Before You Listen

Real People. Real Music.

Before We Celebrate With You

How to Relax and Enjoy

Hey…you’re looking at our Before You Come webpage. That must mean you’re interested in our performances. Welcome! We love that you are here.

The symphony is a shared experience. We want you to be a part of our growing audience that is discovering how to enjoy both classical and newer music concerts in this new age. We want you to experience, enjoy, come back again, and talk with us about your experience with our music.

First, let’s get comfortable. In the section below, you’ll find some questions that we’ve helpfully (hopefully) answered to make sure your experience with us is relaxed and fun. Don’t see an answer to your question? Send us an email, ask us on Facebook, or give us a call. Maybe it’s a question others have that we can tack onto the list below.

Scenes from New Directions, New Possibilities – May 15, 2022

Where can I see a concert?

The Elkhart County Symphony performs most concerts in the heart of the Gateway Mile in Elkhart in The Lerner Theatre, a beautiful venue that was freshly updated and renovated in 2009. Our musicians are involved in other projects in the area, including ensembles performing through the county and collaborations with local arts groups.

The symphony also performs at Wellfield Botanic Gardens, Sauder Concert Hall at the Goshen College Music Center, and other locations.

When should I come?

Doors open an hour before each concert, but that’s up to our discretion. Events might force us to open later. So, you are welcome any time during that preshow hour. However, if you are late, you will not be seated until an appropriate time during the concert.

Where should I sit?

Just like the movies, seat selection is important. The Lerner Theatre has many to choose from, too, with a house that seats 1,700.

For another concert type, the front row might be prime for trying to get Bruce Springsteen to notice you. For our music, however, the first few rows are generally not the best. Sitting farther back will give you a better view of the stage and let the music properly blend before it greets your ears. In the balcony, the rules are reversed. You’ll want to sit as close to the front as possible for the best viewing and listening experience.

All that said, the best seat in the house can shift from concert to concert. For example, if there is a pianist on stage, people tend to enjoy sitting on the left so they can better see the performer’s fingers tickling the ivories.

How much does a ticket cost?

Prices vary depending on the performance, but generally, they stay between $14 and $35. We also offer student and senior pricing – just bring your ID. The most inexpensive tickets are those purchased in a season package at the beginning of the season.

Formal or casual?

This isn’t 1923. You don’t have to wear a ball gown or a tuxedo to listen to live music in a remarkable venue. Want to wear a dress? Great! You will find other people dressed up and having a great night on the town. Want to wear something more casual, like jeans? That’s also great. You won’t be alone in looking casual.

Dress for being in public. Wear shoes, a shirt, and bottoms. It’s that simple. We want you and everyone else to enjoy music in a comfortable atmosphere.

May I have a drink?

Have at it! The Lerner Theatre has drinks and concessions available before the concert and during intermission. We offer beer, wine, and basic mixed drinks. You can also purchase snacks. Concessions include popcorn, candy, and soda. We invite you to take any drink or snack purchased at the venue to your seat to enjoy during the concert.

How long is the performance?

It depends on the concert. However, we typically play between 90 and 120 minutes. We get tired, and you get thirsty, though, so we sometimes have an intermission that last around 20 minutes.

Where should I park?

The Lerner Theatre has a nice parking lot right across the street in the Civic Plaza, and there are several other parking areas within a block radius. There is a lot on East Marion Street between Main and East streets, along with two smaller lots, Spahn and Curtis, across Main from our front doors. All of these lots are public and free.

How should I act?

Be kind. Did you hear something you liked? Go ahead and clap. Let the performers know you enjoyed it.

The experience of the symphony audience is always at the front of our minds, and so we ask that you don’t talk during the performance, if possible. We want everyone to have an immersive experience with the music.

How will my friends know I’m at the symphony if I don’t check in on Facebook?

They won’t, and that’s not OK. Please check in and share. Take selfies before the concert to show off your awesome seats and have fun.

What we don’t want to see is your screen light up during the concert. Please don’t hold your phone up to video-record the music. It might be a nice memento for you, but for the listener behind you, it’s a glaring light interrupting their night out. Treat the auditorium like you would a movie theater.

Be respectful to those around you. Enjoy the magic of live music.

Who is invited?

Everyone. We try to have activities for children at a few events during our season, and we do our best to create a fun atmosphere, including things like photo booths and characters in our lobby as part of the experience.

At our concerts, you will see young adults, children, senior citizens, parents, and working professionals. Don’t know as much about orchestra music as a high school orchestra teacher? Come learn. Have a favorite movement from a Bruno Walter symphony? Maybe we’ll play it at a concert.

Before selecting an event, the important thing to do is to read the description on our website to see what activities might accompany the music, like our instrument “petting zoo,” and to learn about the music we will be playing.

What else is there?

Live music is a unique experience every time it happens. Though some of the compositions we play are hundreds of years old, the way will play them has an element of variation, just like a live performance at a rock show, play, or musical. After all, we are human and so are you. Orchestral music is a celebration of that shared humanity, and we look forward to celebrating that musical experience with you.

I can’t make it!

We’re sorry to miss you, but we will exchange tickets up to 2 hours before your concert. That’s subject to availability, but we’ll do our best to make sure you get the show you desire.

Call The Lerner Theatre box office to discuss tickets and performances.

Photo - The Symphony performs at Lerner Theatre in 2022

The Symphony performing at Lerner Theatre in 2022