by Amy Dennison

There are standards and preferences for where we sit in the orchestra. The most common orchestra seating is where the violins are on the audience’s left, the viola’s on the right and cellos next to the violas inside. Sometimes, the celli are on the outside, and CCO has used both seatings. The string bass are at the far right.Then behind the strings are the woodwinds in two rows, brass behind the woodwinds and percussion in the far back.

This is typical. I remember when the cellos were moved to the inside and took their place right in front of the oboe section where I sit. I love hearing the large dark cello sound. ┬áBut for this concert, we are moving around and I think you’ll enjoy giving your ears a workout. The reason we are moving around is to accommodate our guest soloists, cello, violin and piano. These talented women, Ellen Shertzer, Larrie Howard and Janelle Gelfand will be performing the Beethoven Triple Concerto. Given the challenges of our performing space, we are using a reconfigured setup for the first half of the concert.
Many audience members have their favorite place to sit and hear a concert. Perhaps it’s right by the basses so they sit on the far right of the hall. Surprise! You’ll see the basses situated on the left side of the orchestra for the first half. And you’ll notice that the 2nd violins are opposite the first violins and the cellos are next to the first violins! The violas are inside next to the 2nd violins. This is to give room for the grand piano to nestle in the limited space we have. The woodwinds are far back and it is a totally new sound for us!
So join us Saturday night for a terrific concert and give yourself an “earobic” workshop that may surprise and hopefully delight you on a cold February evening!

Amy Dennison is an oboist for the Cincinnati Community Orchestra. You can find her blog at