Make Music Winter Returns on December 21

Mike Lawson • News • November 12, 2020

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Make Music Winter, a free, outdoor celebration on Monday, December 21, has announced a return for its tenth-anniversary edition.

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 (Massachusetts), Charleston (South Carolina), Chequamegon Bay (Wisconsin), Chicago (Illinois), Federal Way (Washington), Hartford (Connecticut), Honolulu (Hawaii), Islamorada (Florida), Milwaukee (Wisconsin), Montclair (New Jersey), New Haven (Connecticut), Ossining (New York), Ridgefield (Connecticut), Santa Fe (New Mexico), St. Louis (Missouri), St. Petersburg (Florida), and Tucson (Arizona).

Several national highlights are new for Make Music Winter 2020. For Citizens Band Radio, large ensembles in St. Petersburg, Florida, 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 will enlist musicians in Milwaukee, Ossining, Boston, and other cities, who will share the joy of live music with isolated older adults. Solo musicians or small groups will 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.

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, Wisconsin; a percussion parade for kids in Ridgefield, Connecticut; 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, Washington, and more to be announced.

In New York, New York, 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, Connecticut, Marrakech, a nonprofit dedicated to people with disabilities, will host their second annual Make Music Winter neighborhood parade. Local musicians in Islamorada, Florida, are creating musical “scavenger hunts” around the island with distanced sing-alongs. And Montclair, New Jersey, 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 Make Music Winter is presented by The NAMM Foundation and coordinated by the nonprofit Make Music Alliance.

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