Address audience behaviour at concerts

I have been a regular attendee at Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) concerts since 1979, when the orchestra was founded.

It has gone from strength to strength, and the calibre of its invited artists is outstanding and much appreciated by serious and loyal concertgoers.

However, I am horrified by the behaviour of some members of the audience at SSO concerts.

For example, there are many latecomers - a group that is almost non-existent in other concert halls around the world.

These latecomers clatter down the steps of the concert hall and disturb other seated members of the audience as they shuffle to their seats.

The obvious remedy is for concertgoers to plan to arrive early.

Some people also fail to show their appreciation of the performances by not applauding. This is ungracious.

Latecomers clatter down the steps and disturb other seated members of the audience as they shuffle to their seats... Some people also fail to show their appreciation of the performances by not applauding. Even worse is the behaviour of some members of the audience who leave the concert hall the minute the conductor lowers his baton.

Even worse is the behaviour of some members of the audience who leave the concert hall the minute the conductor lowers his baton.

There is a stream of people heading for the exits even as the orchestra and invited artists take their bow.

This is blatantly disrespectful and especially insulting to invited soloists.

I suggest a rigorous programme to educate concertgoers.

This can be done by handing fliers to latecomers and those people who leave early.

Ushers should also not permit people to leave until the concert is actually over.

I have attended concerts in almost every continent in the world and have not encountered the type of behaviour I see in Singapore.

The orchestra and the visiting artists give their best, and deserve due respect and recognition.

Margaret S. Gremli (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 17, 2017, with the headline 'Address audience behaviour at concerts'. Print Edition | Subscribe