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Wukong, the Make Music China Mascot

Make Music China has grown from a pilot program in a few Chinese cities in 2016, to an enormous undertaking with over 4,000 events in 160 cities across the country, led by the China Musical Instrument Association (CMIA).

This year, Make Music China unveils its first mascot, a musical figure named “Wukong” whose image will accompany Make Music Day events around the country.

Make Music City of the Week: Chicago

Make Music Chicago is one of North America’s longest-running Make Music Day celebrations, and consistently one of the most innovative.

Presented by the International Music Foundation, Make Music Chicago this year will include a side-by-side play-along with the Chicago Philharmonic; workshops for audio production, steel pans, and kazoos; a flute choir reading session; a Suzuki violin playdown; and a participatory round-singing performance, among hundreds of other events. Chicago’s Sousapalooza will return for the ninth straight year.

Visit the Make Music Chicago website to learn more!

Drumbeat to June 21st

People in cities around the country will come outside next week on Make Music Day for special bucket drumming and percussion workshops.

In 30+ cities, all percussionists who attend – kids and adults, professionals and first-timers – will be handed a pair of drum sticks generously donated by Vic Firth and invited to make music together. The events will range from structured classes to free-flowing drum circles, according to the concept of each local organizer. 

Explore the percussion events here!

Sousapalooza

Since 2011, Make Music Chicago has pioneered the Sousapalooza – an invitation for hundreds of brass, wind, and percussion players to come together and sightread the music of The March King, John Philip Sousa.

This Make Music Day, Sousapaloozas will be held in eight cities around the US, including, for the first time, one in Anchorage, Alaska.

Download the music, bring your horn, and join the band!

The Heart Chant

The Heart Chant is one of composer Pauline Oliveros’s “Deep Listening” meditations, her practice of “listening in every possible way to everything possible, to hear no matter what you are doing.”

Written in response to the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, the Heart Chant’s simple instructions invite any and all to participate in creating community through sound. No musical training is required.

Nearly a dozen Heart Chants will take place around the world on June 21 for Make Music Day. Join one near you, or organize your own!

Make Music Country of the Week: Argentina

Make Music Day stretched deep into the Southern Hemisphere last year with the first Make Music Argentina, led by CAFIM and Magma Strings, including activities and performances in 125 Argentine cities.

As if that weren’t enough, Make Music Argentina will see a tremendous expansion in 2019. TV Pública and Radio Nacional will broadcast the music-making festivities live across more than 50 stations. The Ministry of Education is providing trucks that will travel around Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Misiones, and Jujuy, making stops to teach children ages 6-18 how to build and play instruments. And musical activities will fill each room of the massive Usina del Arte cultural center in Buenos Aires.

Learn more at the Make Music Argentina website!

Sweetwater and Make Music Day

We’d like to take a moment to thank Sweetwater Sound for its multi-year Make Music Day sponsorship.

Since 2016, Sweetwater has spread the word about Make Music Day to thousands of their customers, who have eagerly joined Make Music celebrations around the country. Sweetwater itself has organized Make Music Fort Wayne, bringing bands, play-alongs, and family fun to Friemann Square in their Indiana hometown on June 21.

This year’s Make Music Fort Wayne is on hiatus (due to a date conflict with GearFest), but Sweetwater continues to join its customers in celebrating Make Music Day, and stands by to ship any last-minute gear that may be needed for June 21!

Make Music Artist of the Week: Eric Whitacre

For the last decade, composer and conductor Eric Whitacre has been bringing people together through ground-breaking Virtual Choirs, uniting singers from over 120 different countries.

So it is only fitting that he joins Make Music Day this year as one of our Ambassadors. “Make Music Day cuts through social and economic barriers and brings us together using all musical genres,” he says. “Sing in your choir, play in your band, jam with people you’ve never met before or play found instruments in unusual spaces. Join the world community of musicians and feel the extraordinary connection between us.”

On June 21, a pick-up chorus of New Yorkers will take Whitacre’s advice to heart, and sing his “Water Night” from dozens of boats on Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal. Check out the Make Music New York website for full details!

Gargantuan Guitar Gatherings

In partnership for the third year, C. F. Martin & Co. (Martin Guitar) and Alfred Music invite guitarists everywhere to join an epic, nationwide Mass Appeal project on June 21.

Mass Appeal brings together thousands of musicians – of all levels and ages – to make music in large, single-instrument groups. Around the country, guitarists of all levels will gather to play six classic songs and make music together. Free songbooks will be distributed so that everyone can play along.

Our songbook this year pays tribute to the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, featuring Joni Mitchell’s “Woodstock,” “Blue Moon” (performed at Woodstock by Sha Na Na), “I’m Coming Home” (performed at Woodstock by Ten Years After), and two more hits of the era, “She’s Not There” and “I Can See Clearly Now.” We close with “Singing In The Rain,” as many did on the rainy weekend of August 15, 1969 in Bethel, NY.

Interested in leading a Mass Appeal Guitar event in your town? Email us for details!

Make Music State of the Week: Connecticut

This year on Make Music Day, the Nutmeg State stands alone.

Thanks to support from the Connecticut Office of the Arts, eighteen chapters have formed to organize Make Music Connecticut, the most of any state!

Well over 500 free musical events are planned, including 20 participatory activities in Hartford ranging from a hip hop lyric workshop to a gathering of upright basses; an impromptu street piano performance by Jon Batiste in Ridgefield; a morning drum circle in New Haven; over 100 performances in Southeastern Connecticut and another 50+ in Waterbury; a Street Studio in Stamford Downtown; and inaugural Make Music Day programs in Danbury, East Granby, Greenwich, Hebron, Norwalk, and Woodbury (who made a wonderful video trailer).

See the full list at makemusicCT.org!