Make Music Day 2018 Announces Updated Schedule
4,500+ Live, Free Outdoor Music-Making Events to Launch Summer in 80 U.S. Cities
800 Cities in 120 Countries including the UK, China, Brazil, Nigeria, Australia, Mexico and Argentina to Celebrate Make Music Day 2018
Make Music Day, the annual global celebration of music occurring each June 21 and featuring more than 4,500 free outdoor concerts, music lessons, jam sessions and other exciting music-making events in 80 U.S. cities, today announced its updated schedule of events. The all-day musical celebration on the summer solstice, which brings people of all styles, ages and skill levels together to make and enjoy music, has become a worldwide phenomenon observed by hundreds of millions of people in 800 cities in 120 countries. U.S. cities hosting major celebrations include New York City, Los Angeles, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Hartford, Madison, Miami, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Salem (OR) and Nashville. Additionally, major buildings and landmarks in participating U.S. cities will turn orange in honor of Make Music Day.
Completely different from a typical music festival, Make Music Day celebrates and promotes the natural music maker in all of us, regardless of ability. Reimagining their cities and towns as stages, every kind of musician – from bucket drummers and opera singers to hip-hop artists and marching bands – pours onto streets, parks, plazas, porches, rooftops, gardens and other public spaces to celebrate, create and share their music with friends, neighbors and strangers. From Usher-themed car karaoke in the singer’s hometown, and an airport spoon jam, to shower singing in a bustling downtown square and a “Street Studio” in a cow pasture, Make Music Day in the U.S. will also offer an impressive lineup of quirky and one-of-a-kind events.
Launched in France in 1982 as the Fête de la Musique, Make Music Day is presented in the U.S. by The NAMM Foundation and coordinated by the nonprofit Make Music Alliance. In addition to major citywide celebrations, Make Music Day will also include smaller festivities in other communities nationwide.
Highlights of Make Music Day in the U.S. include over 200 Mass Appeals that gather large groups of musicians to participate in impromptu performances using single instruments such as guitars, harmonicas, accordions, flutes, percussion, trombones, French horns, synthesizers, ukuleles, djembes and saxophones – and free guitar, harmonica, ukulele, drum and other instrumental lessons and being offered nationwide.
Additional national Make Music Day highlights include:
- Stones/Water/Time/Breath – Performances of Dean Rosenthal’s experimental composition in which participants select any body of water and perform a set of actions designed to create a soothing listening experience will be held in Boston, Columbia (SC), Martha’s Vineyard, Miami and other cities
- Sousapaloozas – In Chicago, Cleveland, Fullerton, Iowa City, Minneapolis-St.Paul, Portland (ME) and Salem (OR), hundreds of brass and wind musicians will join together to play the music of The March King, John Philip Sousa
- Street Studios – In New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Nashville, Seattle and even in a cow pasture in Reedsburg (WI), “Street Studios” will transport the basic elements of a music studio onto sidewalks, inviting passersby from the community to join in a completely improvised music creation session.
- Young Composers Contest – In celebration of Make Music Day, music technology company MakeMusic and the American Composers Forum hosted a composition contest for young composers aged 13-21. The two winners – Adrian B. Sims of Baltimore and Louis A. Josephson of Princeton Junction (NJ) – will have their respective pieces, “Force Field” and “Galliard Overture,” performed live in Cleveland, Minneapolis-St. Paul and other select cities on Make Music Day.
Other events around the U.S. will spotlight the musical history and ingenuity of each city including:
- Usher-Themed Car Karaoke – In the superstar singer’s Chattanooga hometown, people will bring their lovers and friends and unleash their inner Usher in a Green Commuter safely parked at a solar-powered charging station
- Shower Singing – Folks can embrace their powerful shower singing skills right in the middle of busy Lobsterman Park in downtown Portland (ME), where a claw foot tub with a shower curtain will be set up. Inside the shower will be a microphone and amp for people to belt out the lyrics to their favorite song.
- From Nothing to Something: A BNA Spoon Jam – At the Nashville International Airport, travelers will be invited to participate in a mass spoon play-along event led by Lucius “Spoon Man” Talley and in partnership with the National Museum of African American Music, and Arts at the Airport. Travelers will be given a pair of spoons to keep.
- Harlem to Broadway! – At the Richard Rodgers Amphitheater in Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park, a concert celebrating music from the “Great White Way” will be held featuring selections from the songbooks of legendary composers and Harlem residents. Presented in partnership with Jazzmobile and the Marcus Garvey Park Alliance.
- Musical Intervention World Record Attempt – In New Haven, people brought together by the Musical Intervention organization will lead an attempt to break the world record for the most vocal solos in a song recording. They are inviting at least 365 people to have their voices recorded, proclaiming the power of music.
- Mount Rushmore Concerts – At the Mount Rushmore National Memorial outside Rapid City (SD), seven local music groups – including a marching band, a chorus and a ukulele orchestra – will perform under the famous faces of “violinist” Thomas Jefferson, “classical music patron” Theodore Roosevelt, “operagoer” Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington, father of the country (and of musicians)
- Water Music – At several waterfront locations in Boston, a new site-specific environmental work inspired by the Charles River and Handel’s famous piece, “Water Music,” will be performed. Listeners will each create their own experience by walking within and around the performers (brass players, percussionists and singers).
- Twilight Chorus (for Humans) – At the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, a choir of sixteen voices will be dispersed across the grounds singing slowed down transcriptions of birdsong to create the world premiere of composer Peter M. Wyer’s “Twilight Chorus (for Humans)”
- Lift Every Voice – In Chicago, choirs and vocal ensembles will come together in a celebration of the diversity of our musical communities and the power of music to bring people together regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, class or religion. Each ensemble will perform on their own around lunchtime at venues across the city before meeting up for a grand finale performance in Millennium Park’s Wrigley Square
- Kingsfield Porch Fest – In Minneapolis-St. Paul, the Kingfield Neighborhood Association will weave its annual Porch Fest into the local Make Music Day celebration. People will be encouraged to meander through the neighborhood and enjoy over 50 performances presented on front yard stages.
- Orchestral Play-Along –Students and community musicians will have the unique opportunity to bring their instruments and collaborate with members of the Chicago Philharmonic in rehearsing and performing a free mixed program at Humboldt Park Boathouse
- World’s Largest “M” – On the site of the largest “M” in the world, built out of limestone on a hillside in Platteville (WI), participants will play a variety of percussion instruments on each of the 266 steps leading to the top.
- Earth Harp – At NAMM’s Museum of Making Music in San Diego, the world’s longest playable stringed instrument – the Earth Harp – will be strung from the building and played by an ensemble of musicians led by William Close
- Lyric Writing and Hip Hop Cypher – In Hartford, local poet and hip hop educator Roberto “LAUGH” Sanchez will lead a lyric writing workshop focused on hip hop and hip hop poetry. Participants can join a cypher circle led by LAUGH and featuring local hip hop musicians.
- “Spice Girls” Choir – In Philadelphia, South Fellini and The Passyunk Neighborhood association are partnering up to present a sing-a-long at Passyunk Square of the Spice Girls song, “Wannabe”
- “Louie, Louie” Play-a-long – In Issaquah (WA), locals will gather on the steps of City Hall to play and sing to the hometown favorite “Louie, Louie”
- Boom Box Marching Parade – Day of Music Fullerton (CA) will be inaugurating a Boom Box Marching Parade as part of the many activities celebrating June 21 with Make Music Day. The parade, down historic Wilshire Avenue to the Fullerton Museum Plaza, will be marching to the Talking Heads song “Road to Nowhere.”
- Opera at the Ball Park – Members of the Minnesota Opera’s multiple choruses will perform throughout the St. Paul (MN) Saints’ June 21 home game
Global Make Music Day highlights will include over 500 events in the U.K. with featured projects for songwriting, brass bands and rural music-making, 3,000 events in more than 100 cities in China with an opening ceremony at the China Millennium Monument in Beijing, Australia’s first nationwide celebration, including a livestreamed performance from the Sydney Opera House, and 200-plus events in Lagos (Nigeria), headlined by performances at 16 concert venues, Street Studios, a multi-instrument Mass Appeal, and Learn to Play events.
Additionally, iconic buildings and landmarks in participating cities worldwide will join their U.S. counterparts in shining orange in honor of Make Music Day.
All Make Music Day events are free and open to the public. Participants who wish to perform, or to host musical events, may register at MakeMusicDay.org. A full schedule of events will be posted on the website in early June.
About Make Music Day
Held annually on June 21 to coincide with the summer solstice, Make Music Day is part of the international Fête de la Musique, taking place in more than 800 cities across 120 countries. The daylong, musical free-for-all celebrates music in all its forms, encouraging people to band together and play in free public concerts. This year, 80 U.S. cities and the entire states of Vermont and Connecticut are organizing Make Music celebrations, encompassing thousands of music making opportunities nationwide. Make Music Day is presented by The NAMM Foundation and coordinated by the nonprofit Make Music Alliance. For more information, please visit www.makemusicday.org.
Participating U.S. Make Music Cities in 2018
Allen (TX), Asbury Park (NJ), Asheville (NC), Austin, Black Hills | Rapid City (SD), Boise, Boston, Bridgeport, Buffalo, Burlington (VT), Canandaigua (NY), Cary (NC), Cedar Rapids (IA), Charlotte, Chattanooga, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbia (SC), Columbus (OH), Connecticut (statewide), Davis (CA), Denton (TX), Detroit, El Paso, Fairfield (CT), Fullerton, Hartford, Huntsville, Iowa City, Issaquah (WA), Liberty (MO), Long Beach (CA), Los Angeles, Madison, Mauldin (SC), Mentor (OH), Miami (FL), Middletown (CT), Middletown (OH), Milford (CT), Milwaukee, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Montclair (NJ), Muskogee (OK), Nashville, New Haven, New York, Niagara Falls (NY), Nicholasville (KY), Northeast CT (Willimantic), Northwest CT (Torrington), Ossining (NY), Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Platteville (WI), Portland (ME), Port Townsend (WA), Provo, Reedsburg (WI), Rochester (NY), Roselle Park (NJ), Salem (OR), San Antonio, San Diego, San Jose, Seattle, Somerville (NJ), Southeast CT (New London), St. Louis, Stamford (CT), Stratford (CT), Suwanee (GA), Tinley Park (IL), Vermont (statewide), Washington (DC), Waterbury (CT), Wichita, Worcester and Wyoming County (NY).
About The NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a non-profit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its 10,300 members around the world. The NAMM Foundation works to advance active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs. For more information about The NAMM Foundation, please visit www.nammfoundation.org.
The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) is the not-for-profit association with a mission to strengthen the $17 billion music products industry. NAMM is comprised of approximately 10,300 members located in 104 countries and regions. NAMM events and members fund The NAMM Foundation's efforts to promote the pleasures and benefits of music, and advance active participation in music making across the lifespan. For more information about NAMM, please visit www.namm.org, call 800.767.NAMM (6266) or follow the organization on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.