Newcomer’s Guide

GPO 101: Your Questions Answered


If you’re visiting this page, it probably means you’re thinking about joining us for a concert, and we’re thrilled about that. Classical music can seem daunting to some first-time concertgoers, but there’s no reason to stress. Here are some frequently asked questions about philharmonic concerts, intended to help make your first visit to the Greeley Philharmonic Orchestra fun and memorable.

Have a question that’s not answered here? Send us an email, and we might even add the question to this list.

What is classical music?
The term “classical music” covers a wide range of musical styles spanning hundreds of years, from a Bach concerto to a Brahms rhapsody, from a 19th century Schubert symphony to a contemporary masterpiece by Benjamin Britten. Generally, classical music is played by an ensemble comprised of strings (violins, violas, cellos, and basses), woodwinds (clarinets, oboes, flutes, and bassoons), brass (trumpets, horns, trombones, and tubas), and percussion (timpani, drums, xylophones, and bells), or some combination of these instruments.
Will I recognize any of the music?
You’ll probably recognize at least one piece on each of our concerts from some popular culture. Many of today’s popular songs, television shows, and movies use or are based on classical themes, including the “Lone Ranger” theme (Rossini’s William Tell Overture).
What should I wear to a GPO concert?
Contrary to what many people think, formal attire like tuxedos and evening gowns are not required. They aren’t even the norm! Most concertgoers wear business or cocktail attire, but you’ll see everything from jeans and khakis to jackets and sweaters. The name of the game is comfort. First and foremost we want you to enjoy the music.
When should I clap?
We want you to clap if you hear something you really liked. But generally, the audience claps after a piece is finished. Typically, they hold their applause for multi-movement works until the very end, too. For example, if you’re listening to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, which has four movements, the time that people usually clap is after the last movement. Check your program to find out how many movements there are in a piece. Usually there is a short pause between movements. So, in the case of Beethoven’s No. 3, you know you’re hearing the last movement after three pauses. If you’re unsure, you can wait for the rest of the audience to clap before you join in.
What if I am late?
For the comfort and enjoyment of our musicians and patrons, late seating takes place during pauses in the program. If you’re not sure when that is, just ask an usher. If you do arrive late you can view the concert on screens in the lobby, and you’ll hear the music as well.
Can I bring food or drinks into the concert?
You are welcome to bring drinks purchased at the lobby bar into ALL concerts. Ask the bartender about the reusable “adult sippie cups” to more comfortably enjoy a drink without the hassle of a glass container. Food isn’t allowed in the concert hall.
Can I study up on the pieces before the show?
There are a number of opportunities that help concertgoers to learn more about the Philharmonic and the music. There are free pre-concert talks (about 40 minutes long) offered before GPO Presents concerts that provide an in-depth look at each concert. There are also links to additional listening and reading on each of the concert event pages on our website.  You can also read up on the concerts in the Program Book – you’ll get one at any GPO concert, and you can keep the same one through the whole season.
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