Plan Your Visit

First-timers’ guide to classical music concerts

If this is your first time attending a Mission Chamber Orchestra concert, welcome! We are glad you chose our performance to attend. Here are some things you may be curious about, and if we haven’t answered your questions here, please feel free to email us at, or leave a message on our phone message system: (408) 236-3350.


Our first concert will be held at the Hammer Theatre Center, 101 Paseo De San Antonio in downtown San Jose. The closest parking is at the Second & San Carlos Street garage at 280 South Second Street (at the corner of San Carlos). Enter the garage from either South Second Street or South Third Street. Parking is $5.00 after 6:00pm.
Our next concert will be held at the San Jose Scottish Rite Center, 2455 Masonic Dr., near the intersection of Curtner Ave. and Canoas Garden Ave. (between Almaden Expwy. and Hwy. 87.)  There is a parking lot at the venue.
Our June concert will be held at Five Wounds Portuguese National Church, 1375 E Santa Clara St, San Jose, CA 95116. Parking is on the grounds of the church.


Our Saturday evening concerts begin at 7:30PM, and you may enter up to an hour before the concert begins. Concerts generally last 90-110 minutes, including intermission.  Our Sunday afternoon concerts begin at 3:00PM.

How do I get a ticket and can I reserve a seat?

Tickets to all concerts are available on the Mission Chamber Orchestra website, Reserved seats are available at the Hammer Theatre Center only; other venues offer general seating.  We apologize, but we do not have a way for you to order by phone. Tickets are also available at the door starting one hour prior to the concert. If you arrive after the concert begins, we will ask you to wait in the lobby until the end of the first piece (or movement, if the first piece has several movements.)

May I record the music during the performance?

The orchestra hires an audio engineer to record all performances. Sometimes a videographer is also hired. These two people are the only ones authorized to record MCOSJ performances. Audience members find people using phones and cameras distracting, and sometimes soloists have specific statements in their contracts regarding recordings, so please do not photograph or try to record during the performance.

May I use my phone during the performance?

We ask that you have your phone on silent during performances. People who attend symphonic performances also often find the lighted screens from cell phones are a distraction. Due to COVID-19, this season we are experimenting with paperless programs.  There will be QR codes visible in the lobby so you can access a program on your cell phone, but please refrain from doing this while the music is playing.

What should I wear?

We hope you will be excited to attend an MCO concert and will want to dress up just a little. But if you feel you will enjoy the music more by dressing comfortably, then do so!

When do I clap?

A couple centuries ago, people clapped whenever they were moved to do so during a symphonic concert. Next crept in a tradition of not clapping between movements of a multi-movement work. (These movements are usually listed by name or by a tempo marking that is often in a foreign language.) In the last couple decades, that tradition has been relaxed somewhat. Now people feel freer to applaud when they really like what they’ve heard, though some are sticking to the previous tradition of withholding applause until the very end of a piece. We encourage you to clap whenever you want to show your pleasure and appreciation, with the caveat that slow movements often leave a feeling of peacefulness or resolve at the end, and lend themselves less to applause if there is another movement to follow.

COVID-19 Guidelines

The orchestra adheres to all Santa Clara County and State of California guidelines for rehearsals and concerts during the pandemic.  Since we want all our patrons to be safe, we will be asking for proof of vaccination and photo IDs to be shown before gaining entry to performances.  Appropriate face masks must also be worn.  MCOSJ wind players will be seated at the back of the stage and will be unmasked only while they are playing.