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Symphony 101 / FAQ

The SLSO wishes to make Powell Hall an inclusive, accessible, and welcoming environment with the following information shared to assist in enhancing the experience for all. Whether you are a first-time attendee or long-time subscriber, we hope these commonly-asked questions help make your concert experience more enjoyable. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Q. When should I arrive?

A. Doors open 75 minutes in advance of SLSO classical concerts and 60 minutes prior to Live at Powell Hall events. We recommend you arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the performance. This will allow you time to find parking, visit the Box Office and to find your seat. Once the concert begins, patrons cannot be seated until the conclusion of the first work on the program. Please refer to the Late Seating Policy below for details.

Q. What do I wear?

A. You will see a wide variety of attire at Powell Hall, including suits, khakis, jeans and skirts. Generally, business casual is a good way to go, but you are welcome to dress as you see fit for the occasion.

Q. Where do I park?

A. Grand Center operates several parking lots in the vicinity of Powell Hall. Click for a map, directions and more information.

Q. Are there safety and security measures I should be aware of when entering Powell Hall?

A. Bags, backpacks, and belongings smaller than 16” x 16” are permitted in Powell Hall during an event. All items are subject to search upon admission. Small personal belongings may be stored in lockers on the Orchestra and Grand Tier levels for 25 cents.

Powell Hall is a firearms-free facility. No person may possess a firearm on the premises.

Powell Hall is a smoke-free facility.

Patrons of any age disturbing other concertgoers may be asked to leave. Admission and seating are at the discretion of management.

Q. May I bring my children?

A. We encourage children to attend SLSO performances. Children of all ages are welcome at Live at Powell Hall, Family, Education and Youth Orchestra concerts, while the minimum age for Classical, Gala and New Year’s Eve concerts is 5 years old. All patrons, regardless of age, must have a ticket.

Q. Are outside food and drink allowed in Powell Hall?

A. Outside food and drink are not permitted in Powell Hall. Concessions purchased on site may be taken into the Hall for select performances when indicated by signage.  

Q. If I arrive late, how does late seating take place?

A. Late seating breaks usually occur after the first piece on the program or at intermission to minimize disturbances to other audience members. Latecomers who arrive after the performance has begun and those who leave the hall will be seated at an appropriate break in the program.

Q. When do I clap?

A. It is customary that the audience clap at the completion of the entire symphony. This allows the orchestra and conductor to maintain a certain concentration between movements. If you're not sure, just wait until the rest of the audience begins clapping.

Q. How long are the performances?

A.  Most performances are about 2 hours, including a 20-minute intermission.

Q. What services do you offer to patrons with special needs?

A.  Accessible seating is available for every performance at Powell Hall. Trained service dogs are welcome. Please contact the Box Office for more information.

Fully accessible restrooms and the elevator are located on the right side of the orchestra level. A wheelchair lift providing access to seating in the balcony is available on the Grand Tier level.

Large-print programs are available for Classical concerts at Customer Service in the Wightman Grand Foyer.

With the deposit of a valid photo ID, assisted listening devices are available at Customer Service on a first-come, first-served basis.

Q. How can I learn more about the music being performed?

A. Pre-Concert Conversations, sponsored by Washington University Physicians, are free events providing insights to the concert program to all ticket holders beginning one hour prior to each subscription concert. Program notes are also available online prior to each subscription performance. 

Q. Can I take photos and video?

A: Patrons are welcome to take photos or video before the concert, during intermission, and after the concert. Audio and video recording and photography are strictly prohibited during the concert, as cameras and recording devices are distracting for the performers and other audience members. Please silence all cell phones and other electronic devices throughout the performance.

Q. What if I lose a personal item while at Powell Hall?

A. To inquire about lost items, please call 314-286-4166. Powell Hall is not responsible for the loss or theft of personal property.

Special Seating Requests

Looking for more leg room? Try seats on the orchestra level or box seating for a bit more space.

Have any additional questions that are not answered above? Feel free to contact us.