FAQ

Where does the Illinois Symphony Orchestra perform?

We perform in several venues throughout central Illinois with many of our performances concentrated in Bloomington-Normal and Springfield, Illinois. In Bloomington, our six major symphony concerts are performed at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts and our two chamber orchestra concerts are performed at the Second Presbyterian Church in downtown Bloomington. In Springfield, our six major symphony concerts are performed at Sangamon Auditorium, UIS and our two chamber orchestra concerts are performed at the First Presbyterian Church in downtown Springfield. Our Around the Town, free concert series is performed in a variety of unique locations throughout Bloomington-Normal, Springfield, and the greater central Illinois region.

How do I purchase tickets?

In Bloomington, tickets may be purchased through the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts by phone (309) 434-2777, in person, or from their website. Tickets may also be purchased the night of the performance at either the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts or the Second Presbyterian Church. In Springfield, tickets may be purchased through the UIS Performing Arts Center by phone (217) 206-6160, in person, or online. Tickets may also be purchased the night of the performance at either Sangamon Auditorium or First Presbyterian Church.

How do I get to your performance venues and where can I park at your venues?

Details on how to get to our performance venues and parking information can be found under Venues & Ticket Offices.

Where are the box offices located? What are the box office hours?

In Bloomington, the box office is located at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts with entry into the building located off East Street in downtown Bloomington. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 10 AM to 6 PM. The box office will open two hours prior to performances held at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts and one hour prior to performances held at Second Presbyterian Church.

In Springfield, the box office is located in the lobby of Sangamon Auditorium or the second floor of the PAC Building. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 10 AM to 5 PM. The box office will open two hours prior to performances held at Sangamon Auditorium and one hour prior to performances held at First Presbyterian Church.

Are your performance venues handicap accessible?

Yes! In Bloomington, the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts and Second Presbyterian Church and in Springfield, Sangamon Auditorium and First Presbyterian Church are wheelchair accessible. Ushers will be happy to assist you. We do advise that you call ahead of your visit or inquire in the ticket office if you need wheelchair accessible seating, so we can help ensure that there will be an accessible seat available to you. All possible services may not be available for every performance and are contingent on availability at the venue.

What time do the doors open to the auditorium?

This depends on the location of the concert. For concerts at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts and Sangamon Auditorium, the doors to the lobby will open one hour prior to the performance and the auditorium will open a half hour prior to the performance for seating.

What is your late seating policy?

We understand that things happen that can postpone your arrival time. If you do arrive late, we encourage you to seek out an usher and they will be able to help you find the best time to come in and find your seat after the concert has begun.

I received a voucher or certificate for tickets. How can I redeem my voucher or certificate for actual concert tickets?

Vouchers or certificates may be redeemed through the ticket office at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts or Sangamon Auditorium. We encourage you to come early to exchange your voucher or certificate for a ticket to any of our regular season concerts.

Can I bring my children?

Yes! You are welcome to bring your children to the symphony. We know that when your children attend the symphony that they will learn to make it a part of their lifestyle as an adult. If your children are younger than six, you may want to consider bringing them to one or both of our family friendly Pops concerts. Please note, regardless of age, everyone must have a ticket to attend a concert.

Can I meet the music director or performers?

Our music director, guest artists, and musicians often have busy schedules, however occasionally our music director, the guest artists, and our musicians will make an appearance at special events to discuss the symphony and shake hands!

What do I wear?

We want your visit to be as enjoyable as possible. You will see a variety of attire, ranging from casual to cocktail. We encourage our patrons to consider their “Sunday best” as traditional dress for a concert, but please feel free to wear whatever you’re comfortable in.

Do I clap between movements?

Generally, it is considered proper concert etiquette to clap only after a piece is complete. That means that, for example, if you are listening to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, which has four movements, it is appropriate to applaud after the last movement. You can look at your program book to find out how many movements a piece has. Usually, there is a 15- to 30-second pause in between movements. There may be a piece performed from time to time where a movement is so moving that from sheer joy or emotion the audience may clap. When all else fails, you can always wait for the rest of the audience to clap before applauding.  Another good sign is when the conductor’s arms are no longer in the air or he or she turns around and faces the audience.

Can I record a concert or take photos?

We request that you do not take photos or video during the concert. We know that sometimes our patrons want to have a photo or video to remember the occasion, but this can be distracting not only to those sitting around you, but also to the conductor and musicians onstage. If you would like a photo to remember the concert, please take it before the performance begins, at intermission, or at the conclusion of the concert. If you take a photo, please remember to post it on Facebook or Instagram and tag the Illinois Symphony Orchestra to let everyone know how much you enjoyed your experience.

How long is a typical Symphony performance?

A performance is generally an approximate 90 minutes in length with a 15-20 minute intermission.

Do I need to know the music before I attend a performance?

You do not have to be a gourmet chef to enjoy a fine meal, and you do not need to know the music on the program to have a meaningful concert experience. One of the great joys of going to an Illinois Symphony Orchestra concert is being introduced to a great piece of music you have never heard before or listening to a superb performance of a piece you have not heard in years. Many audience members find it enhances their enjoyment of the music if they take time before the performance to read the notes in the program about the composer and the pieces that are to be performed.

Join us for Concert Comments our pre-concert lecture series, which take place one hour prior to each classical symphony concert. These informative sessions provide you an opportunity to her our Music Director Ken Lam, guest conductor, soloist, or musician share insights into the music to be performed that evening. You can now join us for our new post-concert series after chamber orchestra concerts called Coda Conversations, where you can hear insights from the Music Director, soloist, or musicians and you the audience can ask them questions. Please follow us on Facebook to catch links to our Spotify list to preview the music prior to the performance.

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