Frequently Asked Questions

The Music Foundation of Spartanburg is the presenting organization for the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra. MFOS has an office on the second floor of the East Wing in the Chapman Cultural Center complex at 200 E. Saint John Street in Spartanburg (we're in the building closest to Barnet Park). Please send mail to P.O. Box 1274 Spartanburg, SC 29304. Of course you can always simply e-mail or call us: (864) 948-9020.

The term "classical music" can be used in two ways. When it's capitalized, it's usually referring to a historical period (c. 1730-1820), the time of Mozart and Haydn. The other meaning of "classical music" is much broader, covering the entire canon of Western art music, from Gregorian chant to Philip Glass and beyond.

Not a whole lot. A full-size orchestra (about 100 players) may sometimes be called a "symphony orchestra" or "philharmonic orchestra"; these modifiers do not necessarily indicate any strict difference in either the instrumental constitution or role of the orchestra, but can be useful to distinguish different ensembles based in the same city (for instance, the London Symphony Orchestra and the London Philharmonic Orchestra).

Show lengths vary, but on average an SPO performance lasts about two hours (including intermission).

Yes. At intermission we sell drinks, pretzels, and candy in the upper lobby at Twichell Auditorium.

Yes. Donors receive notification throughout the year of opportunities for meet-and-greets and other special events where Music Director Sarah Ioannides will be present. School-aged children also have a chance to visit with Sarah in a group setting and share in her excitement about music. To schedule Sarah in your classroom, please contact the MFOS: (864) 948-9020.

All single ticket sales are final, but you may help us allow others to experience the SPO by donating your tickets for re-use. You will receive a donation receipt for tax purposes, and a lucky, worthy recipient will get your “free” tickets. Donate tickets by calling or e-mailing the Music Foundation of Spartanburg no later than 48 hours before a concert.
The tired stereotype that you must dress formally (tuxedos, evening gowns, etc.) for a classical concert lives on, but only in cartoons and old movies. Never let your wardrobe keep you from a concert! Your experience of the music is what's important, so wear whatever makes you feel comfortable. As you'll see, a lot of concertgoers wear business attire or casual business attire. We do ask that you refrain from using strong scents, as they may be distracting to other patrons and the performers.
Although no special knowledge or experience is needed to enjoy an orchestral concert, certain practices have become customary: After the orchestra is seated, the first person to come on stage is the concertmaster (the lead first violinist), who is greeted with applause and who then initiates the tuning process. Next comes the conductor (with or without soloist), who is again greeted with applause. Once the conductor has bowed and turned towards the orchestra, everyone becomes quiet so the music can begin. Silence is the canvas on which music is experienced, so for maximum concentration and enjoyment, the audience should be as quiet as possible. What would normally go unheard in daily life (whispering, humming, tapping, turning pages, etc.) is noticed by everyone. Of course, mobile phones and all other devices must be silenced before the performance.
This has been the subject of much debate. The tradition for the last hundred years or so has been to clap only at the very end of a piece, no matter how many individual movements there are. The purpose of waiting is to maintain an unbroken atmosphere so that the piece retains its unity. But in earlier times, it was not unusual for the audience to respond with spontaneous applause, sometimes even insisting that a movement be repeated before a piece could continue. Today, as more music lovers attend classical programs for the first time, enthusiastic applause does occasionally break out between movements. If you are worried about when to applaud, the safest course is to wait until the conductor has turned around to face the audience and everyone is clapping.
It's a good idea to arrive at least 30 minutes before your concert time. Then you'll have plenty of time to park, peruse the program and prepare yourself for the experience.
In consideration of our artists and patrons, late seating will take place during the first appropriate pause in the program at the discretion of management.
There is no minimum age for admittance to SPO programs. Due to the acoustics at Twichell Auditorium, everyone in your party, regardless of age, must be able to sit quietly through a two-hour concert without disturbing other patrons or the artists. Ushers may ask parents whose children are noisy or agitated to take them outside.
The use of any recording devices, including cameras, is not permitted in Twichell Auditorium.

Tickets ordered the before first concert must be purchased through the Music Foundation of Spartanburg office: M-Th // 9:00 am – 5:00 pm // 200 E. Saint John Street // (864) 948-9020.

Once the season starts, tickets must be purchased through the Twichell Auditorium box office: (864) 596-9725.

For groups of ten or more, group rates are available. Please call (864) 948-9020.

Twichell Auditorium is located at the front end of the Converse College campus in downtown Spartanburg (580 East Main Street, Spartanburg, SC 29302).

Directions From Greenville:
Take I-85 North. Merge onto the I-85 Business/Freeway Loop (Spartanburg). Take Exit 5A, merging onto US-176 East/I-585/Pine Street toward downtown. Travel 4 miles before turning left onto E. Saint John Street/US-29. At the next light (one block later), turn left onto Main Street. Converse College is on your left.

Directions From Gaffney: 
Take I-85 South. Merge onto the I-85 Business/Freeway Loop (Spartanburg). Take Exit 5A, merging onto US-176 East/I-585/Pine Street. Travel 4 miles before turning left onto E. Saint John Street/US-29. At the next light (one block later), turn left onto Main Street. Converse College is on your left.

Directions From Hendersonville: 
Start down I-26 East, crossing into South Carolina. Take Exit 19B for I-85 North (Spartanburg). Take Exit 5A, merging onto US-176 East/I-585/Pine Street toward downtown. Travel 4 miles before turning left onto E. Saint John Street/US-29. At the next light (one block later), turn left onto Main Street. Converse College is on your left.

Directions From Union: 
Take 176 West. Remain on 176, entering Spartanburg. Turn right onto Main Street. Travel .25 miles. Converse College is on your left.

Free parking is available in the two lots adjacent to Twichell Auditorium. For a visual reference, see Converse College’s campus map. (Parking in lots #28 and #29. Twichell Auditorium is building #32).

Yes. There are doors at the side of the concert hall to accommodate those for whom steps present a challenge. Please see an attendant if further assistance is needed.

The Music Foundation receives funding from direct donations. It is also funded in part by the Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg and its donors, the County and City of Spartanburg, and the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra


Visit Us

Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra
Chapman Cultural Center
200 E. St.John St., Spartanburg, SC 29306
864-948-9020

Twichell Auditorium (Converse College)
580 E. Main Street, Spartanburg, SC 29302
Tickets: 864-596-9724

Chapman Cultural Center
200 E. St.John St., Spartanburg, SC 29306
Tickets: 864-542-2787