When should I arrive?
Doors to the Centennial Concert Hall open one hour before the performance time, and the box office is open one and a half hours before performance time.
Give yourself plenty of time to get to the venue, not only to get your ticket and find your seat, but to park, check your coat, and read through the concert program.
For maximum enjoyment of the evening, we advise you to arrive and park between 30 -45 minutes before concert time. Most WSO concerts are preceded by pre-concert talks or lobby performances starting 45 minutes prior to concert time.
Remember the concert hall is in the midst of Winnipeg’s entertainment district: patrons like you are also arriving in the area all at the same time for events at the Manitoba Theatre Centre, the Pantages Playhouse Theatre and the Warehouse Theatre.
Once you are inside the concert hall, you will notice how ‘alive’ everything sounds. To enhance your enjoyment of the concert experience, no one is admitted into the hall once the concert has started, except during suitable breaks in the performance.
All latecomers will be asked by the ushers to wait in the lobby until late seating break, at which time you may be seated in temporary seats near the entrance. You will be able to move to your ticketed seat after intermission.
What should I wear?
Most concertgoers come in business or business casual clothing. You might prefer to be a little more dressed up, especially if it’s a special occasion, or you might prefer to be a little more casual. It really doesn’t matter what you wear as long as you enjoy the music. It’s up to you.
When do I clap?
Many works in classical music, such as a Beethoven symphony or Mozart piano concerto, have three or more movements or sections.
A short pause usually falls in between each of them. It has become customary over time not to clap during these short pauses. This allows the orchestra, the conductor, and the audience to relax, reflect and to prepare for the ‘transition’ to the new musical idea to come!
During some concerts, however, some audience members find it impossible to curb their enthusiasm and a smattering of heartfelt applause may break out. The conductor and musicians may acknowledge this briefly, or may quickly smile at one another. But please don’t feel awkward if they remain focused on the score. Most often they are completely concentrating on launching into the next movement.
To find out the number of movements (and corresponding number of pauses) in a piece, turn to the program page in your program book. You will find that each work is subdivided by movement (usually indicated by tempo markings in Italian).
Or, if you prefer, just sit back, enjoy the music, and feel attuned to the response of the audience around you. You will know the piece has come to its final conclusion when the conductor lowers his or her baton onto the music stand, pauses, and slowly turns to the audience.
Depending on the performance, there may be an emotional moment of silence followed by appreciative applause, or a spontaneous eruption of roaring approval. Feel free to join in! Often at the end of an evening the orchestra and all performers are poised and proud, but exhausted, and your response means the world to them.
What is the proper etiquette when attending a performance?
Live performance etiquette is little more than thoughtful consideration for other audience members. The concert hall is designed to be a ‘live’ acoustical space. This means anything you do or say can be easily heard, not only be other audience members, but often by those on stage as well.
Here are a few examples of how you can add to the concert going experience:
- The concert hall air may be dry. If you bring candies to reduce coughing, please unwrap them before entering the hall. You’d be surprised how loud that little ‘crackle’ can be!
- Remember to turn off all cell-phones, watch alarms, or other electronic devises.
- Please do not talk during the performance. Also refrain from humming, singing or beating time.
- Please wait until intermission to search through your purse or packages.
- Share the air, go scent free. All WSO concerts are scent free. We ask that you please be considerate of those in the audience who may have allergies and/or multiple chemical sensitivities and refrain from wearing perfume, cologne or other scented products.
- Avoid bumping or kicking the chair in front of you. Please watch your children to prevent their doing the same.
Can I bring my children to the performance?
If bringing children to the concert, help them to understand in advance that sitting still and listening is part of what makes a concert fun. It is helpful to familiarize them with the story or score so they know what to expect. You will often find concert information on the WSO web site to help you with this.
If you are attending a Great-West Life Concerts for Kids concert, try to arrive close to 1 p.m., when Music For Young Children volunteers and teachers are in our lobby, with hands on activities related to the concert experience.
Babes in arms are not allowed into our Masterworks, Air Canada Pops, Soundbytes, or WSO in Brandon concerts. Babes in arms (children ages 2 and under) are allowed into our Great-West Life Concerts for Kids series.
Can I bring my camera?
Professional productions never permit the use of cameras or audio/video recorders. Please avoid the disruption and the embarrassment of confiscation by leaving this equipment at home.
What should I do with my cell phone or PDA?
Turn off all beepers, cellular phones, PDAs and watches before entering the hall. If you must be contacted in case of emergency, please give your seat location and the concert hall’s telephone number to whoever may need to reach you. (Beepers and phones may also be left with our House Manager who will summon you if necessary.)
Is wheelchair or disabled seating available?
Wheelchair and disabled seating is available at the Centennial Concert Hall. Please let our Patron Services Representative know of any special needs when initially booking your tickets. At the same time, please inquire about parking spaces available.
Are hearing devices available for the hearing impaired?
Wireless hearing devices are available free of charge for the hearing impaired and are available at the Patron Services office located next to the Box Office.