Festival Etiquette for Directors 101, Part II 

Good concert/festival behavior is learned, and it is the director’s responsibility to teach it. If not the music teacher, who will teach the students about acceptable festival etiquette? 

A good teacher of festival etiquette… 

  1. Acts professionally as a model to students. 
  1. Includes expectations for chaperones as well as students. 
  1. Teaches students about when to applaud as audience members. (When the conductor’s arms have come all the way down to his/her side). 
  1. Teaches stage deportment:  Practice how to enter the stage and behave before the first downbeat.   
  1. Go quietly to their location. 
  1. No conversation at this time. 
  1. Look at the audience during applause. 
  1. Show respect and attention to the director. 
  1. Understands that a warm-up is not a rehearsal.  Abide by the festival’s schedule and leave warm-up and enter the stage on time. If onstage tuning is needed, keep it brief.  Remember – by tuning on stage, you are pointing out your group’s difficult passages to the adjudicators.  
  1. Times his/her music.  Do not assume that going over your allotted time will be viewed positively by adjudicators or other schools.  By timing your music, you show consideration for the judges, the festival staff, and other schools who have time constraints with busing and other issues. 
  1. Acknowledges applause with a smile and a bow and an acknowledgement of his/her performers.  
  1. Has featured students or sections stand and face the audience during applause. 
  1. Utilizes positivity.    When your students leave the warm-up room, make sure they leave on an encouraging note.  
  1. Uses the power of words to inspire students to perform their very best.