Welcome to the Victoria Symphony, and the world of classical music. If you are attending your first symphony performance, you may want answers to some of the following frequently asked questions:
What should I wear?
Attending a Victoria Symphony concert is always a special occasion; therefore, most patrons enjoy dressing up a bit. Today's standards for business formal dress or business casual dress are both acceptable for concerts. Jeans are acceptable but 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.
How can I purchase tickets?
Tickets may be purchased in person, by mail, telephone or online. The Victoria Symphony office and mailing address is located at 2112 N. Navarro, Victoria 77901. Our phone number is 361-576-4500 and fax is 361-575-8216. Our web address is www.victoriasymphony.com. We accept cash, check, Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express.
Can you give me directions to the performance venue?
The Victoria Symphony performs at the Victoria Fine Arts Center located at 1002 Sam Houston Drive, 77901 on the corner of Airline and Sam Houston. For parking, enter the front lot on Sam Houston Drive. Additional parking is located next to the stadium off Miori Drive.
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 the program notes and watch the musicians as they take the stage. Victoria Symphony concerts begin promptly at the announced starting time. Ticket holders 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 re-seated 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 Victoria 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 applaud to greet the Concertmaster when he or she comes onstage. You 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 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.
How long is a typical performance?
Program length varies, but a typical master series concert performance lasts about two hours, including one intermission. Symphonic Spooktacular lasts approximately one hour. You can always call us at 361-576-4500 for an estimated length.
Can I bring my cellular phone or camera?
The Victoria 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, coughing, unwrapping candies, 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.
No photo-taking or use of recording devices is allowed at any time.
Do I need to know the music before I attend a performance?
No. One of the great joys of going to a Victoria Symphony concert is being introduced to a great 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.
Will I recognize the music?
It is very likely that you will recognize parts of many symphonies, concertos and overtures. Music written by the great classical composers is often used in movie soundtracks, television shows, and commercials.