If you have never been to a concert band performance you are missing out in life. There is something elegant and ethereal about entering a chamber hall whose walls reverberate with the sound of music. The magic quality in orchestral music has the power to transport you into a world of whimsy and love. No wonder classical music thrives to this date.

You could be a band member, an instrumentalist, a manager or even an ardent audience member if you want to learn about the seating arrangement in concert halls. Your reasons will vary according to your role and intentions. As a member of the band, knowing the seating arrangement will help you organize placement of your band members. If you are a manager then the knowledge of the seating will help you decide where to seat an important guest. For the enthusiastic audience member, knowing where to sit can make a huge impact on their listening experience. 

Whatever your reasons may be, a concert band seating chart template will come in handy. This article will provide you with many great template options, such as these –  

Example Template #1

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Example Template #2

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Example Template #3

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Before diving deep into more such templates, you should learn what a seating chart is. This guide will also teach you the basics of designing a concert band seating template.

Why Choose a Concert Band Seating Chart Template

The members in a concert band will change according to the venue and the concert itself. You might then wonder how a ready-made seating chart template will help you when your ensemble is different. The answer is – it most certainly will.

You see, basics do not change. A concert band may have a few extra or less instrumentalists but the instruments will largely remain the same. Also, their proximity to and the placement around the conductor might also follow a set pattern. These patterns have proved to be effective, standing strong in the test of time.

Also, such concert band templates are easy to use and alter as per your personal requirement. You will save time and energy. There will be no trouble of drawing the seating arrangement from scratch. All you need to do is make some adjustments and label places on the ready-made sketch. By saving this precious time you can completely focus on band practice and give your best to the show. 

What is a Concert Band Seating Chart Template

A concert band seating chart is a blueprint of the band ensemble’s positions during a concert. It shows where different instrumentalists will be placed for maximum effect. The placement of the band members can be affected by many factors. It can depend on the venue as the size of the chamber hall can affect the quality of sound. Positioning can also be influenced by the piece of music being performed. Different musical sets lay emphasis on different instruments (some can be viola-heavy while others might keep wind instruments at the fore).

A traditional concert band comprises of woodwind instruments (like flutes and clarinets), brass instruments (like trumpets and flugelhorns) and percussion instruments (like base drums and cymbals). The players of these instruments are led by a conductor (also called the music director). Nowadays more experimental concert bands may include an ensemble of different instruments like piano, synthesizer, harp and even electric guitars. 

What are the uses of a Concert Band Seating Chart Template

As mentioned earlier, the knowledge of concert band seating can help in the placement of players for maximum impact. A seating chart provides precise dimensions of the chamber hall where the band will perform. Based on these details you can visualize the sound quality and the number of people occupying the hall space. For audience members, a seating chart of the concert band members can help them decide which seats to book for the best sound.

You should consider the following 4 factors while deciding the placement of your musical ensemble –

Get Details of the Concert Venue

In this context, “Details” refer to the very geography of the concert space. If you are a part of the band, you will most likely rehearse in a separate space whose size and acoustics will differ vastly from the actual venue of the performance. You must visit the actual venue and understand its acoustic properties. A few rehearsals in the real venue is also important.

Many factors can change the quality of your band’s sound. For example, the balance of sound will change greatly depending on the direction in which your instrumentalists are facing. The sound balance will also undergo a dramatic change if the backseats in the audience is raised. You need to keep such factors in mind

Interaction Between Players

A concert band may perform in unison, but it is composed of individuals at the end of the day. Depending on the piece of music being performed, different players will have to interact with one another during the concert. In such cases it is not only enough for the players to hear each other. They might even need to see each other.

Placing your MVPs

Just like sports, there are some instrumentalists who are better than others. These players often take the lead and cover up if something goes wrong. Also, the conductor usually makes eye contact with these players to cue them for various acts. It is not possible for the conductor to interact with all the band members. Therefore, you need to place these players where they can be seen and heard effectively.

Dividing Different Sections

Here are some suggestions to divide your ensemble into sections. If a given piece requires the woodwind players and the brass players to play similar parts, you can seat them in the same area of the band. They will be able to see the conductor better and tune themselves more easily.

When it comes to horn players, it is best to include them within the entire ensemble than towards the audience. The horn leader should face the remaining of the horn players. To do this, have the rest of the horn players on the right-hand side of the leader.

For percussionists, it is best to keep them at the end of the ensemble, near the wall. This is because a hard surface (like the wall) can amplify the sound a percussion instrument makes. Again, this will depend entirely on the musical piece.

Look at these concert band seating templates –

Example Template #4

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Example Template #5

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Example Template #6

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Characteristics of a Great Concert Band Seating Chart Template

Your concert band seating chart should contain the following essential details in order to be useful –

  • Map of the Stage – Precise stage measurements are helpful as they tell you how many instrumentalists you can place onstage. But if you have visited the venue and made that estimate, you can simply get a drawing of the stage. This will allow you to place different instruments as per your requirement.
  • Symbols and Names – You need to mark different spaces and areas on the chart to decide where to place your players. Some templates use the name of the instruments. But it is also possible for you to use symbols to denote the instrument. If you decide to use symbols, make sure you add a scale to the chart so a reader knows what these different symbols stand for. 
  • Details – It is always safe to mention the name of the orchestra or the music director on the chart. The chart will look very professional. In case you lose it, it will be easier to find as your name and contact details are mentioned on the chart.
  • Important Information – Write important notes on the chart otherwise you might forget them. For example, if the wall behind the stage is a far, mention it on the chart. When you practice with the percussionists you will know about this detail and thus place them accordingly for maximum resonance.

Check out these examples of concert hall seating template –

Example Template #7

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Example Template #8

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Example Template #9

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Example Template #10

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Best Design and Fonts for a Concert Band Seating Chart Template

A concert band seating chart serves a functional purpose, not an aesthetic one. Follow these tips to maintain the chart’s effectiveness through its appearance.

Design and Color

Keep it simple. If you add too many elements and imagery, the reader can get confused. It is advisable to use symbols and images of instruments instead of text as it will save you more space. But this decision is entirely up to you and your working style. Also, make sure that the background is white for clarity. You can, however, color-code the different ensemble sections.

Look at these template examples –

Example Template #11

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Example Template #12

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Example Template #13

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Example Template #14

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Example Template #15

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Text Font Style

Use a simple font style. Do not go for fancy fonts that a reader may fail to understand. Legibility is more important.

These are some great examples of seating chart template.

Example Template #16

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Example Template #17

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Example Template #18

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Example Template #19

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Example Template #20

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Conclusion: Dos and Don’ts

To reiterate some important points, remember to “do” and “not do” the following –

Things to Do –

  • Study the actual venue
  • Keep the chart simple and clean

Things Not to Do – 

  • Use too many images or fancy fonts. Your chart should be easy to read and understand.