As a fan of classical music and concert halls in general, there is no better place than Philadelphia for me to get some great deals on orchestra concerts. After all, we’re home to the Kimmel Center, one of the nicest music halls in the states, and main stage of the Philadelphia Orchestra… but you probably already knew that.
What you might not have known is that as a college student, you can get some awesome discount tickets on the Philadelphia Orchestra’s internationally renowned performances. You already pay enough in tuition, so take full advantage of your student ID while you still can!
Never been to a classical concert before? There’s no time like the present: for the four years (or five… or seven…) that you have your official university student ID, you qualify for the Philadelphia Orch’s EZSeatU program, which seeks to crush the stereotype that classical music is only for grandpa. It offers student discount membership for some of the best pieces the orchestra plays during the season (past performances have included Gustav Holst’s The Planets and, Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird).
Here’s how it works: sign up online for a membership (it’s only $25!) and get tickets to every Philly Orch concert all season for free. You also get some cool benefits like a membership card with discounts at area restaurants. Just log onto your account, print your ticket, and present it to an usher at the door. On selected dates after the show, stick around for College Nights>, events just for college students that include food, dancing, and yes, music.
If you have a fear of commitment, there are some other options to get tickets at a great price. The Tuesday before the desired concert (check online for a full schedule), reserve your ticket online for $10 and pick it up at the will-call office the day of the performance – remember to bring your student ID.
You can also get student rush tickets90 minutes before the concert’s starting time for $8 at the Kimmel Box Office. Get there as early as possible, though – some performances don’t have a huge number of leftover student/community rush tickets, and popular pieces sell out fast.
Once you’ve got your ticket, whether it be through membership, rush, or online ticketing, remember this tip: nothing angers educated classical enthusiasts like the audience applauding even before the piece has finished (you’d be surprised how often this happens). It’s not always easy to tell when a song ends, since most suites average over 10 minutes and more with short changes, so here’s a tell-tale tip: when the conductor lowers his hand and turns to the audience, the piece is officially over.
Don’t be one of those people who start clapping in the second movement: it delays the performance and makes you look kind of stupid. And please, for the love of all that is holy, turn your cell phone off! With the flawless acoustics of the Kimmel’s main auditorium, you can bet even the balcony dwellers will hear your embarrassing ringtone, and it willbe the embarrassing joke one you thought was funny but ended up not being that funny once a sold-out crowd hears it.