Manners please at music concerts

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Midterm performances are scheduled next week.

By Brenda Carielo

Audience etiquette can enhance the enjoyment of a concert, and a lack of it can ruin the experience for both performers and the audience.

As the music program hosts midterm spring concerts Monday through Thursday in the auditorium of McAlister Fine Arts Center, directors and performers ask that guests remember audience etiquette.

It is important to arrive to any performance in a timely manner.

Students looking for recital credit for their class should arrive early to pick up the necessary slip prior to the start of the performance, Professor Alice Gomez said. “None will be given after the doors have closed,” she said.

“The doors close and it is very difficult to re-enter. It is really rude for the rest of the audience members and the performers if you try to walk out,” Gomez said.

Gomez suggests guests should go to the restroom before the start of the performance. Audience members are encouraged not to leave their seats until the performances are concluded.

Another courtesy to remember is to minimize conversation during the performances.

Chatter and noise can cause a great distraction to performers on stage and other audience members, she said.

“Even whispering is a problem; it carries out in the auditorium,” Gomez said.

Cell phones and other communication devices are to be turned off before the start of the performance.

“No flash photography. It is very distracting to people on stage,” Gomez said.

Lighting from the usage of these devices is noticeable and can cause a distraction to performers.

“Little children get restless really fast,” she said. For audience members with children, it is advised that adults sit near the exit to allow for a speedy retreat should the child get fussy.

McAllister Fine Arts Center does not allow food or beverages inside the auditorium.

Applause is greatly appreciated at the appropriate times.

Some musical numbers have multiple pieces in the performance.

“Wait until the piece of music is over or when the performer takes a bow,” Gomez said.

The bow is the most direct clue that the piece is over, she said.

Gomez, who directs the Percussion Ensemble and Latin Jazz Combo, said, “Even though percussion is loud, we still like manners.”

Concerts next week are the Percussion Ensemble 1 p.m.-1:50 p.m. Monday, Latin Jazz Combo 12:30-1:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Concert Choir and Chamber Singers 1 p.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday and the Jazz Ensemble 2 p.m.-3 p.m. Thursday.

All concerts are free and open to the public.

For information, call 210-486-0269.

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