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SYMPHONY 101

Newcomers Guide

We are so glad you’ve come to this page on our website!  That means you are either thinking about joining us for a concert or have already purchased tickets and are looking for more information.  The Atlantic Classical Orchestra is excited to share the sounds of musical masters of past & present and we want your time with us to be a wonderful experience.  Below is information on the more commonly asked questions about coming to a concert. Have a question not listed below?  Simple send us email at info@aco-music.org and we will be happy to answer!   Looking forward to seeing you at one or all of our concerts!

WHERE DO YOU PERFORM?

The Atlantic Classical Orchestra serves communities along the Treasure Coast and the Palm Beach, playing in Vero Beach (Waxlax Center for the Performing Arts at St. Edward’s School); Palm Beach Gardens (Eissey Campus Theatre at Palm Beach State University): and in downtown Stuart (Lyric Theatre).

Additionally, this year the ACO will be performing its opening concerts at the Community Church in Vero Beach and at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Stuart to accommodate the choir that sings in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (Ode to Joy).

HOW OFTEN DO YOU PERFORM?

The Atlantic Classical Orchestra plays from January through April.  The ACO plays four orchestral concerts each of those months (Palm Beach Gardens for one concert, Vero Beach for one concert and in Stuart for two).  Additionally, there are three Chamber Music concerts performed in both Stuart and Vero Beach.

WHAT TYPE OF ORCHESTRA ARE YOU?

The Atlantic Classical Orchestra is a chamber orchestra.  That means we model ourselves after the orchestras that played in Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven’s time (but don’t limit ourselves to that repertoire only!) Picture a period of powered wigs and itchy woolens.  Those composers wrote orchestra music that was meant to be heard not in a big concert hall – but in the private (yet really big and lavish) houses and castles of their patrons- in their music rooms and private chambers.

A typical chamber orchestra has a substantial contingent of strings (violins, violas, cellos, and basses) as well as pairs of flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, horns and trumpets.  Those 50 or so players are often supplemented with timpani, other percussion, and often additional wind and brass players depending on the demands of the repertoire.

WHAT TYPE OF MUSIC DO YOU PLAY?

The Atlantic Classical Orchestra plays concert music – that is non-improvised, structured compositions.  This coming season, the music we play spans several centuries.

The 18th century produced materpieces from Mozart and Beethove (whose genius carreied into the 19th centure as well).  The ACO will perform:

  • Mozart’s Serenade No. 6, K. 239, D major (Serenata Notturna) [1776]
  • Mozart’s Concerto, Flute and Harp, K. 299 (297c), C major [1778]
  • Mozart’s Symphony No. 40, K. 550, G minor [1788]
  • Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, op. 125, D minor (Choral) [1822-1824]

The 19th century (1801-1900) brought us brilliant works from Schumann and Brahms, of which the ACO will perform:

  • Schumann’s Symphony No. 2 op. 61, C major [1845-1846]
  • Brahms’ Symphony No. 2, op.73, D major [1877]

The 20th century (1901-2000) presented us with the glorious talents of Prokofiev, Barber and Bernstein.  The ACO will perform:

  • Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony, op. 25 (Symphony No.1) [1916-1917]
  • Prokofiev’s Concerto Piano, No. 3, op. 26, C major [1917-1921]
  • Barber’s Concerto, Violin, op.14 [1939-1940; rev. 1949]
  • Bernstein’s Serendade (After Plato’s “Symposium”) [1954]

The 21st century continues to bring forth exciting new talents in composition.  Through the Rappaport Prize, the ACO will present:

  • Hannah Lash, World Premiere of 2018 Rappaport Prize
HOW LONG IS A CONCERT?

The length of a concert depends upon the pieces being played.  Traditionally the program lasts around two hours (like with movies, there is some variation).  In most concerts that we perform there are three pieces: The first part of the concert usually begins with a brief opener (an overture), followed by a concerto (a work featuring a soloist out in the front of the orchestra – usually showing off).  Then intermission (half time).  The second half features the orchestra playing a long-form work – like a symphony (in several movements).

WHEN DO I APPLAUD?

To clap or not to clap – well, that depends.  When these masterworks made their premiere, audiences were more vocal and participatory.  They often made spontaneous displays of approval or disapproval.  There was booing (please don’t bring that tradition back), and there was applause.  Lots of each, and often.  Symphonies, with their multiple movments, once gave audiences ample time to clap between them (or boo).  At the premiere of a Beethoven symphony, the audience went so totally nuts after a middle movement that Beethoven repeated the movement right then and there!

But, like with everything, there is a balance.  Audiences were spontaneous with their display of approval, but it sacrificed the potential (fragile) balance of the thoughtfully crafted concert music.  We call a symphony a balance of the thoughtfully crafted concert music.  We call a symphony a ‘piece’ and all of its parts – its movements – which add up to one thing – a ‘piece’, a ‘work’, an ‘opus’.  The ‘no clapping’ rule began to take shape after the early masters (Mozart, Beethoven) died, and their works took on a reverential glow. There was no longer room to boo, and therefore, no longer room to interrupt.  But what happens if you like what you heard and what you want to clap?  Is that considered a social faux pas?  Some symphonies would prefer you to wait.  Yet at the ACO, the musicians want to know what moves you.  If you feel compelled to clap and beam with a great big smile, then please do.  The music is meant to illicit a response and sometimes that includes clapping!

WHAT DO I WEAR TO THE CONCERT?

Comfort is key.  We want you to be relaxed and enjoy the music.  Some of our patrons enjoy dressing up and making an evening of the symphony.  Others come in casual yet respectable clothing.

Our musicians have a gift they want to share with you.  Having you attend one, or all four of our concerts is what is important.  We want you to share in the soul moving experience of our symphony – no matter whether in a suit and tie, polo and khakis, cocktail or sundress.

HOW CAN I GET FAMILIAR WITH THE MUSIC BEFORE I GO?

A few ways.  On our website we have spotify playlists on all of our concert pages.  You can listen from your computer or iPad, or you can download the Spotify App and take us on the go.

Our Music Director and Conductor, David Amado is a great communicator.  Join the Maestro in a pre-concert lecture which starts 40 minutes prior to the concert.  Get an insider’s look into the music and the people that wrote it.  Maestro Amado’s style, knowledge, and wit, make these preconcert opportunities some of the most valuable and sought-after added-value components of what we do at the ACO.

You will receive a program book chock full of great information about the composers and their works.  Perusing the concert notes while waiting for the musicians to take the stage is another great way to learn more.

WHAT ABOUT CELL PHONES?

While we listen to music on our cell phones and we are pretty sure that Beethoven would own one in today’s world, phones don’t have a place in the score.  Make sure you turn them off or put them in silent mode.  The time at the symphony is your time with your orchestra.  that phone call from your mom or your best friend can wait.  Or better yet, bring them along!

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Atlantic Classical Orchestra, Inc. is a 501 (C) 3 organization.  A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Division of the Consumer Services by calling toll-free (1.800.435.7352) within the state.  Registration does not imply endorsement, approval or recommendation by the state.