Make Music Winter Announces Updated Schedule for Nationwide Celebration

Free Participatory Musical Parades Showcasing a Wide Variety of Genres and Styles to Kick Off Winter in 40 U.S. Cities

December 3, 2019

Make Music Winter, a free, outdoor music-making celebration featuring joyful and dynamic participatory musical parades, performances and events in 40 U.S. cities on the winter solstice, today announced its updated schedule of events for Saturday, Dec. 21. The all-day musical celebration on the shortest day of the year brings together people of all ages, backgrounds, musical abilities and styles to sing, play, march and dance their way across streets, parks 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 flagship event in New York City, where 13 participatory musical parades will be held across the five boroughs, the sweet sounds of Make Music Winter will be on parade in cities around the country. In Montclair (NJ), all of the performances will take place around new outdoor wall murals and feature music inspired by the art. At an ice rink in Land O’ Lakes (WI), a special “Music on Ice” celebration will provide frozen fun. In Chicago (IL) the festivities will include an event that kicks off with a tree lighting and features Christmas caroling, electric candles and children joining with kazoos.

Highlights of Make Music Winter 2019 will include:

  • Bell by Bell is 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 waves 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 and Southlake (TX).
  • The Gaits: A High Line Soundwalk is an immersive, site-specific parade on NYC’s The High Line featuring commissioned compositions in which the wonders of everyday technology transform participants’ movements into musical improvisations.
  • Percussion Parades, which are especially practical in cold weather, will be held in Provo (UT) and Salem (OR). Also, winter solstice drum circles will take place in Charleston (SC) and Macon (GA).
  • Christmas Caroling Parades, inspired by the holiday season, will occur in Columbus (OH), Meridian (ID), New Haven (CT), Santa Fe (NM) and other cities. The parades aren’t just for singers – harmonica players, bell ringers, brass bands and others are encouraged to join in by giving their own renditions of classic holiday songs.

Elsewhere, a performance and sing-alongs of jazz, fusion, world music and Christmas songs will be held at the Village Triangle and Gazebo in Amityville (NY), the Steel Cities Ukuleles will do an interactive performance and workshop at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh (PA), and people will be encouraged to perform Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” on 10 showroom pianos tuned and ready at Piano Trends Company Showroom in Crystal Lake (IL).

Out on the West Coast, Make Music Winter will ring in the season in several cities. At the Train Depot in Issaquah (WA), a Christmas carol sing-a-long, a hootenanny sing-along, fiddle music and a blues hour will be held, and in Spokane (WA) the events will include a Happiness Parade celebrating the city’s local heroes and Saints, including Spokane native and New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason, who was diagnosed with ALS in 2011 and has become a tireless advocate for those with the disease. During the parade, participants will sing “When The Saints Go Marching In” and “Jingle Bells,” among other holiday songs.

Also out West, a “Yule Make Music” parade and pub crawl will headline the celebration in Salem (OR), a winter-themed ukulele circle will occur at Bertrand’s School of Music in Pasadena (CA), and events in Long Beach (CA) will include a participatory caroling sing-along at a senior citizens home, and a winter jam alongside over 30 people on guitars, ukuleles, harmonicas and more.

All Make Music Winter events are free and open to the public. Additional events will be posted at this month. Make Music Winter is presented by The NAMM Foundation and coordinated by the nonprofit Make Music Alliance.

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About Make Music Winter

Make Music Winter is a free, outdoor musical celebration held each December 21 that turns audiences into music makers. Make Music Winter began in New York City in 2011; last year it spread to 25 cities across the country. 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

Participating U.S. Make Music Winter Cities in 2019

Amityville (NY), Boston (MA), Briarcliff (NY), Charleston (SC), Chattanooga (TN), Chicago (IL), Columbus (OH), Crystal Lake (IL), Folsom (PA), Hartford (CT), Issaquah (WA), Land O’ Lakes (WI), Litchfield (CT), Long Beach (CA), Los Angeles (CA), Macon (GA), Madison (WI), Matawan (NJ), Meridian (ID), Montclair (NJ), Mystic (CT), New Haven (CT), New London (CT), New York (NY), Ossining (NY), Palm Desert (CA), Pasadena (CA), Philadelphia (PA), Pittsburgh (PA), Port Townsend (WA), Provo (UT), St. Louis (MO), Salem (OR), Santa Fe (NM), Southlake (TX), Spokane (WA), Syracuse (NY), Tucson (AZ), Waterbury (VT) and Worcester (MA) will be participating.


About The NAMM Foundation

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit organization funded in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its 10,400 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.