Make Music Winter Returns on December 21

Make Music Winter

Make Music Winter, a free, outdoor celebration with exuberant and participatory musical parades, performances and events in dozens of US cities on Monday, December 21, today announced a return for its tenth-anniversary edition.

Since 2011, people of all ages, musical abilities, and backgrounds have met up for Make Music Winter to promenade through public spaces and play music for bells, electric guitars, percussion, and more. It’s a joyful, socially-distanced, and safe way to ring in the winter solstice and celebrate the end of a long, wearying year.

In addition to the flagship event in New York City, where 12 participatory and socially distanced musical parades will be held across the five boroughs, Make Music Winter celebrations will take place in Boston (MA), Charleston (SC), Chequamegon Bay (WI), Chicago (IL), Federal Way (WA), Hartford (CT), Honolulu (HI), Islamorada (FL), Milwaukee (WI), Montclair (NJ), New Haven (CT), Ossining (NY), Ridgefield (CT), Santa Fe (NM), St Louis (MO), St Petersburg (FL), and Tucson (AZ). Additional participating cities will be announced in November.

Several national highlights are new for Make Music Winter 2020.

  • Citizens Band Radio: Large ensembles in St Petersburg, FL, and elsewhere will split up and ride in the passenger seats of a slow procession of cars, listening to a local community radio station. At the appointed time, the station will broadcast a piece from the band’s repertoire. Using the radio as a “click track,” band members will stick their horns, tambourines, amps, and other instruments out the car windows and give a synchronized mobile performance for people on the street.
  • Window Serenades: Musicians in Milwaukee WI, Ossining NY, Boston MA, and other cities will share the joy of live music with isolated older adults, bringing solo musicians or small groups to play outside nursing home windows for those who request a song. Created to provide safe, socially distanced performances for Make Music Day on June 21, Window Serenades are just as relevant for Make Music Winter, reaching those away from their families during the darkest days of the year.
  • Percussion Parades: New percussion events, with instruments generously donated by Rhythm Band Instruments and Vic Firth, will come to life around the country: handbell ringing on the shores of Lake Superior in Chequamegon Bay WI; a percussion parade for kids in Ridgefield CT; a “Little Drummer Boy Hawaiian Style” performance in Honolulu with slack key guitars, ukuleles, and participatory percussion; a Pizza Box & Paint Bucket Marching Band in Federal Way WA, and more to be announced.

In New York NY, the birthplace of Make Music Winter, over a dozen events are planned, including a participatory community project, “Harmonicas in Solidarity,” from NYU Faculty Housing Happenings led by Dr. Dave Schroeder and residents of Washington Square Village; “Bell by Bell,” featuring handbell compositions for beginners, from Elizabeth Street Garden; “32 for Third,” a program of Beethoven’s piano sonatas as performed by the students, faculty, and friends of Third Street Music School; and “Flatfoot Flatbush,” a Brooklyn parade of percussive music and dancing from Appalachia.

Elsewhere, music will take over the streets in several participating Make Music Winter cities. In New Haven, CT, Marrakech, a nonprofit dedicated to people with disabilities, will host their second annual Make Music Winter neighborhood parade. Local musicians in Islamorada, FL, are creating musical “scavenger hunts” around the island with distanced sing-alongs. And Montclair, NJ, will host a downtown parade for their fourth Make Music Winter celebration.

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

Join the conversation: #MakeMusicWinter


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 40 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

NAMM Public Relations
Phone: 760.438.8007

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.