Walking into Severance Hall is a different and sometimes new experience for most college students. Opposite the loud, grungy, and often smelly venues like Peabody’s and the Grog Shop, a regal atmosphere instantly hits you when you enter the timeless lobby.
As you work your way through the directions to your seat, you ascend winding staircases and cross famous lobbies. When you enter the performance room, it becomes more than just an evening out. People of all ages are wearing their best clothes and the lights dim to call attention to the stage.
The lavish ceiling artwork reflects the art-deco style that was prominent during the time period during which the interior of Severance Hall was designed. Silver and gold flower designs wind gracefully around each other, culminating in a fantastic visual experience. Blue velvet curtains and seat cushions add to this regality.
Before the music starts and silence steals the hall, a single unfortunate cough is enough for everyone to notice. The hall’s legendary acoustics can bring out anything from the tiny ring of a triangle to a blaring tuba note, but it can also reveal the smallest of audience interruptions.
Luckily, most Cleveland Orchestra audiences are pretty polite.
Classical is not the most popular genre today, but it is certainly worth seeing the Cleveland Orchestra and experience its powerful music surrounded by mind-boggling architecture. If students are not interested in purchasing a season pass, they can get ten-dollar tickets at the door by enrolling in the Student Advantage Program through the Cleveland Orchestra’s website.
Not only can college students get discounts at various Cleveland museums and restaurants, but they can also take advantage of one of the best deals Severance Hall has to offer.
This year, students can purchase a frequent fan card for only 50 dollars with a student ID. This pass is available to any student, not just those at Case Western Reserve University. Though the pass will get students into most concerts, pass holders must call ahead of time to make sure seating will be available.
Both options save a considerable amount of money. Even by utilizing the Student Advantage program just once, a student will save at least 20 dollars on a ticket. Needless to say, the Frequent Fan Card can help students who plan on going to more than a few concerts reap some big savings.
In my short experience of attending Cleveland Orchestra concerts, I have never been disappointed. Just last weekend, the smashing performances of Liadov’s The Enchanted Lake, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2 opened my eyes to three composers I had either never heard of or knew nearly nothing about.
More well-known compositions are coming up in the future, including Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4 next week, Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 Nov. 23-25 and Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker Nov. 29 through Dec. 2.
Because Playhouse Square hosts The Nutcracker, Severance student advantages are not accepted for this holiday classic. Despite this, Playhouse Square offers cheap and affordable tickets for anyone interested for as low as ten dollars.
A classic Cleveland Orchestra performance thus far was the All-Russian concert two weeks ago, featuring Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky, with a full choir belting out behind the animated instrument players. All pieces of the night demonstrated the Cleveland Orchestra’s musical power, executed with precision and passion.
With a season that spans into May 2013, the Cleveland Orchestra offers a broad variety of performances that can interest any musically inclined student.
For those who are not too sure if they will like it, a word of advice: Just try it. Some people are not fans of classical music until they step into the hall, and then they are sold.
Besides, with ten dollar tickets, what’s the harm in trying something new?