Advertise on ChoralNet 
ChoralNet logo
The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

Determining Concert Length

Is there a formula for determining how long a concert will be when you know the length of the pieces? Seems like I had a professor who said something like for every 5 minutes of repertoire length at a concert, plan for an additional minute of concert length. For example, if there are 9 choir numbers totaling 35 minutes without any time between pieces, how does one figure out an estimate of the length for a concert?
on January 6, 2016 7:56am
Rather than relying on such a rule, I do this in a very granular fashion. I actually work in Excel and get very good results. I know this is really geeky, but I've been doing it for 23 years, and I am rarely surprised at how long my concerts actually are. My audiences end up happy and wanting more, since I never run excessively long.
Here is how I do it:
I keep one column for "Musical Duration" (of each song) and one for "RunTime" (the running total of the show up to and including that piece and the applause that follows).
I usually assume the concert will start at 8:03 if it's an 8:00 show time. Then I look at the exact duration of each piece and add that in. Then I add somewhere between 30 seconds and a minute per piece for applause, moving around, announcements from the stage, etc.
If you want to see an actual sample, e-mail me at jmiller(at) and I can send you one.
Applauded by an audience of 2
on January 7, 2016 6:15am
Hi Jared,
I also use Excel to track time but only of the pieces. I add time for applause, intros, and moving around by instinct. If we have a 45-minute set, I figure 38 minutes of music. If it's a 90-min set, I plan 79 min's of music. Then I run the whole set with the group multiple times and throw in some applause (they find this hilarious) as we go. I record the whole thing and at the end check the total duration. After 10 years, I can nail it exactly.
Sing on!
  • You must log in or register to be able to reply to this message.