Families Welcome

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The Richmond Symphony Orchestra warmly welcomes families to hear our talented musicians play live music together. For concerts requiring tickets, we gladly provide free tickets to children in grades K through 12 accompanied by an adult. Tickets for college students are priced at $10. All ages are welcome at our many free outdoor and seasonal events.

Our goal is to provide a place for everyone of any age to hear our music. Our traditional concert series is at the heart of what we do, with concert selections from classical to pop music and jazz to movie music played in Civic Hall and other venues.

When public health conditions allow, we also offer several performances attended by children from area schools. Young musicians also participate in our annual Young Artist Competition. In addition, audience members of all ages also enjoy our less formal (and usually free!) performances ranging from outdoor events in lovely settings where listeners move (and little ones sometimes run!) from point to point, stopping to hear various soloists or small ensembles, to performances in settings ranging from retail stores to public buildings to long-term care facilities.

Children at Subscription Concerts

To enrich the experience of younger audience members, we encourage them to visit Kids of Note, an ongoing program in which we honor their interest in music by helping them explore the many seemingly confusing aspects of symphony concerts. Why does the orchestra make all those wild noises just before every concert begins, for instance? What instruments are grouped into “sections,” or families of instruments, and why? And what are “movements” in a piece of music — and why don’t people clap in between them?

As anyone who loves children knows, all children have unique ways of enjoying various activities. Children with a more active nature may be less able to be still and silent in a quiet concert hall for two hours, no matter what their age. Other children, even at very young ages, may stay engaged in evening-long symphony concerts even better than some adults.

We leave it to parents’ discretion to know what works best for their children, but we know children are not always predictable. If you aren’t sure how your child will react, it may be a good idea to select seats on the aisle, near an exit.

If your child becomes overexcited or disengaged during the concert, you can accompany the child to the lobby for a while, to listen (the music is piped out there), to dance to the music, to take a bathroom break, or to participate in an optional Kids of Note activity designed to teach them something about live symphony music. After your break, you are welcome to return to your seats during a break between musical selections.

Nevertheless, there are times when our ushers may interact with audience members if their behavior is negatively affecting other audience members’ enjoyment of the music (it can happen to the best of us!). With adults, it might be a reminder to silence a cell phone, or an invitation to step into the lobby if they can’t stop coughing — or talking. With children, if we sense that you are unaware that your child’s behavior is affecting others, one of our ushers may invite you and your child to take a break in the lobby.

If you ever have a question or concern about bringing children to an event or about anything that happened during one of our concerts, or you would like to brainstorm about how to improve your child’s experience, please call the RSO office at (765) 966-5181. We are happy to help, and to offer ideas for how to make the concert as enjoyable as possible for your entire family.

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