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I'VE NEVER BEEN TO A CLASSICAL CONCERT BEFORE!
You've come to the right place. Everyone remembers how unsure they were at their very first concert, so we've put together a list of the most commonly asked questions below. If you can't find the answer here, please contact us using the online form, or email here or just come along to a concert – the people on the ticket desk at the entrance will always be pleased to help, or to point you at someone who can.
What is classical music?
Like so many kinds of music, defining exactly what is 'classical' is quite difficult. Experts would say that it is music from a particular period of history, around 1750 and 1830. But people also use the term more generally to mean music played by a number of instruments together in an orchestra, or perhaps a smaller group. There may be a choir and instrumental soloists or singers too. The music may have been written as long ago as the 14th century or as recently as this week.
Will I enjoy a classical concert?
Never underestimate the 'wow factor' of a full live concert. It's always so much more than just putting on a CD at home. But like anything, the best way to find out if you'll enjoy it, is to come along to a concert and try it out for yourself. Why not bring a friend along to share the experience too?
What should I wear?
Whatever you want! Whatever feels comfortable. The most important thing is that you enjoy your evening. Some of our audience members dress quite smartly, and some just turn up in jeans or track suits and trainers.
When should I clap?
If you're not familiar with the music, it can be difficult to know when you are 'supposed' to clap. Normally, you clap only at the end of a piece (rather than between movements). If you don't know the music well, your concert programme will tell you how many movements there are in a piece. There is usually (but not always) a short pause between movements, which you can use as a guide. If you're unsure, just wait until everyone else starts clapping and then join in!
How long is a concert?
Around 2 hours, 19:30-21:30, divided into two sections of 45-50 minutes each, with an interval of about 20 minutes in the middle.
Are concerts suitable for children?
We believe it's very important to encourage young people to come along to all our concerts, and for this reason we offer a lot of our concert tickets at a flat rate of £1 for anyone under 12 years of age. You do have to be mindful though, that each concert half is around 45-50 minutes long, and that the very youngest children may find it hard to sit still and listen for that length of time. You don't want to put them off for good!
Can I buy tickets on the door?
Yes, but to be absolutely certain of your tickets you need to buy them before the evening of the concert from Benfleet Music or online at WeGotTickets. Ticket price details are here.
Are there refreshments available?
Yes. Coffees and teas are served in the entrance to the hall by members of Save The Children fund for a donation.
Where can I park?
There is ample parking in the car park of Morrisons Supermarket opposite the Temple.
What about accessible facilities at The Salvation Army Temple?
The Salvation Army Temple has the following facilities:
• Unisex Disabled Toilet facilities
If you have any particular questions about disabled access, you can contact the hall here.
What are all the instruments?
A full symphony orchestra can look confusing on the stage. There is a good guide to all the instruments, what they look like and what they sound like available here.
How can I find out more about classical music?
Classic FM (if you can live with the adverts), or BBC Radio 3 (if you can't) are good places to start.
Alternatively, most of the generally acknowledged classical "goodies" are listed in Classic FM's Hall of Fame – a kind of top 300 of classical pieces, voted for by listeners. Once you know the names of pieces, you can use Spotify on your computer to search for, and listen to them, or go down to your local library and borrow from their large selection of classical CD's.
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