own food and drink there are also concessions available at the Arena (pizza, sandwiches, full beverage service).
It’s a great place to network, visit friends, or make new ones. The Orchestra presents mostly familiar tunes, with an emphasis on popular classics of all genres—classic rock, jazz, Broadway, light classics, and features talented guest artists. Each show is unique, but we guarantee that each will be enjoyable!
The audience is quiet and respectful while the orchestra is playing, but it’s generally a pretty easy-going environment in which you don’t have to feel quite so formal. Just make sure you have a safe trip home!