Make Music Winter Announces Updated Schedule For Nationwide Celebration

Participatory Musical Parades Showcasing a Diverse Array of Genres to Launch Winter on Dec. 21 in 30 U.S. Cities

November 14, 2018

Make Music Winter, a free, outdoor music-making celebration held each December 21, expands nationwide this year, featuring joyful and dynamic participatory musical events and parades in 30 U.S. cities that bring communities together, today announced its updated schedule of events. The all-day musical celebration on the winter solstice brings out people of all ages, musical abilities and genres to sing, play, march and dance their way across streets, parks, plazas, and other public spaces. Make Music Winter is the cold-weather counterpart to Make Music Day, the annual global celebration of music occurring each June 21, the summer solstice.

In addition to the major event in New York City, where 15 participatory musical parades will take place across the five boroughs, Make Music Winter celebrations will be held in Anchorage (AK), Briarcliff (NY), Charleston (SC), Chattanooga (TN), Crystal Lake (IL), Fort Lauderdale (FL), Groton (CT), Hartford (CT), Lockport (NY), Long Beach (CA), Los Angeles (CA), Meridian (ID), Middletown (OH), Montclair (NJ), Mystic (CT), New Haven (CT), Ossining (NY), Pahokee (FL), Pittsburgh (PA), Provo (UT), Rochester (NY), Roosevelt (UT), Salem (OR), San Diego (CA), Southlake (TX), Spokane (WA), Springfield (PA), Syracuse (NY) and Willimantic (CT).

Highlights of Make Music Winter 2018 will include:

  • Bell by Bell a lively and atmospheric parade in which participants receive color-coded hand-bells, one color per note. At the front of the parade, a team of conductors wave corresponding colored flags to lead the group in slowly moving music, written by a variety of composers: for example, when the conductors raise their red and green flags, everyone with red and green bells start ringing, and so on for each color, creating a sonorous soundscape through the streets as people walk. Bell by Bell parades will ring out in communities around the country including New York City’s East Village, Los Angeles’s Harbor Gateway, Southlake (TX), and Lockport (NY).
  • Electric Guitar Parades in New York City and Roosevelt (UT) will provide an energizing start to the winter season. These programs were pioneered by composer/performer Patrick Grant, whose Tilted Axes was first created for Make Music Winter (New York City) in 2011. As Grant’s event proved, seeing and hearing a pack of free-range electric guitarists and percussionists marching down the street is an unforgettable experience.
  • Ukulele Parades, wafting a gentler stringed instrument sound through the streets, will be held in Fort Lauderdale (FL) and other cities. In Pittsburgh (PA), the Steel City Ukuleles will hold an interactive performance and workshop at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.
  • Percussion Parades are especially practical in cold weather. One in Provo (UT) will spread music across the city with people playing pots, bottles, and buckets, in addition to more traditional hand percussion. A winter solstice drum circle for over 100 players will take place in San Diego (CA), a “Drumming in the Light” drum circle will be held in Anchorage (AK), a Brazilian percussion parade will occur in Rochester (NY) where participants will be given egg shakers, and a percussion parade in Springfield (PA) will feature performers with disabilities, coordinated by a local church.
  • Christmas Caroling Parades, inspired by the holiday season, will be held in Crystal Lake (IL) Meridian (ID), Long Beach (CA) and Pahokee (FL). These events aren’t just for singers – harmonica players, bell ringers, brass bands and more will come out to give their own renditions of holiday songs on Dec. 21.

Additionally, music will take over the streets in several participating Make Music Winter cities. In Montclair (NJ), separate musical parades led by Bike Walk Montclair, Montclair Academy of Dance and Laboratory of Music, and Music Together, will occur throughout the town and converge in the town center for an outdoor jam session, bonfire and dance party. In Syracuse (NY), a musical parade will take place downtown through the streets of Armory and Hanover Squares. Also, Salem (OR) will hold several participatory parades, and a concert of unusual holiday songs by groups such as Blink 182 and The Ramones.

Elsewhere, in Ossining, NY, a Holiday Open Mic and Jam at Mike Risko Music will headline the local festivities. In Hartford (CT), the music making will include traveling performances by the Music Moves Hartford Choir, a program of Cuatro Puntos, serving homeless men and women. The choir will be joined by the Hartford Hot Several brass band. In Mystic (CT), a pub crawl musical scavenger hunt will occur. Also, in Los Angeles, an event featuring a handbell ringing parade, Christmas Caroling, food trucks, local vendors and face painting will be held.

Make Music Winter is presented by The NAMM Foundation and coordinated by the nonprofit Make Music Alliance.

All Make Music Winter events are free and open to the public. For more information, please visit

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About Make Music Winter
Make Music Winter, having completed its seventh year in 2017, is a free, outdoor musical celebration held each December 21 that turns audiences into music makers. With a diverse array of talent and themes, Make Music Winter transforms cityscapes with musical parades on the winter solstice. Make Music Winter is presented by The NAMM Foundation and coordinated by the nonprofit Make Music Alliance. For more information, please visit

About The NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit organization funded in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its 10,300 members. The Foundation’s mission is 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

About NAMM

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, call 800.767.NAMM (6266) or follow the organization on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.