Amateur musicians recently joined the professionals from the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra for a full rehearsal and performance conducted by LPO music director Carlos Miguel Prieto.

The second annual event Play Dat! filled the gymnasium at Holy Cross School with the sounds of a full orchestral rehearsal and a peppering of black and purple, LPO members in black and amateurs ages 16 and older playing alongside them in purple.

“We’re making this a service to the community by inviting people to come and share the joy of music making,” said Prieto.

The local participants ranged from high school students who study their instrument as part of their curriculum to adults who are picking up their instrument for the first time in decades and everyone in between. Prieto said it’s meeting one another and the relationships that are formed between players of all levels that has made the event a resounding success.

“Some people are very fearful,” Prieto said, “and I want to get the fear out of their system. Everyone wants to play as flawlessly as possible, but that doesn’t exist.”

In addition to offering students the opportunity to play with the orchestra at the annual Play Dat! event, the LPO offers students access to all LPO concerts of the season for $25. For details, visit