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Concert Etiquette

An active listener will receive the greatest enrichment attending a concert by the Carolina Master Chorale. Frankly, there is often too much going on to hear every component of every piece in a single hearing. Those who strive to hear and understand everything they can are typically rewarded with a wonderful audience experience. The most important element of concert etiquette, therefore, is to be fully sensitive to the listening experience of other audience members. The following are common considerations for demonstrating excellent concert etiquette.

ENTERING THE CONCERT HALL - Audience members should make every attempt to arrive and be seated in a timely fashion prior to the beginning of a concert or the resumption of performance following intermission. In the event of an unavoidably tardy arrival, no one should enter during the performance of any piece. Typically, when the audience applauds, there is a short interval for latecomers to quickly and quietly locate a seat.

LEAVING THE CONCERT HALL - If at all possible, audience members should avoid exiting the concert hall except at the beginning of an intermission or at the conclusion of a performance. When exiting at another point is unavoidable, concertgoers should try to wait until a period of audience applause before leaving as quickly and unobtrusively as possible.

TALKING - All conversation should be withheld until non-musical intervals such as during audience applause, logistical relocation of performers between works, and intermission. Even whispering can be detrimental to the auditory experience of those in close proximity.

COUGHING - In every audience, it seems there are those who will need to cough some time during the concert.  When possible, try to hold a cough until the time period between movements or complete works. Often concerts are recorded for future use, and noticeable coughing can render a recording unusable for certain purposes. If one must cough, it is best to try to reduce the noise with a handkerchief, sleeve, or other muffling tool. If one or two coughs elevate to an extended struggle, the suffering individual should remove himself or herself as unobtrusively as possible until the problem subsides.

CELL PHONES, PAGERS, AND OTHER NOISE-MAKING ELECTRONIC DEVICES - All noise-emitting electronic devices should be turned off before the beginning of a concert. Should an audience member receive an emergency message by text or other method, that recipient should not respond from inside the concert hall, even by text. Instead it is best to wait until intermission or the end of the concert. If a quick response to an emergency is unavoidable, the audience member should follow the previously stated etiquette for leaving the concert hall and respond only after exiting.

OTHER NOISES - Unwrapping candy, turning pages, and many other seemingly innocuous actions can be detrimental to another audience member's concert experience. Well-informed concertgoers consider the noise that may be created by any possible action and avoid those things which create an audible distraction from the performance.



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