Etiquette and Attire

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Attire   |   Before the Performance   |   When do I Clap?


Casual Professional

Before the Performance

Tuning the Orchestra
Before the concert begins, musicians will enter the stage and begin to tune their instruments. Some of them will play or practice their instruments to warm up before concert time. The muscles controlling fingers, wrists, and lips need to be warmed up and loosened before a concert just as an athlete will stretch and exercise before a game. When all the musicians are in place and it is almost time to begin, the Concertmaster will enter the stage and come to his chair—the first chair on the first row, to the left of the conductor. He will signal for the Oboe player to sound an “A” and all the musicians will tune to this sound. Be very quiet when the orchestra members tune their instruments.
The Conductor Enters the Stage
When the orchestra is in tune, the Conductor will enter the stage from the left. The job of the audience is to applaud when he enters to welcome him. Sometimes, the music will come to a complete stop before the composition is really finished. If you will notice closely, the conductor’s hands are still in the air. When the composition is really finished, the conductor will put his hands completely down, or drop his hands to his side; this is the time to applaud.

When Do I Clap?

Concertmaster Enters
 He or she is the leader of the first
 violin section—a great honor.
Conductor Enters
Guest Soloist Enters
At the Conclusion of an Entire Piece
 Which may have several movements,
 but never between movements.
 At this point, the conductor turns
 away from the orchestra.
Conductor Re-Enters
After the Intermission
Conductor Exits & Reappears
 Keep clapping until the conductor
 reaches the destination: be it the
 podium (his stand) or the wings.
At the Conclusion of an Encore
 When “Encore” is shouted, you are
 asking the guest artist/orchestra to
 play more. Standing and clapping is
 called a standing ovation.