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SC Philharmonic know-how for first-timers

Here’s everything you need to know about attending your first concert (hint: there’s no need to be intimidated).

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Morihiko Nakahara conducts musicians in the South Carolina Philharmonic

Seeing a live symphony is an experience not to be missed — here’s what to know if you’re attending your first concert.

Photo provided by the South Carolina Philharmonic

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So, you’ve never seen the Phil perform before, and you don’t know what to expect.

Take a breath, let go of any preconceptions you might have, and cancel that tuxedo rental. Here’s everything a Philharmonic first-timer needs to know:

Should I arrive early?

Plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before concert time so you can find your seat, check your phone, and absorb the atmosphere. If you’re late, you may end up listening for a few minutes from the lobby. (If that happens, the usher will show you your seat at a pause in the program so your arrival won’t disturb other concertgoers.)

How long is each concert?

It varies, but most Philharmonic concerts are ~90 minutes to two hours long, with an intermission at the halfway point.

Can I bring my kids?

Absolutely. Attending a concert can be a great experience for children ages seven and older — and there are half-price student rush tickets available 30 minutes before the concert starts.

Can I take pictures?

Phones should be silenced and put away while the orchestra is performing, but audience members are encouraged to capture their experience before and after the concert — be sure to tag @thescphil.

Do I need to study up on the music beforehand?

No need — the music will speak for itself. If prepping is your thing, though, you can read the program notes or catch Music Director Morihiko Nakahara’s pre-concert chat on the SC Phil’s YouTube channel.

Great, so what do I wear?

Most of the crowd will likely be wearing business casual or slightly dressy casual clothes, but you’ll see everything from jeans to cocktail dresses. Some people enjoy dressing up and making a special night of it, but there is no dress code (except perhaps at their next show of the season, Beethoven & Blue Jeans).

Ready to put your know-how into practice? Snag tickets for an upcoming Masterworks performance at the Koger Center.

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