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What to Expect


Coming to the South Dakota Symphony for the very first time can seem daunting for a concertgoer. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions that should make your visit memorable and stress free.

The plan to return to public performance has been carefully considered with your health and safety at its core. Click below for a detailed look at what precautions are being taken and the policies that will be in place for our events.

Your Health & Safety

1. Where should I park?


Parking at the Washington Pavilion is easy:  A public ramp is located on 12th street, across the street from the Wells Fargo CineDome. Ramp parking is free after 6 PM on weekdays, and all day Saturday and Sunday.


Accessible parking can be found on 11th Street and Main Avenue as well as the public parking ramp at 12th Street and Main Avenue. Metered-parking also is available on the west, north and east sides of the Pavilion. All street parking is free after 5:00 PM weekdays and 6:00 PM weekends.

2. When should I arrive?

Concerts begin at 7:30 PM on Saturday evenings and at 2:30 PM on Sunday afternoons. Please allow at least 15 minutes to find your seats before the show begins. Make sure to check the website for events happening before or after the concerts!

Concert Insights
6:30 PM      Before Saturday Classical Series Concerts
1:30 PM      Before Classical Matinee Series Concerts

Join Music Director Delta David Gier as he contextualizes the music and enriches the performance with background on guest artists and the repertoire. Concert Insights is held in the Mary W. Sommervold Hall of the Washington Pavilion.

7 @ 7 – Seven things to listen for in the concert!
7:00 PM    Before Saturday Classical Series Concerts

Join SDSO Assistant Conductor Thomas Fortner as he leads a pre-concert talk highlighting interesting features of the concert that evening. This fast-paced and energetic lecture takes place in the north lobby of the third floor prior to every Saturday evening Classical Concert.

3. When do I clap?

It is common courtesy to wait to applaud until a piece is finished. The end of a work is signified by the conductor putting his arms down and turning towards the audience. If you are unsure, you can wait for the rest of the audience to clap before you join in.

4. What should I wear?

Contrary to what most people think, formal attire is not required at symphony concerts. Most concert goers wear business casual.

 5. How long are the performances?

Performances are usually two hours long with a twenty-minute intermission. Drinks are available for purchase in the lobby before the concert and at intermission.

6. Can I take pictures?

No photography or videography is allowed in the concert hall.

 7. Can I bring the kids?

The South Dakota Symphony loves to have children exposed to the wonders of symphonic music during our Pops concerts. However, South Dakota Symphony Orchestra Classical Series concerts tend to be too long for young children. Children under the age of four are not permitted.

Our Crescendo Program offers free tickets to Classical Series concerts for children ages 5-18 with the purchase of an adult ticket.

Click Here for More Information

8.  What is a subscription?

A subscription series is a set of pre-selected concerts that you can purchase as a package. When you purchase a series you become a subscriber. Subscribers enjoy many benefits that single-ticket buyers don’t, including lower ticket prices, sitting in the same seats for every concert and ticket exchange privileges.

Our subscriptions come in a variety of packages. Visit our Subscriptions page for more information.

SDSO Series Subscriptions


Your Questions Answered – Your Questions Answered

Why is the SDSO changing the programming to the concert season?

All of the decisions regarding performing these concerts were made with your health and safety foremost in our minds. We have been closely following the research of orchestras all over the world concerning social distancing of both audiences and performers, and we will be incorporating the best and latest knowledge as we go into the fall. Flexibility is a key component of our strategy for navigating these unpredictable times, and further adjustments may be needed as we proceed.

This season is the SDSO’s 99th in a long history of building community through music. The repertoire this season reflects our commitment to safety, artistic excellence and fiscal responsibility — orchestras onstage may be smaller but the music played is certainly no less great. Come celebrate simply being together again, responsibly, but in community. Join us on “The Road to100”, in the marvelous experience of playing and listening to music which inspires and uplifts, enabling all of us to look forward with optimism and hope.

When concerts were canceled last season, I elected to receive a voucher to be used for the 2020-21 season. What is the status of my voucher?

SDSO staff and the Washington Pavilion box office have been working to prepare all aspects of the reimagined concert season. Vouchers are currently in the process of being finalized and will be mailed at as soon as they are prepared, with a now anticipated date of early September.

If you have questions concerning your vouchers, the Washington Pavilion box office team is available – 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Saturday; 11:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Sunday – to answer your questions. Please give them a call at (605) 367-6000 to talk about your ticket options. Alternatively, you may email us:

What happened to the September 19th performance of Beethoven 9?

When we canceled the last concerts in the 2019-20 season, we had the opportunity to reschedule our performance of Beethoven 9 to the date of September 19, 2020. Unfortunately, as the pandemic continued into the summer, we found that it would be impossible for the Chorus to rehearse properly.

Beethoven 9 will not be performed on September 19, 2020. Instead, this much-celebrated piece of music will be performed on the May 1, 2021 program celebrating the SDSO’s launch into our 100th season, featuring Emanuel Ax.

If you are a subscriber, your tickets will be converted into vouchers redeemable for any concert in the 2020-21 season. These make great gifts to share the music with friends and family.

If you purchased individual tickets to the original Beethoven 9 date, your tickets will automatically be reissued for the May, 2021 performance.

The Washington Pavilion box office team is available – 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Saturday; 11:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Sunday – to answer your questions. Please give them a call at (605) 367-6000 to talk about your ticket options. Alternatively, you may email us:

What options are available to 2020-21 season subscribers?

2020-21 season Super, Imperial, and Classical Series subscribers who have already renewed do not need to take any actions. Tickets will be mailed out in August.

2020-21 season Pops subscribers will enjoy J.S. Bach’s timeless Brandenburg Concerti, ‘Tis the Season, a program of romantic favorites on Valentine’s Weekend, music from Star Wars and Star Trek, and Beethoven’s immortal Ninth Symphony with the famous “Ode to Joy.” You will still receive 5 concerts for the price of 4, the best available seats, and full subscriber benefits. If you are not satisfied with the revamped concert lineup, please contact the Washington Pavilion box office at (605) 367-6000 to discuss options including exchanges and flexible packages.

2019-20 season subscribers who have not yet renewed still have until July 31 to renew your subscription. On August 1, we will immediately release your seats for other subscribers and the general public.

Physically distanced seating options will be available on a concert-by-concert basis. Check back to our website often or call the Washington Pavilion box office at (605) 367-6000 to see when physically-distanced seating is available for your performance.

What policies and precautions are you taking within the hall during performances?

For the full details on what we are doing to keep audiences and musicians safe at our events, please click here:

Your Health & Safety

How can I help support the SDSO during this time if I can’t attend concerts?

Your continued support continues to be important to the SDSO, especially during these uncertain times. Such gifts help the SDSO continue its mission of celebrating the tradition of live orchestral music and enriching the lives of people throughout our region. Donate online today at: