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Kevin Mcmahon | music director and conductor

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is classical music?

The term "classical music" can mean anything from a Bach Concerto composed in the late 17th century to a Brahms symphony composed in the mid 19th century - from an Adams tone poem written last week to a Stravinsky Symphony written in the early 20th century. Generally, classical music is defined by an ensemble composed to strings (violins, violas, cellos and basses), woodwinds (flutes, oboes, clarinets and bassoons), brass (trumpets, French horns, trombones, and tuba) and percussion (timpani, xylophone and harp) or some combination thereof.

Will I recognize any of the music?

Odds are, you'll recognize far more than you realize. Many of today's popular songs, television shows and movies include or are taken from classical themes, like the Lone Ranger theme (Rossini's "William Tell Overture"), United Airlines commercials (Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue"), American Beef Council ads (Copland's "Hoe-down" from 'Rodeo').

Will I enjoy the concert?

Absolutely! Classical music is everything from exciting and invigorating, to relaxing and serene. When you join us at one of our concerts, you'll embark on a musical journey that is new and beautiful at every turn. How will the music speak to you? Listen and see!

Do I need to know the music before I attend a performance?

No. One of the great joys of going to a Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra 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. 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.

How can I learn about the music before the concert?

Program notes are provided in the program book you receive from the ushers upon entering the concert hall. You may wish to arrive 20 to 30 minutes before the performance to review the program notes. Also available for your education are the Interludes Pre-Concert talks. One hour prior to every concert, the conductor hosts a half-hour talk about the pieces and tells what to listen for during the concert. Interludes is free to any ticket-holder, but spots fill up, so RSVP by calling 920-452-1985 or e-mailing vicki@sheboygansymphony.org.

What should I wear?

Wear whatever makes you comfortable. Contrary to what many people think, formal attire - tuxedos and evening gowns - is not required at SSO concerts. You'll see concert goers in suits, sweaters, khakis, or slacks. Most people wear "business casual" attire.

What about cell phones, pagers or coughing?

It is always best to turn off cell phones and pagers before entering the concert hall. Noises such as a pager going off or a cell phone ringing are very distracting to the conductor, musicians and your fellow audience members, and are considered to be quite rude. Another alternative is to set the device on vibrate, so that if an important call is received, one can retreat to the exterior of the hall to resolve the concern.

Coughing is an unavoidable problem. But, there are ways to avoid coughing during the music. If you feel a cold is coming on, please bring lozenges with you or pick one up in the lobby on your way in to the hall. The next step is crucial: unwrap them before the music beings. Unwrapping a cough drop during the performance makes more noise than you think. If you need to cough more than few times, there's nothing wrong with excusing yourself from the hall for the rest of the movement. Once you have left the hall, you may re-enter at the conclusion of the piece being performed.

What if I lose my tickets?

No problem - If you contact the Weill Center Ticket office at 920-208-3243 at least 24 hours prior to the concert, we can have a new set waiting at the performance.

Who can I contact with questions or concerns?

We're ready and able to help! Contact us via e-mail at vicki@sheboygansymphony.org or call 920-452-1985.

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. Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra 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. Concert goers 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 concert goers, we ask that you remain in your seat until the concert has ended.

When do I applaud?

Applause at Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra performances is meant both as a greeting and to show appreciation for the artists. Just before the concert begins, after all the musicians are seated, the concertmaster takes the stage. Traditionally, patrons applaud to greet the concertmaster and again a few moments later to greet the conductor and/or soloists. Once the performance begins, you'll notice in your program book that many musical works have three or more movements or sections. A short pause often follows each movement. It is customary to refrain from applauding during these pauses. After the final movement of a work, applaud to your heart's content.

If you still aren't certain when to applaud, a good sign is when the conductor either turns around or steps off the podium. If all else fails, you can always wait for the rest of the audience to being clapping.

May I take pictures?

The use of still, video and digital cameras and audio recording equipment is strictly prohibited during the performance. We would like to encourage you though to share your concert experience with your friends on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter before the concert, during intermission and after the concert.

How long is a typical performance?

Although concert length varies, most performances are about two hours, including one 15-minute intermission.

How can I purchase tickets?

Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra tickets may be purchased in person at 826 N 8th St or phone (920) 208-3243 or online at weillcenter.com.
Ticket Office hours are 12:00 pm to 5:30 pm weekdays. The ticket office will also be open 2 hours prior to the start of show.

May I bring children?

Children four years of age and older are welcome at all performance with a purchased ticket. We do not recommend children under six attend a Symphony concert with the exception of our Summer Pops Concert and Children's Concerts. Children and full-time students may purchase tickets at the price of $15.  The cost of the student season pass for Season Tickets is $50.  The cost of the student pass for Mini-Series Tickets is $30.

Do you have any recommendations for pre-concert dining options?

List of restaurants and food options in the Sheboygan area.