Newcomers' Guide

If you are reading this, you are probably either thinking about purchasing a ticket to one of our events, or you already have and want to know what to expect. We are so excited you are going to join us and want to make your experience as enjoyable as possible!

Whether you are a newcomer to classical music or a symphony veteran, we want you to have a fantastic experience at our concerts. You don’t have to be an expert in classical music to enjoy! You can watch how the musicians and conductor interact with each other and listen to how the music ebbs and flows. There is no right way to experience classical music. 

If you have questions that are not answered on this page, please contact Amber Broderick, General Manager at or call our Box Office at 630.778.1003.

Our season and family concerts are performed at Wentz Concert Hall on the campus of North Central College in downtown Naperville.

In addition to our season and family concerts, we offer free summer concerts and numerous outreach events. 

Wentz Concert Hall is located at 171 E. Chicago Ave. in downtown Naperville and parking is in high demand on Saturday evenings so please plan accordingly.

Valet parking will be available for the December 17, 2023 concerts for a modest fee.

Street parking is available around North Central College and there are 3 parking garages in downtown Naperville within walking distance. 

Parking garages are located at:

  • Chicago (Central) Parking Facility – 65 E. Chicago Ave. – MAP
  • Van Buren Parking Facility – 43 W. Van Buren Ave. – MAP
  • Water Street Parking Facility – 130 Water St. – MAP

The City of Naperville has introduced a new tool to help track parking availability in its garages. The Downtown Parking Viewer is an interactive tool that shows both real-time and historical parking trends at three downtown Naperville parking garages.

The tool can also be installed as a shortcut for both Android and iPhone mobile phones using instructions found on the City’s Downtown Parking page


Please plan to arrive at least 20 minutes early to visit with friends in the lobby, find your seat, read the program notes, and watch the orchestra warm up. Most concerts start on time, and if you are late you may end up listening to the first piece in the lobby. If that happens, the ushers will allow you inside during a suitable pause in the program that won’t disturb other concertgoers.

If you arrive even earlier, you can take advantage of some of the activities in the lobby. Doors open thirty minutes prior to the concert.

Season Concerts – Before our season concerts, we offer a Pre-Concert Lecture starting at 6:30 pm, held in Room 138, which you can access from Wentz Hall. Pre-Concert Lectures are a great way to get to know the music and what to listen for, such as specific themes, storytelling, or special effects. The lectures are suitable for a general audience without any prior musical experiences. 

Additionally, we may have a high school chamber group performing in the lobby as part of our Preludes & Interludes series.

We want you to be comfortable at our performance, so what you wear is your choice! Many of our patrons love dressing up for the concert (cocktail or business attire), though there are many who like to wear jeans. We want you to be comfortable when you join us for a concert, so dress in a way that works for you. 

We get this question a lot—and the answer is everyone has their own preference. There really is no ‘bad seat’ in the Wentz Concert Hall. 

In general, our most popular seats are in the balcony or on the main floor, towards the center and back of the hall. The Choral Balcony offers a special birds-eye view of the orchestra and our conductor, perfect for those who love to follow the baton.

Our Adult ticket prices are $38.00 for the main floor and $43.00 for the balcony or choral balcony. Our Senior (65+) ticket prices are $34.00 for the main floor and $39.00 for the balcony or choral balcony. Student tickets are $15.00 for the main floor and $20.00 for the balcony or choral balcony. A group of 10+ may purchase tickets at a 15% discount.

You might! Whether you realize it or not, classical music is around us all the time: in commercials, movie soundtracks, television themes, cartoons, retail shops, and even some elevators! Popular music often quotes classical melodies, too. While you’re listening in the concert to a piece you think you’ve never heard before, a tune you’ve heard a hundred times may jump out at you. Much of the music may sound familiar or you might experience something completely new.

Of course! There are many educational opportunities available for each season’s concert. Check out the individual event pages for a link to additional information on the pieces or composers.

We try to fill each concert with educational opportunities; attend the pre-concert lecture or open rehearsal, read the program notes in our program book while listening to the musicians warm up. However, if you would like to learn more in advance, check out these resources:

  • The Education section of the Naxos Records web site has an introduction to classical music, biographies of composers, a glossary of musical terms, and an excellent guide to live-concert listening. You can also stream loads of classical pieces, so this is a great place to visit if you want to listen to a work a couple of times before you hear it in concert. 
  • You can find most music on Spotify if you would like to listen in advance.
  • Kids can play musical games at for starters and visit its music links page to connect to more great music sites.

Our season concerts vary in length but typically last about 2 hours with a 15-minute intermission.

Our family concerts last about 1 hour and do not include an intermission. 

This is the number-one scary question! No one wants to clap in the “wrong” place. In most classical concerts the audience does not applaud during the music. They wait until the end of each piece, then applaud. But this can be a little tricky, because many pieces seem to end several times—they have several sections, or “movements.” You’ll know this by looking at the pieces listed in your program. The movements will be listed under the title of the piece. Your signal to clap is when the conductor drops their arms to their sides and turns to face the audience.

Did you clap too soon? Don’t worry—it happens! We are just happy that you are enjoying your experience.

We ask that you keep your phones silent or off during a performance. However, when the orchestra is not playing, we encourage you to take selfies and let others know that you are having a fun time! Please tag us, too—we love to see your faces. You can find us on Facebook at “DuPage Symphony” and on Instagram at @dupagesymphony.

What to AVOID: Phones ringing or making noises during the concert, or your screen blowing up so much it might as well be a strobe light! 

What we DO like: People having fun and sharing that fun experience with others! So post selfies on Instagram (tag us, please!) and check in on Facebook (tag us, please!) – just do so at intermission or after the performance.

You are more than welcome to take pictures of yourself and friends when the orchestra is not performing. As soon as the house lights go down, however, please remember that the DuPage Symphony Orchestra prohibits the recording of its performances via camera, digital camera, cell phone, camcorder, audio tape, or with any other electronic device.

Cameras, video recorders, and tape recorders aren’t permitted in concerts. If you happen to have one with you, be sure to stop at the coat-check and check it in before entering the auditorium. If you have a camera and want a souvenir of a special evening at the symphony, we have a wonderful DSO selfie station with musical instruments for you to use as a backdrop. Tag us and post to your social media and you could win free concert tickets!

Coughing can be an unavoidable problem—but there are ways to avoid coughing during the music. Feel free to bring unwrapped cough drops into the concert hall. Be sure to visit the water fountain in the lobby before the concert, and at intermission. If you absolutely can’t restrain yourself, try to wait for the end of a movement. Or “bury” your cough in a loud passage of music. If this is impossible, and you feel a coughing fit coming on, it’s perfectly acceptable to quietly exit the concert hall. Don’t be embarrassed–your fellow listeners will probably appreciate your concern for their listening experience.

We ask that you only do this during an emergency so that everyone can enjoy the music undisturbed… but if you must, please make your way to the nearest exit. Remember that audience members who have to leave the hall before the conclusion of a work will not be reseated until a convenient break in the music.

Of course! But be aware that many standard-length classical concerts are challenging for small children because they require a long attention span that is difficult for youngsters to maintain. Most concerts also are held at night and stretch beyond bedtime.

Our family-friendly matinee concerts are held on Sunday, December 18, 2022 and on Sunday, March 19, 2023, with shows at 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM. This concert is designed specifically for families and children and lasts for about an hour, without intermission. All children require a ticket for a seat, which are available at discounted prices.

We are happy to chat with you about our programming and what young listeners might enjoy or not enjoy. Young children are especially intrigued by the many different instruments of the orchestra and the way they are played. Try to sit up close to the orchestra, so your kids will have a great view of everything that’s going on.

If you cannot attend a performance, you may exchange tickets by 3:00 p.m. the day of the performance for a 7:30 PM performance or by noon for a 2:00 PM performance. You may exchange tickets in person or by phone (630.778.1003) for another performance within the same season. There is an additional cost if seating upgrades apply, and all exchange requests are subject to availability. 

You may also donate your tickets back to the DuPage Symphony and receive a donation receipt for the value you paid. You may donate tickets in person or by phone.

Yes, absolutely! We welcome groups to our concerts and offer a discounted ticket price for adults and special seating arrangements. Call our box office at 630.778.1003 for details and for seating options. For most concerts we offer a 15% off standard ticket prices for a group of ten or more when the tickets are purchased together.

We do not offer refunds. You can exchange* your tickets for another concert or turn them in and receive a tax letter for your charitable donation credit for the value of the ticket purchase price. Please contact us at least three days prior to the concert to receive a tax letter.

*Exchanges based on availability. Requests must be made three days in advance of the concert.

You should expect to have fun! You will have an opportunity to meet new people and learn something new. If you see someone wearing a DuPage Symphony Orchestra nametag, please introduce yourself, especially if it is your first time. We’d love to get to know you!

At Wentz Hall and our other outreach venues, we have incredible ushers, volunteers, and board members present, always standing by to answer any questions that come up. If you have questions before your performance, reach out to our team at or find us on social media.

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