Do more than follow the music

When is following Twitter during a classical concert not considered rude? How about when the orchestra expressly asks you to?

The Costa Mesa-based Pacific Symphony is requesting that patrons break with the rules of concert decorum on Saturday by keeping their cell phones and mobile devices on. Throughout the evening concert, which takes place at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine, the orchestra will be tweeting tidbits about the music and the artists, including information about the string trio, Time for Three.

Concert-goers can follow the tweets by subscribing to @PacificSymphony. The concert will feature Time for Three playing pieces that mix classical, bluegrass, jazz and other genres. In addition, the orchestra will perform John Williams' overture from "The Cowboys," Aaron Copland's suite from "Billy the Kid" and more.

Asking audiences to keep their mobile devices on during a performance isn't exactly new in the arts world. On Broadway, promoters for Neil LaBute's "reasons to be pretty" last year devised a texting game for audiences to rate their attractiveness as well as the attractiveness of their seatmates. Other stage productions around the world have used Twitter as a way for audiences to ask questions for post-show talkbacks.

The Pacific Symphony is dubbing Saturday's event as a "tweet-cert." In fact, it said that members of Time for Three will be writing many of the tweets during the concert.

Certainly some audience members will find it strange to shell out as much as $105 for a ticket only to spend the concert staring at their iPhones. After all, you can do that for free from the comfort of your home.

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