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Frequently Asked Questions for Educators

Jane H. Kesson School Concert Program Questions

Registrations and Making Changes

How do I ...

  • Change the number of tickets I have purchased?
  • Change my order to a different date/time?
  • Cancel my order?
  • Add my school to a waiting list for a sold-out date/time?
  • Make changes to my school’s account (i.e. changing the group leader/primary contact, changing mailing address, etc.)?

Please contact the Philadelphia Orchestra Education and Community Initiatives Department at school_concerts@philorch.org

How do I …

  • Acquire a copy of the insurance form for the Orchestra/Kimmel Center?
  • Acquire any additional forms/information in order to get field trip approval?

A copy of the 2019–20 Certificate of Liability Insurance and other forms are available on our Teacher Resources Page

Refund Policy:

No refunds or adjustments for ticket cancellations will be made within seven (7) days of a performance. Any refunds on paid orders more than seven (7) days prior to your scheduled School Concert will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Teacher Resources

Where can I access…

  • Online resources for Link Up: The Orchestra Rocks?
  • Electronic versions of the teacher and student guides?
  • Sheet music for the participatory portions of the school concert?

https://www.carnegiehall.org/Education/Educators/Link-Up/Resources/The-Orchestra-Rocks

Are the online resources available in any other languages?

Spanish: https://www.carnegiehall.org/Education/Educators/Link-Up/Recursos

If I’ve requested hard copies of the teacher or student guides, how can I get them?

These can be picked up from the Orchestra’s Administrative Offices by appointment. Please email school_conerts@philorch.org with the number of guides you are requesting to schedule a pick-up time. Guides can also be collected at one of our Professional Development sessions if you let us know ahead of time how many you would like for your students.

What is a docent?

Our Orchestra docents are enthusiastic volunteers who would be delighted to visit your classroom and help prepare your students to attend the concert. Docent presentations are designed to increase students’ knowledge and understanding of the music, musicians, and concert hall.

How do I …

  • Request hard copies of teacher or student guides if I did not do so in my registration form?
  • Request a docent visit if I did not do so in my registration form?
  • Register for a Teacher Workshop/PD Session if I did not do so in my registration form?
  • Request information about other resources for my students and have any other questions answered?

Please contact the Philadelphia Orchestra Education and Community Initiatives Department at school_concerts@philorch.org

Seating Assignments

When will we find out where my group is sitting for the concert?

Schools will receive their seating assignments upon check-in the day of the performance. Teachers will receive one group ticket with their seating assignment to hand to the ushers when the house opens. 

What should I do if I need to update the accessibility needs of my chaperones or students?

Please contact the Philadelphia Orchestra Education and Community Initiatives Department at school_concerts@philorch.org

Transportation

Parking and Directions

For all questions regarding directions to the Kimmel Center and parking options, please visit

https://www.kimmelcenter.org/plan-your-visit/how-to-find-us/

Where do I find busing information and instructions?

Busing instructions can be downloaded from our Teacher Resources Page; these will also be sent to you via e-mail a few weeks prior to your concert date. 

What time should our bus(es) arrive at the Kimmel Center?

Please plan to arrive at the Kimmel Center 30–45 minutes prior to the start of the concert.

Where should our bus(es) drop us off?

Buses may pull up along the southbound side of S. Broad Street, anywhere between Walnut and Pine Streets.

When and where should the bus(es) return to pick us up?

Buses should return to the Kimmel Center 5–10 minutes prior to the concert’s end, pulling up along Spruce Street between Broad and 15th.

Check-In

What do I need to bring to check-in the day of the concert?

As soon as you arrive, find the check-in table and provide Philadelphia Orchestra staff with your school name and final headcount. Schools will ONLY be seated once their entire group has arrived. Please inform a staff member if you are still waiting on part of your group. 

What if my group arrives after the concert has already started?

Our ushers will do their best to find a suitable moment and discreet location to quietly seat your group between pieces. Please keep in mind that School Concerts are only 45 minutes long and there may be a point when it is no longer worthwhile to attend.

Food and Lunches 

Can we pack lunches to eat in the Kimmel Center before, after, or during the concert?

Due to a lack of space and necessary clean-up staff, the Kimmel Center does not permit school groups to bring food or beverages into the Kimmel Center, including Commonwealth Plaza (the lobby). 

Additionally, Verizon Hall always has a strict no food and drink policy, which will be enforced for School Concerts.

Is there someplace nearby where we can purchase lunches or have a picnic?

Due to space and clean-up staff limitations, the Kimmel Center does not allow school groups to bring food/eat lunch in the Kimmel Center. There are two nearby food courts (within 5–10 minute walks) at which schools could potentially sit down to purchase and/or eat packed lunches before or after rehearsal. These include the Shops at Liberty Place and the Dining Court on the lower level of the Bellevue Hotel.

Directions to The Shops at Liberty Place 

Directions to The Bellevue Philadelphia

General Questions

What is the inclement weather policy for the Orchestra/Kimmel Center?

https://www.philorch.org/sites/default/files/01%20Inclement%20Weather%20Policy%20%281%20page%29.pdf

If our school’s visit is canceled due to inclement weather, will there be an option to exchange our tickets or receive a refund?

The Philadelphia Orchestra has a very strict policy regarding the cancellation of concerts due to inclement weather. To cancel a performance, the Orchestra requires that the City of Philadelphia declare a state of emergency, not just a snow emergency. However, all available measures will be taken to reschedule any missed performances due to weather. To check the status of a Philadelphia Orchestra School Concert, please call the School Concert Hotline at 215.893.3157 prior to the performance. 

Are there any resources available about concert hall rules and etiquette?

Yes, please visit our Teacher Resources page to view a printable copy of our Guide to Audience Behavior. We encourage teachers to study and discuss this guide with their students prior to attending a School Concert.

What to bring to the concert:

  • Recorders (if you have them)
  • Violins (if you have them)

What not to bring: 

What will happen when the concert is over?

When the concert and applause have ended please stay seated. We will dismiss schools to the appropriate exit (either Spruce Street or Broad Street) as their buses arrive.

Can we schedule a tour of the Kimmel Center immediately before or after attending a School Concert?

Requests for free tours of the Kimmel Center are organized through the Kimmel Center and must be made at least two weeks in advance. Please visit https://www.kimmelcenter.org/plan-your-visit/free-tours/ for more information. 

 

Jane H. Kesson School Concert Program Questions for SDP Schools (Billy Joel Schools): 

Registration and Making Changes 

What can I do if I need more than 73 tickets for my school?

Please let us know if you need more tickets by e-mailing us as school_concerts@philorch.org. Depending on available seating for your chosen concert time, we may be able to offer you some options for increasing your order.  

What should I do if another teacher has already registered a class from my school, but I would like to register for a different group of students?

Please contact us at school_concerts@philorch.org if you think someone has already registered for your school. We recognize there may be multiple music teachers/classes at some schools and will do what we can to accommodate these circumstances on a case-by case basis. 

How do I ...

  • Change the number of tickets I have reserved?
  • Change my order to a different date/time?
  • Cancel my order?

Please contact the Philadelphia Orchestra Education and Community Initiatives Department at: school_concerts@philorch.org

Do I need to pay for my school’s concert tickets and/or bus transportation?

No, your school’s tickets (up to 73 total) and optional busing are completely covered by the generous support of the Billy Joel School Concert Fund. You may receive an invoice at your school address, but this is primarily in case your administration requires documentation of the free tickets.

If our tickets are free, do I still need to notify the Orchestra if we are no longer able to attend?

Yes, it is crucial that you notify us if you need to cancel your trip. This will open up seats for students from other schools to attend and will also ensure we do not mistakenly hire buses on your behalf.

Transportation

How do I know if the Orchestra has reserved the bus(es) for my school?

A few weeks prior to your concert date, we will forward you a copy of your school’s trip confirmation. 

Does our bus reservation cover additional stops or alternative routes?

No, our bus funding only covers one direct round trip between your school and the Kimmel Center.

What should I do if I receive an invoice for busing?

Please do not pay the invoice. Depending on the bus company, the trip confirmation we forward to you may be the same as an invoice. If you receive any invoices directly from a bus company, please forward them to us at school_concerts@philorch.org.

Cancellations

How do I cancel the bus reservation for my school?

For cancelations several days or weeks before the concert date, you may cancel your bus by e-mailing us at school_concerts@philorch.org. For last-minute cancellations, please ALSO contact the bus company directly by telephone.

Will I be charged a fee if I cancel at the last minute and forget to notify the bus company?

Most bus companies have a grace period for cancellations that are made at least 24-hours before the scheduled pickup time. Even if you must cancel a bus within that 24-hour period, call the bus company directly so they do not send a bus. 

If I must cancel my school’s visit unexpectedly, will it be possible for us to attend a later concert?

Depending on ticket sales, we may be able to offer the option of an alternate concert time/date.

Open Rehearsal Questions 

Registration and Making Changes

Can I register for my students to attend more than one Open Rehearsal this season?

In order to provide access to as many students and schools as possible, schools are limited to attending/registering for only one Open Rehearsal per season. If your school attempts to register for multiple dates, you will be contacted to select one preferred date to attend, and all other reservations will be cancelled.

How do I ...

  • Change the number of seats I have reserved?
  • Change my reservation to a different date?
  • Cancel my order?

Please contact the Philadelphia Orchestra Education and Community Initiatives Department at: school_concerts@philorch.org.

How do I …

  • Add my school to a waiting list for a sold-out date/time?
  • Make changes to my school’s account (i.e. changing the group leader/primary contact, etc.)?
  • Acquire any additional forms/information in order to get field trip approval?

Please contact the Philadelphia Orchestra Education and Community Initiatives Department at school_concerts@philorch.org

Seating Assignments

When will we find out where my group is sitting for the Open Rehearsal?

Open Rehearsals are general admission and groups will be seated on a first-come first-served basis upon arrival at the Kimmel Center.

What should I do if I need to update the accessibility needs of my chaperones or students?

Please contact the Philadelphia Orchestra Education and Community Initiatives Department at school_concerts@philorch.org.

Food and Lunches

Can we pack lunches to eat in the Kimmel Center before, after, or during the rehearsal?

Due to a lack of space and necessary clean-up staff, the Kimmel Center does not permit school groups to bring food or beverages into the Kimmel Center, including Commonwealth Plaza (the lobby). Additionally, Verizon Hall always has a strict no food and drink policy, which will be enforced for Open Rehearsals.

Is there someplace nearby where we can purchase lunches or have a picnic?

Due to space and clean-up staff limitations, the Kimmel Center does not allow school groups to bring food/eat lunch in the Kimmel Center. There are two nearby food courts (within 5–10 minute walks) at which schools could potentially sit down to purchase and/or eat packed lunches before or after rehearsal. These include the Shops at Liberty Place and the Dining Court on the lower level of the Bellevue Hotel.

Directions to The Shops at Liberty Place 

Directions to The Bellevue Philadelphia

General Questions 

What grade levels are Open Rehearsals available to?

Since our Open Rehearsals for Students serve as working dress rehearsals for the Orchestra, and students are required to sit quietly for long periods of time, this program is only made available to middle school and high school students.

Can my middle school or high school child attend an Open Rehearsal if they are homeschooled?

Yes, homeschooled students may register for Open Rehearsals, provided they are accompanied by a parent or adult chaperone. Please indicate on your registration form that you are registering as a homeschool group.

Can we schedule a tour of the Kimmel Center immediately before or after attending an Open Rehearsal?

Requests for free tours of the Kimmel Center are organized through the Kimmel Center and must be made at least two weeks in advance of the tour/Open Rehearsal date. Please visit: https://www.kimmelcenter.org/plan-your-visit/free-tours/ for more information.