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Concert & Venue FAQ

A few FAQs to help you know what to expect.

What is Chamber Music?

Chamber Music is played and sung with friends, among friends, in intimate settings. Performing forces vary from a soloist to a small orchestra or chorus, usually one performer on a part without a conductor. The repertoire is the largest and most diverse in the classical music genre with thousands of works, an entire world of music, waiting for us to discover, hear and enjoy.

What Should I Wear?

Your experience of the music is what’s important, so wear whatever makes you comfortable. We’re serious about our music but we’re still a pretty informal Festival. We do ask that you refrain from using strong scents, as they may be distracting to other patrons.

Are There Any Customs That I Need to Know?

No special knowledge of music or experience is needed, although we ask all our patrons to observe a mutual respect of each other and their ability to enjoy the concert. Talking over the music, tapping your feet so that others can hear you, rustling of the program book pages, or things of that nature are discouraged.

When Should I Applaud?

This is a question that worries a lot of people. Holding applause until the end of a complete work is a custom that evolved in concert halls during the early 20th century. Most chamber music works have several movements. If the audience responds to a movement with excited applause, join in. The safest course is to wait until the performers face the audience and everyone is clapping.

When Should I Arrive?

It’s a good idea to arrive 30 minutes before your concert time. Then you’ll have plenty of time to park, peruse the program and prepare yourself for the experience. The Music Shed opens at 7:30 pm for our 8:00 pm concerts. The Box Office at the Music Shed opens at 7:00 pm on concert nights. A big part of the Norfolk concert experience is the social aspect – enjoy the grounds, have a picnic, meet some friends. Our grounds are open all day and you’re very welcome to come early and  enjoy the setting.

What If Am Late?

Late seating will take place during the first appropriate pause in the program at the discretion of management.

May I Use a Cell Phone or Twitter During a Concert?

The use of all recording devices, including cameras, cell phones and tablets is not permitted in the Music Shed at any time.

May I Take Photos or Record the Music

The use of all recording devices, including cameras, is not permitted in the Music Shed at any time.

May I Bring My Children?

Kids always come free at Norfolk! We welcome children to our concerts provided they are not disruptive to the other patrons. We also encourage you to bring your children to our Young Artists’ Performance Series.  These programs feature mainstream chamber music repertoire in magnificent performances by the Fellows studying at Norfolk. While concerts are not programmed specifically for children, they have a less-formal concert environment.


Parking is conveniently located on the lawn adjoining the Music Shed.  An easily accessible patron drop-off area is located at the front of the concert hall. Ample Handicap Parking is also available.

For Patrons with Disabilities

The Music Shed is handicap accessible. Several spaces of Handicap Parking are available near the front door.  We regret that ushers may not physically assist patrons wishing to transfer into theater seats. Service animals are welcome at the Music Shed.


The grounds of the Ellen Battell Stoekel Estate are open to the public on concert days and feature rolling hills and refreshing brooks – perfect for a pre-concert picnic or a leisurely stroll.  Bring a blanket and settle into a shady corner or use one of the many picnic tables dotted around the grounds. No time to pack a picnic?  Order one instead.  Visit our website for details.

Concessions Booth

Located just outside the Music Shed on the patio, the concessions booth opens at 6:00 pm prior to each Friday and Saturday night concert and remains open through intermission. Offered are assorted baked goods, ice cream, coffee, Harney and Sons teas, and sparkling water. Please note that only water is allowed inside the concert hall.