Frequently asked questions

What to know when you come to the Symphony

What is the difference between a symphony and an orchestra?

symphony refers to the music performed, and an orchestra is the ensemble of musicians that performs the music. A symphony is a usually a large-scale musical composition, requiring 50-90 players, that is performed by a symphony orchestra.

Who plays in the orchestra?

The Fort Smith Symphony is the oldest professional orchestra in Arkansas, performing 5 season concerts, a free community concert, and an education concert each year, in addition to chamber music performances and education events. The musicians of the orchestra are professionally trained musicians, usually with music performance degrees from accredited universities, and are paid per service for their skills. 

Auditions for open seats in the orchestra are not currently available.

Where does the Fort Smith Symphony perform?

The Fort Smith Symphony’s five season concerts are performed at the ArcBest Performing Arts Center at the Fort Smith Convention Center. Other concerts, such as the free community concert and Perspectives Chamber Music Series, take place in various locations across the River Valley. Check individual concert listings for more information.

How long is each concert?

Each Symphony concert is between 75-90 minutes, plus a brief intermission. Some concerts do not require an intermission. Movies in concert usually run longer; please check movie run times and intermission information on individual concert listings. 

What do I wear to the Symphony?

Wear what makes you comfortable! Our audiences can be seen wearing evening wear to business casual to street casual. There is no enforced dress code, but please arrive adequately clothed for the public, including shirt and shoes at all times. 

Can I arrive late to concerts?

We recommend you arrive at least 30 minutes early to each concert in order to park and find your seats with adequate time. Once the concert begins and announcements are made, doors will be closed, and late entry will only be permitted during breaks in the music. This could be up to 30 minutes into the concert beginning, so arriving on time is paramount to enjoy your evening. 

Is my ticket purchase a donation to the Fort Smith Symphony?

Ticket purchases do not qualify for a tax-deductible donation unless they are returned to the box office to resell.

You can visit How to Support to learn more about making a charitable contribution to the Fort Smith Symphony.

Are tickets refundable?

Ticket purchases cannot be refunded or exchanged. If you are unable to attend a concert, you can return your ticket as a tax-deductible donation to the Fort Smith Symphony. Tickets are transferrable; you can give them to others who would like to use them! 

Is there food for purchase?

Convention Center concessions are open during all of our concerts, offering beverages and snacks for sale. 

Are children welcome at concerts?

While all Symphony concerts are family-friendly, we recommend the concert experience for children 8 years and older. Children younger than 2 years of age are not recommended for Symphony concerts. 

For movie concerts, please check the content ratings at your own discretion.

Who qualifies for student tickets?

Children under 18, and currently enrolled university or college students qualify for discounted student tickets. You may be asked to show a current student ID upon purchase.

What are Symphony After Parties?

Symphony After Parties are events hosted by the Bakery District for Symphony audiences after each season concert at the ArcBest Performing Arts Center. Your concert ticket gets you a free wine or beer from the Max Ox bar, and music will be performed on the patio, weather permitting.