Symphony Usher Information

Thank you for volunteering to usher for the Symphony Concerts!
Below is some information we hope you will find useful.


  • Serve as hosts and hostesses for music events.  You are the first face the patron sees and are the ones who set the mood for the event.
  • Tear or scan tickets
  • Direct patrons (to seats, restrooms, water fountains, elevators, phones, department, box office, or orchestra staff, etc)
  • Hand out programs
  • Alert the house manager to any problems or emergencies.
  • Help enforce the rules of the venue (no food or drink, latecomer entry, photography, etc)
  • Be present and ready to help!  Even if you do not have a specific task (during intermission, for example), you are helping by being available should a patron need something.
  • Help pick up programs after the concert.


The Department of Music House Managers are responsible for managing all of the "front of house" or non-performance aspects of concerts and events. The House Manager’s job is to make sure that the event runs smoothly, all parts of the building function properly, all patrons’ needs are met (if possible), the Music Department presents a professional appearance to the world, and all rules and laws are followed. The safety of the audience, the building, the University of Virginia, and the reputation of the McIntire Department of Music are their top priorities. 

House Managers train and supervise the Ushers, Recording Techs, and Desk Supervisors. They supervise all contractors, monitor who is in secure spaces, act as liaison with the Event Contacts, Ushers, Arts Box Office, the fire department, ambulance, police, ground security, housekeeping, and UVA Facilities. House Managers must present a professional image, solve problems calmly, and be able to speak with authority on behalf of the Music Department.


Old Cabell Hall is on the Lawn at the University of Virginia

MLK jr Performing Arts Center at Charlottesville High School. 1400 Melbourne Rd, Charlottesville, VA 22901


Symphony ushers arrive one hour before the concert time

Saturday night call time is 7:00 in the Old Cabell Hall Music Office.  You will see the Music Office on the east side of the lobby.  
Sunday afternoon call time is 2:30pm at the MLK Performing Arts Center at Charlottesville High School. Just ask anyone at the ticket table where you should go to get trained.


If an emergency arises and you cannot usher as planned, you must promtly call the Music Department Office at 924-3052 or email with “usher cancellation” in the subject line.


Wear your finest white-top and black-bottom outfit with comfortable black shoes.  All-black clothing can be worn as an alternative. Many Symphony patrons dress up for concerts, so take care to look your best! Double-check your clothing for neatness (minimize wrinkles, remove pet hair, etc.).  The House Managers will give you an “usher” badge to wear. The uniformity of dress along with the name badge helps patrons identify ushers when they need help.


Saturday:  Park at the Central Grounds Parking Garage, next to the UVA bookstore.  This Garage is free for Symphony events.  If you choose to park elsewhere, use caution and pay close attention to signage.

Sunday: The two lots directly in front of the MLKPAC entrance are reserved – with signage and dashboard permits – for  major donors, VIP guests and patrons with mobility issues.  Able-bodied ushers should park in the next lot down, toward the high school entrance.


Please inform the house managers about any problems or emergencies as soon as possible.


Food and drink are not permitted in the auditorium.  There are water fountains and restrooms in the lobby


  • The box office opens in the lobby an hour prior to each concert for patrons to purchase or pick up already purchased tickets. 
  • If someone hands you a ticket they can not use, please give it to the house manager or box office as soon as possible.
  • The house managers will have a sample ticket at your training.  Here is a photo of one.  You will want to scan barcode (on concerts with scanners), or tear and keep stub of the ticket with the bar code.




If you are asked to tear tickets please tear along the thick blue line and keep the small stub of the ticket with the bar code on it.  These stubs get counted and scanned so we can accurately evaluate our attendance and compare it with our box office sales records.


Symphony concerts are assigned seating events.  Please study the venue maps and ticket format ahead of time.


Most double-seating problems are just a matter of people sitting in the wrong seat.  Ask to see the ticket, and compare it to the row and number on the seat. If this is not the cause of the confusion, check the dates on the tickets.  Rarely people come on the wrong concert date day (please note where the date is on the ticket).  Very rarely we will have patrons who release their tickets to the box office and then forget they have done so and either give the physical tickets to a friend or come themselves.  If you encounter a double seating that is something more then a patron sitting in the wrong seat please take the problem to the House Managers.  The House Managers and Box Office will be able to deal with it.  We try to find seats for everyone. 


The House Managers will inform you of the latecomer policy in your pre-concert training. Ask the House Managers if you have missed that part of the training.  


Since these concerts are assigned seating the house managers will be putting out seating charts in the lobby on music stands, and inside the each of the main doors.  Seating charts for the venues are below as well, but if you would like a hard copy of the seating chart, the house manager can give you one. 

Charlottesville High School:



UVA Department of Music
112 Old Cabell Hall
P.O. Box 400176 Charlottesville, VA 22904-4176