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What to Expect

First time at the Symphony?

Welcome to the RSO! We couldn’t be happier that you’re joining our audience. If you’re a symphony newbie, the following tips and hints have been compiled from common questions and are designed to help you feel like a regular!

What should I wear?

You’ll notice apparel ranging from jeans to business casual to after-five evening wear. The programs and artists on our Pops Series events tend to encourage some really fun variations… In the end, there is no strict dress code!

What time should I arrive for a concert?

It is best to arrive at least one-half hour or more before the scheduled performance begins. This leaves time for parking (the ease of which can vary), picking up tickets, visiting the restroom and finding your seat.

What if I arrive late?

In consideration of the comfort and listening pleasure of the audience, patrons who arrive after the concert begins will be asked to wait to be seated until an appropriate pause between pieces. See, ‘What time should I arrive’ above.

When should I clap?

Generally, it is considered proper concert etiquette to clap only after a piece is complete, and not after movements (sections in one piece). You can look at your program-guide booklet to find out how many movements a piece has. Again, almost anything goes at RSO Pops Series events. If all else fails, go with the flow!

May I take pictures during the performance?

Sorry, the taking of photographs or the recording of Roanoke Symphony Orchestra concerts is prohibited. Keep in mind: some venues will not allow you to enter if you have a camera or recording device with you.

What if I don’t know the music being performed?

It doesn’t matter (much)! One of the great joys of going to a Roanoke 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 have known for years. Many audience members find that attending a live concert enhances their enjoyment of a piece they already know. For detailed information about each piece on this season’s Masterworks concerts, contact us for our Program Notes.

Before each Masterworks performance the RSO offers a pre-concert event entitled Illuminations. These informal gatherings with music director David Stewart Wiley are a great opportunity to gain useful insight into the performance just before the concert begins. Sometimes these presentations provide an opportunity to meet guest soloists and ask questions about their work. For more information on, see our Keynotes page.

May I bring my phone?

All electronic and mechanical devices, including cell phones and watch alarms, should be turned off before entering the concert hall. If you need to be reached in an emergency, please advise an usher and you will be located. Beeps and tweets can spoil a concert.

What about comments and quiet conversations?

For Masterworks concerts, it’s customary not to talk while the music is being performed. On the other hand, the RSO’s Picnic at the Pops concerts may have you dancing in the aisles!

Member One Federal Credit Union

Member One
RSO Box Office

1125 1st Street SW
Roanoke, VA 24016
Phone: (540) 343-9127
Fax: (540) 343-0065

Box Office Hours:

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mon. – Fri.

Closed Sat. and Sun.

For specific departments or staff needs, see also our Staff Listing.

For a recorded message with up-to-date information on hours of operation, please call 540.343.9127

All concerts, subject to availability. Programs and artists may change.