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Managing the Concert. Ch. 17: Planning and Managing The Concert Administrative Issues Marisa Bouwkamp. Organization: . Cue Cards . Great way to stay organized Keeps you focused before and after you step on stage Determines the length of time needed for each section of the concert.

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Managing the concert

Managing the Concert

Ch. 17: Planning and Managing The ConcertAdministrative Issues

Marisa Bouwkamp


Cue Cards

  • Great way to stay organized

  • Keeps you focused before and after you step on stage

  • Determines the length of time needed for each section of the concert.

    • Announcements/ verbal program notes

    • Entrances/ Exits from stage

    • Performance

Cue cards example
Cue Cards: Example

  • Before the Concert:

    • Concert programs: finished and placed outside the auditorium

    • Ushers: Organize a meeting

    • Doors unlocked

    • Equipment

      • Baton

      • Tuner

      • Scores

      • Announcement Cards

Cue cards example1
Cue Cards: Example

  • Warm-up

    • Double check wardrobe

    • Line-up for stage entrance

    • Lock the room when you leave

      • You may not want students to leave valuables in the room

Cue cards example2
Cue Cards: Example

  • Concert Begins

    • Bring down house lights

    • Opening announcements

  • On Stage

    • List of soloists to acknowledge

    • List of announcements for the audience


  • Topics

    • Concert etiquette

    • Upcoming dates: class trips, deadlines, concerts

    • Extra-curricular opportunities/ private lessons

    • Requests for parent help

    • Student Achievements

    • Special events

    • Thank-yous

    • Mistakes in the program

  • Presentation

    • Keep it brief

    • Small amounts in between ensembles or pieces.

    • Put in concert program or run on a powerpoint prior to the concert.


  • Before:

    • Tune each individual or in sections

    • Use regular tuning sequence with one common tone source

    • Strings: enlist help from experienced players

  • On Stage:

    • Concertmaster: have them enter from stage right and bow. Tune A first then direct students to move to D, G, C, and E

    • No concertmaster: use a visual cue to signal the tuning note

Student etiquette
Student Etiquette

  • Moving on stage

    • Change of Ensemble

    • Emergencies

  • Seated in the Audience

    • Have seating reserved to avoid issues during the concert

  • Posture and Instrument Position

    • Rest, Standing, and Playing Position

Conductor stage etiquette
Conductor Stage Etiquette

  • Entrance:

    • After the group has settled and tuned

    • Carry only a baton, have music on podium opened

    • Don’t look at the ground

    • Acknowledge the audience

  • Applause

    • Be gracious

    • Gesture to soloists and ensemble

    • Turn to the audience, smile, bow (head down).

    • Bow after every piece but only after the other acknowledgments

Conductor stage etiquette1
Conductor Stage Etiquette

  • Beginning a piece:

    • Make eye contact with timpanist and players who begin the piece

    • Lift hands in the conducting ready position

  • Ending a piece:

    • Conductor’s hand and players instruments should stay up until the last note has decayed

    • Lower hands in a way that reflects the style of the ending

Aural program notes teaching audiences what we teach our students
Aural Program NotesTeaching Audiences What We Teach Our Students

  • Comments should be short and objective

  • Help guide listeners to find something to which they can relate

  • Allow students/ administration to participate

  • Topics:

    • Introduce themes and motive

    • build layers in a thickly textured piece

    • break down harmonies

    • show how a theme transforms

    • introduce unusual instruments


  • Feldman, Evan, Ari Contzius, and Mitchell Lutch. Instrumental Music Education: Teaching with the Musical and Practical in Harmony. New York: Routledge, 2011. Print

  • Phillips, Kenneth H. Directing the Choral Music Program. New York: Oxford UP, 2004. Print.

  • Nimmo, D. (2002). Programming the perfect concert. Teaching Music, 10(3), 34-38. Retrieved from

  • Music Education Blogs: