What is a symphony?
A symphony is a extended musical composition, usually in three or more movements for an orchestra. The term symphony can also be interchanged with the word orchestra to refer to the ensemble itself.
What is an orchestra?
A large group of musicians who play together on various instruments, usually including strings, woodwinds, brass instruments, and percussion instruments. The term orchestra is also interchangeable with the term symphony to refer to the ensemble itself.
How is a symphony orchestra different from a chamber or philharmonic orchestra?
A chamber orchestra is typically smaller and focuses on the performance of chamber music. A philharmonic orchestra is usually the largest of the three types of ensembles. While any type of ensemble can play any type of music, the Plano Symphony focuses on classical and pops music of all kinds, hiring additional musicians when needed to add to the group of core musicians that comprises our Symphony. The Plano Symphony can have anywhere from 40 to 70 musicians, depending on the music being played that evening.
Why was the PSO created?
There are larger orchestra groups in the area, however we wanted to create one locally so the Collin County area could enjoy the convenience of a short drive with the quality of a professional symphony. The Plano Symphony is especially interesting in that it was founded by musicians, and not by a guild or governing body.
What important concert etiquette should I know before attending?
Orchestra concerts have etiquette that differs from that of a movie, or even a play. Musicians put their best effort into performing well. They should expect the same from their audience.
- Food and drink can be enjoyed outside the auditorium, but not during the concert. It creates a mess and distracts others. A small exception to this is water, when it is medically necessary.
- Feet should stay on the floor, not on the seat in front of you.
- Cell phones and pagers must be on silent upon admission.
- Whispering during a performance is very discourteous.
- Do not bring something else to work on while you are listening, like a book, laptop, or homework.
- Do not leave your seat during a performance. There will be an intermission during the performance for the musicians and concert attendees.
- Musicians appreciate energetic applause, but not whistling, shouting names, etc.
Can I record a particular piece of the concert?
No. Cameras and recording equiptment of any kind are strictly prohibited in venue. Some guest artist cds may be available for purchase at the concerts.
Should I bring my children?
Our Family Symphony Sundays are concerts created specifically for children 3 to 12, and we strongly encourage you to attend them with your child. For the other concerts, consider your child’s ability to comprehend the etiquette guidelines listed above. Concerts run about 1.5 to 2 hours and end around 10pm.
When should I applaud?
When to clap is cause of worry for many concert goers. Applaud:
- At the beginning of the concert when Concertmaster (first chair violinist) enters the stage.
- After the orchestra tunes, when Maestro Guzman enters the stage.
- Look at the program and take note of how many movements are in a piece. There may be long pauses between movements, but audiences typically applaud at the end of the entire piece.
- At pops concerts (Patriotic Pops) the audience is a little more relaxed and may applaud after solos or following a moving piece.
- In general, if others are clapping, it is ok to clap with them.
What should I wear?
Many people believe that our concerts are very formal events where tuxedos and ball gowns are worn. We suggest something more comfortable. Most of our concerts are business casual. If you enjoy dressing up, our black-tie optional evenings for Opening Night and the Valentine Gala are the perfect opportunity to bring out your ball gown.
What time should I arrive?
We suggest that you arrive no less than 15 minutes before a concert is scheduled to begin, or earlier if a pre-concert conversation is scheduled that you would like to hear. If you are purchasing a ticket at the door we recommend arriving 45 minutes before the scheduled start time.
What if I’m late?
Late arrivals to concerts will be seated at the first appropriate seating break in consideration of the performers and other patrons. You will be asked to take the first available seat toward the back of the auditorium. At intermission, you may claim your ticketed seat. A stand-by patron may be seated there, but as it is your ticketed seat, the stand-by patron must reliquish that seat for you. Ushers are always at hand to assist you.
How do I buy tickets?
For advance sales, you can call our office at (972) 473-7262, and if you have a credit card number ready, you can purchase them right over the phone. You can also visit us online here. Tickets may also be purchased at the door while supplies last.
Are there discounts for buying tickets early?
If you buy a season subscription you can receive up to a 60% discount, depending upon the section of your choice. It is like buying six and getting two concerts for free!. Group tickets are available for $2 off the single ticket price for groups of ten or more.
What are the advantages to subscribing?
There are many advantages to subscribing to the Plano Symphony Orchestra:
- Grab your seats this season and enjoy them for seasons to come. No waiting in line at the box office before each concert!
- Get the best seats at the best prices.
- Save up to 60% over single ticket prices.
- Save 25% on parking at our Eisemann Center concerts when you order parking vouchers for the Nortel parking garage.
- Receive discounts on Patriotic Pops when ordered with your subscription.
- Couldn’t use a ticket? Return your ticket(s) for a credit to be used at a later date (with advance notice to us), or return it for a tax deduction. This is known as the Angel Fund program. Ask us about it!
- Relax and enjoy the music. We make things easy for our subscribers! Fill out just one order form and we’ll take care of the rest.
Oh no!!! I bought tickets but can’t come. What should I do?
Subscribers can exchange your unused tickets if you contact our office prior to the concert. You may also return the tickets for a credit on your account to be used for another concert at a later date within the current season. Alternately, you can donate your tickets back to the orchestra. You will receive a letter indicating the amount of your tax deductible donation. It’s an easy way to be an angel; just return your tickets to our office 48 hours prior to the concert. Be sure to include your name and address, and we’ll acknowledge your tickets as a charitable contribution.
Are there special arrangements for physically challenged patrons?
We have seating and parking available at all of our concerts for the physically challenged. When you call the office to purchase your tickets, please mention any special needs that you have so we can accommodate you.
How can I volunteer my time for the Plano Symphony Orchestra?
No matter what your talents, we probably have a need for them! Call our office and ask for Teri Janssen. She can talk with you and find out how your talents can best help us. Some of the opportunities include working with school children, office support, fund raising, public relations, and marketing.
Are rehearsals open to the public?
We have three open rehearsals. Please call our office for times and locations. If you plan on attending please call the office and let us know you are coming.
How can I get a PSO brochure?
To get a brochure, request one by clicking on the Contact Us button, or call the office at 972-473-7262. We would love to send you one.
How can I make a donation to the PSO?
There are a wide variety of ways to make a donation to the Symphony. You may do so via the internet by visiting the Online Box Office, over the phone with a Symphony representative, or by mailing in the Symphony donation form. For more information about donations, please visit the Support the Plano Symphony section of the website.