The No Ties Allowed gives the perspective of seeing an orchestra learn their way through a piece. Credit: Toireasa Duffy / Courtesy

On Saturday, San Luis Obispo Symphony hosted its No Ties Allowed dress rehearsal to the public before its first concert of the 2023-2024 season. The event was held at Cal Poly’s Performing Arts Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The No Ties Allowed dress rehearsal is a unique, family-friendly alternative to the orchestra’s evening symphony. Viewers get a behind-the-scenes experience as Music Director Andrew Sewell leads the orchestra.

“It’s definitely a more casual, active event,” Executive Director Rachel Cementina said. “Whereas the evening concert, which is always the evening of No Ties Allowed, is going to be a more traditional symphony concert experience.”

No Ties Allowed started in the ’90s with the purpose of providing the community an event in which all ages have the opportunity to participate. Unlike most Performing Arts Center ticketed events that require attendees to be at least five years old, the dress rehearsal allows young children and infants to attend its event. 

The event also featured an instrument petting zoo that Cementina says provided “a chance for kids or adults to have a hands-on approach with instruments if they’ve ever wanted to try one.”

No Ties Allowed dress rehearsal is held five times a year, offering free entry and parking. Student prices for tickets were also available for the Classics I Rachmaninov Rocks concert that took place the same day at 7:30 p.m.