Commack High School Spring Concert I - Grade 9
First concert of the spring season at Commack High School and it was a great one. All the 9th grade ensembles performed with lots of families in the audience. If you're interested in the camera settings I used for this concert, here goes - my white balance was set manually to 3200K; I shot at ISO 3200 with a wide open aperture which varied depending on the focal length of the zoom lens; my shutter speed was anywhere from 1/20 to 1/160 sec. depending on the light. Obviously, no flash.
Lenses, and sometimes cameras, with vibration reduction (image stabilization) built in are extremely helpful for concerts. Whenever you're dealing with stage lighting there's going to be a wide range of light levels, much of it pretty dim. Vibration reduction helps a lot when you need to lower your shutter speed for a proper exposure. It will minimize your camera shake but just realize that it won't do anything about the movement of your subject. Luckily, musicians and singers don't move a lot for these types of concerts so, as long as you take enough photos, some are bound to be acceptably sharp.
Outside of that, try to shoot during a loud passage especially if you're using a DSLR with a loud shutter. I switched to a mirrorless camera last year so my shutter is extremely quite and I have the option of using an electronic shutter, which is totally silent so I can shoot throughout the concert without any noise. If you own a long lens, sit in the back; you'll be up higher and there's a better chance you'll see your kid if they're not in the front row.
Or, better yet, leave the camera home and enjoy the concert. If you see your kid in one of my photos send me an email and I'll be happy to mail you the photo.