First Timer's Guide

Before You Arrive  |  While You’re Here  |  After the Concert  |  FAQ 


Before You Arrive

When should I arrive? 
We suggest that you plan to arrive no later than 30 minutes before the scheduled start time to ensure that you have enough time to find your seat. 

What should I wear? 
There is no dress code. Anything that makes you feel comfortable is fine. Most people wear business clothes or dressy casual clothes, but you’ll see everything from jeans to khakis to cocktail dresses. In the interest of other patrons, please be considerate of those in the audience who may have allergies and refrain from wearing scented products such as cologne or perfume. 

May I bring a personal bag into the building?  
You cannot bring in backpacks, but you can bring in smaller purses and bags. All purses and bags are subject to search by Schermerhorn Symphony Center staff. When planning your trip to the Schermerhorn, please allow sufficient time and be prepared to have your bag searched upon entering the building. Click Here for a list of restricted and controlled items. 

May I bring my children? 
Children may attend any Nashville Symphony concert as long as they have a ticket – we do not allow babies or toddlers without a paid ticket (no lap seats available). Symphony staff will ask parents to take disruptive children out of the concert hall.* For families with young children, we recommend the Nashville Symphony’s Family Series, which was created especially for audience members ages 3-9. 

Parents who are breastfeeding and would like to do so in a private location should ask an usher for the best location to feed their child. 

*Customers who are removed from the theater will not receive a refund. All sales are final and there are NO refunds unless the concert is cancelled. 


Back to Top


While You’re Here 

What if I'm late to a concert? 
All late arriving patrons will be seated at the discretion of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center staff. For classical concerts, late seating is determined by the conductor of the evening's performance. For other concerts, late seating is determined by the artist and varies with each performance. Due to the variability of our late seating policy, we strongly advise that you allow sufficient time for travel and parking – you can use apps like Waze and Google Maps to check traffic conditions ahead of time. 

What are your food and drink options? 
The Schermerhorn Café and bars are open and ready to serve you before and during your performance. If you would like to enjoy a meal prior to or after the performance, click here to view a list of nearby restaurants. 

Please note that outside food and beverages are not permitted in Schermerhorn Symphony Center. 

Where are the restrooms located? 
Restrooms are available in the lounge located one floor below the Main Lobby; on the east and west sides of the Founders and Balcony level; and outside the Mike Curb Music Education Hall on the Founders level. All restrooms are equipped for guests with disabilities. Several family restrooms are also located on the lower level for guests needing special assistance. 

How long is a Nashville Symphony concert? 
Performance length varies depending on the repertoire and the featured performer(s). 

A typical performance will run approximately two hours with one 20-minute intermission. 

When is it appropriate to applaud at a classical concert? 
Audiences tend to wait until all movements or sections of a piece are completed before clapping. In some pieces of music, the orchestra will pause briefly for about 10-15 seconds between movements. The audience holds their applause during the short breaks in music, until the end of the entire piece. The conductor will signal when a piece is finished by putting his or her arms down and turning to the audience. You can check your program before or during the performance so you'll know how many movements to expect. 


Back to Top


After the Concert 

Stay Connected 
If you’d like to get the latest, most up-to-date information from your Nashville Symphony, sign up for our email list, and please be sure to add [email protected] to your "Safe Senders" list to ensure you’re getting our emails. 

Are you already signed up for our list but haven’t heard from us in a while? Please be sure to add [email protected] to your "Safe Senders" list, and check your Spam and Promotions folders. 

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and TikTok for updates and fun content. 


Back to Top