Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why does Kaleidoscope perform without a conductor?
A: For the musicians, it’s a very special collaborative process where everyone can work in a democratic way with equal artistic involvement, rather than just having one person in charge. It’s often more challenging and requires more commitment from musicians, but our audiences often say they feel a unique connection to musicians and the music we perform, which we think is a natural extension of our process!
Q: Are there other professional conductorless orchestras?
A: We’re the only one in Los Angeles and there are only a handful of others around the world. A few others that have been around longer include the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra (NYC), A Far Cry (Boston), and Les Dissonances (Paris).
Q: How often do you rehearse and what is your rehearsal process like?
A: It depends on the music, but we generally rehearse each piece 7 or more times in the week leading up to performances, with musicians committing to 20-30 hours of their time per program. We also offer many open-rehearsals to the public each season. Please follow us online to find out more!
Q: All of your concerts are 'pay what you can’. Why don’t you sell tickets anymore?
A: This is a brand new model for us with the start of our 3rd season and we want our concerts to be open to everyone who wants to attend. We feel a responsibility to help develop future audiences and engage with our whole community. Some people wonder why many classical music audiences aren’t larger and more diverse, and we think the ticket price can be one of the biggest barriers.
Q: How do I know how much to give? Do you have a suggested donation?
A: Please pay whatever makes you happy! We don’t have a suggested donation now because we want everyone to think about how much the experience means to them. Think about what you normally pay for other performances and what that experience means to you, and think about what ours means to you.
Q: When should I pay?
A: That’s completely up to you. It can be before the concert, afterwards, or even when you get home. We encourage most people to donate at our concerts if possible right after each performance, especially if it’s your first time. Think of it this way: If you went to a restaurant and they said you could pay whatever you wanted for your meal, how would you know what the total experience meant to you until after you finished dessert?
Q: What does my donation support?
A: Some of our largest expenses are venue rentals, percussion rentals, insurance, administrative costs, and compensating musicians. All money raised goes towards providing music at the highest level and serving the community, which includes premiering many new works and offering many free concerts at schools, hospitals, homeless shelters, and other underserved parts of the community. Because Kaleidoscope is a 501(c)3 non-profit, every dollar you donate is tax deductible for you, and tax free for us!
Q: Can I take photos/videos on my smart phone during the concert?
A: Yes, we actually love it when people take photos and videos during concerts, tagging Kaleidoscope musicians and friends at the concert, and share them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and elsewhere! We’re still a new group and this is one of the best ways we can continue to build our audience. However, please refrain from flash photography and remember to silence your phones!
Q: When is it OK to clap during a concert?
A: Some longer pieces have short pauses between the sections (movements), and traditionally people wait until the very end of the piece to clap. If you accidentally clap between movements, please don’t feel embarrassed or let that keep you from coming back. When someone claps at a ‘less traditional’ time, it let’s us know there’s someone new to classical music or who is hearing the piece for the very first time, which is a wonderful thing!
Q: You’re playing 16 premieres this season. Why so many?
A: We feel it’s vitally important to perform the great music of living composers, which is the most reflective of our time. If people didn’t play Mozart when his music was written, we might not be performing it today. 12 of the pieces being premiered this season came from a competition we held last spring where we received almost 900 applications from over 30 countries!
Q: What should I wear to a concert?
A: Something comfortable! Some people like to dress up for concerts but it's definitely not required.
Q: Do my children have to be a certain age to attend?
A: We love seeing families and children in the audience and we don't have a specific age requirement. We ask that you please make sure children are at a maturity level to be able to sit quietly without talking during the performance. We try to keep our concerts about an hour and if staying until the end is too long, we're happy to have you as long as you are comfortable.
Q: I love what you’re doing and want to help! How can I volunteer with Kaleidoscope?
A: We are always happy to hear from new people who would like to volunteer with us! Whether you’re recently retired with some extra time, still in school and looking for an internship, or anything in between, we’d love to hear from you! Volunteers are greatly appreciated at all levels!
Please email us for more info: firstname.lastname@example.org