DD, DH and I went to a small concert in a church yesterday. Featured were 2 pianists, playing classical arranged for 2 pianos. The setting was 3 rows of chairs set in an oval around the 2 pianists. DD, DH and I were sitting in the second row, about 30 feet away from one of the pianists.
The first piece was by Mozart. I had never heard it before which is not surprising because I am not really into classical music. I went because DD and DH wanted to go and DD sings in a choral group that these 2 pianists used to be associated with.
A family including 2 boys, ages around 8 and 10, I guess, were seated behind us. They and an adult were whispering during most of the Allegro and it was annoying but the piece was loud so it was just annoying. The Allegro was very long. People clapped at the end of it, including the boys, a no-no but I think they thought it was the whole piece. Not a big deal.
The Andante started. As the boys were whispering, rather loudly, "Andante means slow and rather soft, as opposed to allegro, which means much faster, and the next part is going to be allegro again, whisper, whisper, see, I looked up the definition, etc., etc." This also meant that their constant whispering was VERY distracting and I was wondering if this was going to be a problem during the whole concert. Which was looking like a very, very long concert.
I did the head turn towards them. No effect. I did it again. No effect. Someone in the row ahead of me turned around to look. No effect. I finally turned totally around, looked at each one of them, and mouthed the words in a whisper, "You are too loud!"
That worked. They were golden during the rest of the concert. Good kids! I did hear one of the adults with them say soon after, some comment about that's one way to learn concert manners.
At intermission, I went out to get a drink of water and the two boys and an adult from their group were walking past me towards the restroom. The adult, who I knew slightly because she often takes tickets at these concerts, stopped me and said, "Thank you so much for ruining these boys first concert for them. They were invited here personally by [one of the pianists' names] and you spoiled it for them."
I paused because I was trying to figure out why the special status of being invited guests would excuse bad behavior and, if it really did, how was I to know that? Then I said, "That is not defensible. People from the first row were turning their heads around."
She and the boys were walking away by that time.
I did commit some PA behavior by relating the incident to my husband during the rest of the intermission in full hearing of two others in their group and remarking that this is not a family room, this is a concert and I paid to hear the pianists.
After the concert ended, we said hello and thank you to both performers and left. The woman who confronted me does have some influence in the choral group that my DD is a part of. DD has a disability which does not affect her singing but she is less than capable of defending herself if confronted with infighting and politics so I hope my exasperation at these boys doesn't affect her.
I think I was right to tell the kids they were too loud - help me if I'm wrong.