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The PSO Experience

Never been to the Symphony and have questions? What to wear? When to clap? Don’t worry, we have answers.

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Where can I buy PSO concert tickets?

Visit the Tickets page of the PSO website to learn more about pricing for individual PSO concerts, then if you’d like to experience a PSO concert, contact the Showplace Performance Centre Box Office to make your ticket purchase.

The Showplace Box Office is the only place to purchase single concert tickets, even for concerts held at Emmanuel United Church East. From September through June you can visit the Box Office in-person at 290 George Street North in Peterborough, or call 705-742-SHOW(7469). You can buy tickets from the online Box Office any time of year, day or night.

If you are interested in purchasing a PSO season subscription, please contact the PSO office directly at 705-742-1992.

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What is the PSO Fine Restaurant Partnership discount?

Your PSO concert experience begins with dinner! Our Fine Restaurant Partners offer you 10% off of the food portion of your bill when you show your server your PSO concert ticket on the day of the concert.

Visit any of the following Fine Restaurant Partners this season to take advantage of this opportunity:

Amandala’s at 375 Water Street
Brio Gusto at 182 Charlotte Street
Gerti’s at 225 Hunter Street West
Hobart’s Steakhouse at 139 Hunter Street West
Kettle Drums Restaurant & Bar at 224 Hunter Street West
St. Veronus Cafe and Tap Room at 129 Hunter Street West

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What about concert parking and accessibility?

Bus stops, on-street parking and parking lots are available in close proximity to both Showplace Performance Centre and Emmanuel United Church East.

At Emmanuel United Church East, a separate ground floor entrance on the west/George Street side of the church gives access to the elevator, which is attended by a PSO volunteer during a concert. The elevator provides access to the mainfloor seating area of the church, which contains an accessible seating section.

At Showplace Performance Centre, accessible seating is available off of the ground floor lobby in the mainfloor seating area. A lobby elevator gives access to the Nexicom Studio, below the theatre.

If you have any questions or concerns about accessibility at either of our venues, please let us know.

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Can I check my coat?

We encourage you to use Showplace’s by-donation coat check, or Emmanuel United Church East’s free coat check. It is especially important for audience members at Emmanuel to use the coat check for winter jackets and bulky outerwear, so that the pews remain comfortable for all audience members.

I want to "Meet the Maestro"

The four Main Series concerts of the PSO season (excludes the December holiday concert) feature “Meet the Maestro”, a pre-concert talk from PSO Music Director & Conductor, Michael Newnham.

Whether at Showplace Performance Centre or Emmanuel United Church East, doors open to audience members at 6:30pm. As audience members begin to take their seats, Maestro Newnham takes the stage at 6:40pm for a 20-30 minute ‘behind-the-music chat’ about the evening’s program. Meet the Maestro is free for all ticket holders.

With his characteristic enthusiasm and energy, and using musical excerpts, a vast historical knowledge, and stories from his personal experience, Maestro Newnham offers a unique chance for audience members to learn more about the music they will experience during the concert.

After Meet the Maestro, audience members have time to read the program notes, relax, talk with friends, or visit the lobby bar before the concert begins at 7:30pm. Ushers and front of house staff will clearly indicate when the concert is about to begin.

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Do I sit in a specific seat or is it general admission?

A ticket to a concert at Showplace Performance Centre guarantees you a specific numbered seat on the mainfloor or in the balcony.

Concerts at Emmanuel United Church East are general admission and seats fill on a first come, first served basis. However, seating areas will be cordoned off for PSO season subscribers: Subscribers who sit in a mainfloor seat at Showplace should choose a mainfloor subscriber seat at Emmanuel, and subscribers who sit in the balcony at Showplace should choose a balcony seat at Emmanuel.

Can I bring children to a concert?

Some PSO programs, such as the December holiday concert, are more geared to families, but children are welcome at all PSO concerts with ticket purchase and adult accompaniment. While we recommend children in attendance are at least 10 years of age, or 5 years of age at the holiday concert, this is left to the discretion of parents and guardians.

We do ask that if your child is being disruptive during a concert, please accompany them out of the theatre.

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What should I wear?

We want you to be comfortable attending a PSO concert, so there is no dress code. Many people wear business, business-casual, or dressy-casual clothing, but you will see a range of styles in the theatre.

We do ask that you go scent-free for a PSO concert. Please show respect for our staff, volunteers, musicians and audience members with scent sensitivities and refrain from using fragranced personal products on the day of the concert.

I missed Meet the Maestro and the start of the concert

Traffic, weather and parking may affect your travel and arrival to the venue. If you do arrive late to a PSO concert, or if you have to leave the theatre during a performance, you will be re-admitted to the theatre during a suitable break in the performance. This will limit distraction for audience members and the musicians. The venue’s front of house staff and ushers will be aware of the concert’s program schedule and can advise you on when the next break in performance will occur.

Concerts typically last two hours, with a 15-minute intermission.

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What's in the house program?

The concert house program includes information about the season’s concerts and a particular concert’s program, including detailed notes on some of the featured pieces. You’ll also find biographies of our guest artists and conductor, and listings of the musicians on stage and the staff, board members and volunteers who help create your PSO experience.

The house program also contains advertisements from businesses and organizations in the community that support the PSO.

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I don't know when to clap

Modern orchestra audiences tend to hold their applause until the end of an entire piece, because it is considered respectful of the musicians and the continuity of the music. Some audience members will be moved to show their appreciation by clapping after a movement within the piece, and this is okay too.

You’ll know it’s the end of a piece when the conductor lowers his or her arms and turns towards the audience. Pieces and their movements are also listed in the house program, so you can follow along.

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The dreaded cough, crinkle and crunch

If you have a cold, we recommend bringing water or unwrapped lozenges into the performance to help you feel more comfortable. Food and beverages sold at the lobby bar are allowed in the Showplace theatre, but only water is permitted in the Emmanuel United Church East seating areas. Please avoid crinkling lozenge and snack packaging, or crunching plastic cups and water bottles.

If you do have to cough during a concert, a good suggestion is to cough during a loud portion of the music. It’s also appropriate to quietly leave the theatre if you feel you are disrupting others, and you’ll be re-admitted during a break in the performance.

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Can I take photos or use my handheld device?

You are welcome to take still photos without flash before and after the concert, or during intermission. We encourage you to do so and post them to social media if you like. We love to see our audience members enjoying their experience with friends and family.

However, the use of handheld devices such as mobile phones, cameras, tablets and pagers is not permitted in the theatre during PSO concerts, nor is video or flash photography.

You may notice our official professional photographer discreetly taking photos for us before, during and after a concert. We encourage you to attend the lobby or post-concert reception to have your photo taken as you mingle with other audience members, musicians and supporters.

Where is the concert reception?

The PSO concert reception takes place immediately after the concert. At Showplace it is held in the Nexicom Studio, and at Emmanuel United Church East it is held in the auditorium.

Receptions are organized by a PSO volunteer and offer a chance for audience members, guest artists, musicians, staff, board members, volunteers and supporters to celebrate together after a performance. Light snacks, tea and coffee are served. When a concert and reception are at Showplace, the Nexicom Studio bar is open for the purchase of beverages.

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I bought a ticket, but now I can’t attend

If you have purchased a PSO concert ticket, but can no longer attend the show, we encourage you to pass your ticket along to a friend or family member you would like to introduce to the PSO.