Audience FAQ

What Should I Wear?

We like to think that attending the Messiah Festival is a special event. Therefore, it is acceptable to dress up a bit. Today’s standards for business formal or business casual are both acceptable.

What is the Seating Policy?

The auditorium doors will open one hour before the performance begins.  Since we are on a radio broadcast schedule, the starting time will be strictly observed.  Please allow plenty of time for not only travel, but parking, unloading passengers and finding your seats before the performance begins.  The ushers will help you find your seats. Please have your ticket stub torn so we can get the most accurate attendance count possible.

Auditorium doors are closed when the performance begins. If you arrive late, please wait by the entry doors until the ushers let you in, and then quietly take your seat.

If you must leave before intermission or the end of the performance, we request that you do between movements if at all possible in order not to disturb others around you.

What are the House Rules?

Cellular phones, watch alarms and electronic devices must be turned off/completely silenced before the performance begins.  Presser Hall Auditorium was specifically designed to carry sound, so please refrain from talking or whispering as this can be very distracting for the performers and fellow audience members. Smoking is not allowed on Bethany College Campus. Food and beverages are not allowed inside the Auditorium.

Are Children Allowed to Attend?

Children interested in listening to the performance are very welcome! Young children (under age eight) may not be able to sit still long enough, however. Please take your fellow concertgoers into consideration when deciding to bring small children.  Every person attending must have a ticket/seat (no children in arms or laps, please).

When Do I Clap?

Many works in classical music have multiple movements. Most often, a short pause falls between each of the movements. It is customary not to clap in between movements.   However, at the very end of the performance, feel free to clap as loudly as you like and to your heart’s content!

Am I Allowed to Take Pictures or Record Any Part of the Performance?

The simple answer is No. For legal purposes, please refrain from taking any photographs with cameras or cell phones; additionally any sound or video recording of any kind is strictly prohibited.  Our ushers reserve the right to ask any patron caught taking pictures or recordings to please leave the auditorium, and no refunds will be issued.

How Long is a Typical Performance?

Typically, a full performance of Handel’s “Messiah” lasts approximately three hours, including intermission. Bach’s “Passion” will run approximately two and a half hours, including intermission.

What is the Ticket Return Policy?

We cannot offer refunds or exchanges.  You may return your tickets to the Messiah Festival Office prior to the performance date and a contribution receipt will be mailed to you from the Bethany College Office of Advancement.