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Frequently Asked Questions

We Want to Support You with Answers to Your Questions
If you have questions that aren't addressed here, please contact us by email marketing@orchestranova.org or phone (858-350-0290).

What should I wear?

We just want our guests to feel good about the evening…whatever makes you happy makes us happy.

Our concertgoers wear everything from casual to more formal attire. Some like to dress up for a more elegant experience while others come directly from work.  We suggest dressing in whatever you are most comfortable in, from jeans to ball gowns – the choice is up to you. 

This season, Qualcomm Premier A subscribers will enjoy a pre-concert reception that has been designated “black-tie optional,” so those concertgoers who enjoy a more elegant experience will have a venue where they feel very comfortable.

Can I do anything beforehand to help me get the most out the concerts?
The best thing you can do is to visit our web site, /, The sections that will help you most are: Concerts (where you can get more detail about specific concerts), About Us (where you can learn about our musicians and artistic director), Media (where you can read press releases about specific concerts and listen to podcasts or TV/Radio programs).

How long are the concerts?

Our concerts are approximately 90 minutes long.

How do you decide the repertoire for the programs?

Classical music is so many things, reflecting history and the panorama of life.  We have an embarrassment of riches when choosing music to present each season, and we try to create a balanced season that both seduces the imagination and richly satisfies the ear.  Our choices appeal to the broadest tastes, with an emphasis on being “audience friendly," meaning whether you're a first-time guest or a seasoned connoisseur, you're going to be very pleased.  What makes our orchestra unique is the dramatic way we perform these wonderful masterpieces.

When do I clap?
There are two schools of thought on when it is appropriate to applaud.  The first belief is that one should not clap until the end of multi-movement works like a symphony or concerto.  The idea is that the composer wrote the piece as a single entity and that it should be enjoyed that way, not disturbing the aesthetic flow. Traditional audiences believe that this is the "proper" way. The second school of thought believes that applauding after any movement that you enjoy is less formal and is actually based in history.  Composers like Mozart wrote how audiences enthusiastically applauded after movements that they enjoyed, and the orchestra would oblige and perform them again!  Mozart was extremely pleased when this happened.

So there is no "correct" answer.  Do what makes you feel most comfortable.  For those who wish to have a "traditional" experience, we hope they understand that when people applaud after movements, it often means we have new guests coming to our concerts who are expressing what is in their hearts! 

What is a chamber orchestra?

A chamber orchestra is a small orchestra consisting of up to forty members, usually performing in a smaller venue. A chamber orchestra offers musicians and audiences the opportunity to experience classical music in a more intimate orchestra setting. Before 1800, most orchestras were of this smaller size. However, as live music became available to a larger audience, the size of the performing halls became larger and composers needed bigger sounds to fill those halls. As orchestras increased in size, they became known as "symphony orchestras.” However, even contemporary composers are writing for chamber orchestras.

Do you have tickets for students or military personnel?

Yes, we have discounts for students and military personnel at all of our Classics Series concerts.  This season, we’re offering all students single tickets for $10 at all of our venues and a subscription price of $50 for the six-concert series. 

How do I get directions to the concerts?

Select "Concerts" on this web site, then "Concert Venues.” You will find directions and parking information for each of our concert venues.

I love Orchestra Nova San Diego! How do I get involved or give a gift?
Volunteers and donors are very important to the success of our orchestra, and are considered to be key members of our orchestra family. Check "Volunteer" under "Contact Us" on this web site for volunteer opportunities. For more information for corporate and individual donations, go to our web site Home Page and click on the “Support Orchestra Nova” area (bottom right corner) to make a donation online.  You can also contact us at development@orchestranova.org or 858-350-0290, ext. 5.

Can I bring my children?

Some of our concerts (such as the Asian Silk Road concert last season) captivate children of all ages, and we certainly want to encourage families to nurture a love of classical music in their children.  Parents are advised to research each concert or contact us for advice about specific concerts.  Children under seven are usually too young to attend the Classics Series of concerts simply because of the length of the concerts, but that problem can be resolved by giving them a taste of the music and leaving at intermission.

When should I arrive?

Concerts at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Downtown, begin at 7:30 p.m.  The box office opens at 6:30 p.m., and the doors open at 6:45 p.m.

Concerts at Sherwood Auditorium, La Jolla, begin at 7:30 p.m.  The box office opens at 6:30 p.m., and the doors open at 6:45 p.m.

Concerts at the Irwin M. Jacobs Qualcomm Hall, Sorrento Valley, begin at 8:00 p.m. 

The box office opens at 6:30 p.m., the Premier A Subscribers’ pre-concert reception begins at 7:00 p.m., and the doors to the hall open at 7:15 p.m.

Concerts begin promptly at their scheduled time, so late arrivals will be seated at an appropriate pause in the performance.


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