Concert Etiquette

At the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, we welcome music lovers of all kinds. We’d like to offer those of you not as familiar with attending a classical music concert some guidelines. We hope that this will make your experience, and the experience of those around you, that much better. Enjoy the concert!


Cellular devices are prohibited during the performance. A courtesy phone is located at the security desk for local phone calls only.

Arrive Early

Although there are occasions when arriving later is considered stylish, a concert isn’t typically one of them. Once the music has begun, latecomers will be asked to remain in the lobby until the first suitable break in a performance. (This is true after the intermission too.) Arrive early to the concert so as to not miss out on any of the incredible music-making.

Selfie Free Zone

You will want to leave your selfie stick at home! The flash will distract musicians and audience alike. Plus, there’s nothing more embarrassing than a loud beeping camera in a quiet concert hall.

Quiet Company

Unless the concert is deemed a “sing-a-long”, you may want to leave the music making to the ensemble… even if you really do know the whole first movement of Beethoven’s Seventh. The people around you probably know it too and would rather hear the orchestra’s rendition.

Are We Starting Yet?

When you first take your seat, you may find that some musicians are already on stage. Don’t worry… you’re not late. They are simply warming up and getting settled before the concert begins. Just before it starts, the lights will dim, and the concertmaster will come out, take a bow, and signal the first oboe player to play the tuning note. The rest of the orchestra will then tune their instruments to match the oboe. The conductor will then come out onto the stage, take a bow, and begin the concert.

Silence the Noise

Please silence your cell phones, alarms, and other audible devices before the concert begins. Feel free, however to check in on our Facebook or Twitter BEFORE you put your phone away. We love engaging with our audience on social media!

Wait to Crinkle

Thanks to the wonderful acoustics in today’s concert halls, the sound of the orchestra can be heard by everyone. Unfortunately, so can the crumpling of candy or cough drop wrappers. If you are suffering from a cold, please bring them! Just try to plan ahead and pop it into your mouth before the piece starts.

Enjoy Each Note

You may simply want to avoid the crowd by leaving five minutes early, but the musicians will misconstrue your hasty departure as a sign that you didn’t like the music. You may as well sit back, relax, and enjoy every last note.