Nearly 1,000 guitar players got together for a jam session in downtown Toronto on Thursday as part of a promotional event for the musical “Once.”

Guitarists of all ages and skill levels met at the Ed Mirvish Theatre for the “100 Guitars Falling Slowly” event. Organizers were expecting approximately 100 musicians to attend, but instead were greeted by more than 900, some of whom haven’t played in decades.

“I haven’t played in 30 years and two weeks ago, I went out and bought a guitar and I started practicing,” one participant told CTV Toronto on Thursday.

The event also attracted a few young musicians, some of whom skipped class for an opportunity to strum their guitar with hundreds of other music lovers.

“I really like the musical a lot and I like playing guitar and I like missing a day of school,” one young boy said.

The participants were given the chords and lyrics to the song “Falling Slowly” prior to the event. The folk-rock tune is an Academy Award-winning song that is featured in the 2007 movie that was later adapted for the stage.

“Once” cast member Ian Lake said he was surprised by how good the song sounded when it was played by nearly 1,000 people at the same time.

“I won’t lie – I was a little skeptical about what it would sound like having that many people try to execute the same song, but I thought it was amazing,” he said.

“Once” is playing in Toronto until June 28.

With a report from CTV Toronto’s Scott Lightfoot