About Make Music

A Not-So-Silent Night

The third nationwide Make Music Winter celebration will take place on December 21st! Like Make Music Day on June 21, Make Music Winter is a free, outdoor, participatory musical event that turns audiences into music makers. Since 2011, it has been organized in New York City with over a dozen musical parades each December 21 – the shortest day of the year – and nearly 40 cities joined the party in 2019. This year, join a parade near you, or start up one of your own! It is a wonderful way to celebrate music making and stay warm during the winter.

December 21: Make Music Winter

After years of spontaneous musical merriment on June 21, the spirit of Make Music Day has come to visit on December 21, the winter solstice.

For Make Music Winter, music can pop up anywhere. Rounding the corner, you may see a herd of electric guitarists, a choir of medieval singers, or a percussive Puerto Rican parranda coming down the street. Ingenious musical parades for iPhones, hand bells, bicycles, trombones, and boomboxes have delighted audiences since New York City began celebrating Make Music Winter in 2011.

Whatever your wintertime musical dreams, anything is possible. And all of it is free, joyful, and profoundly participatory. Please complete this short form to register an event for Make Music Winter 2020.

Make Music Winter is presented by The NAMM Foundation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Make Music Winter, first launched in New York in 2011, is a free, outdoor musical event each December 21st that turns audiences into music makers. The celebration transforms the city soundscape with participatory musical parades on the winter solstice. It is open to any musical genre.
Nationally, Make Music Winter is coordinated by the Make Music Alliance, with support from the NAMM Foundation. In each city, local artists, presenters, nonprofits, businesses, and others organize their individual parades. You can do one, too!
All of the Make Music Winter events are free – there is no charge for participants or audiences. There is no cost for organizing an event, either, and you are free to use the logos, handbooks, and marketing materials provided on this website. You do not have to be a member of the Make Music Alliance or of NAMM to organize an event.

Generally, yes – they are mobile, participatory events. Unlike a traditional parade, most Make Music Winter events stay on the sidewalks. Some march through a park or along an elevated rail line, or ride on bicycles, or take place on train cars and platforms. However you do it, being mobile brings music throughout your city, and helps you stay warm in the winter weather.

Make Music Winter events are also participatory. This means that everyone is invited to be part of the music-making, whether by singing, playing an instrument, tap dancing, carrying a boombox, or whatever the event calls for.

Each one is different. For some, you need to bring a particular instrument, or download sheet music or an iPhone app in advance; for others, you can just show up. All of them feature some way to musically participate; check out the description of each event before you go.
Unlike Make Music Day on June 21, Make Music Winter is a series of mobile, participatory events. If you have an ensemble that can play while walking in the winter, and you want to lead a participatory event, get in touch with us (matt@makemusicday.org). On the other hand, if you need to plug in instruments or stay in one place, you’ll probably need to wait until June.

That’s great to hear! Start by reading through the handbooks to learn how five successful Make Music Winter events have been organized in the past. You are welcome to replicate these events, use them as jumping off points, or to come up with something completely new.

Whatever you decide, get in touch with us by email at matt@makemusicday.org and let us know what you are planning. We can give advice, answer questions, and include your event on our website and in our national PR campaign for Make Music Winter.

We do not typically encourage indoor events, and due to COVID-19 this year, we strongly advise all events be held outdoors.
We’d prefer to continue the tradition of Make Music Winter as a series of in-person, mobile, and participatory events using safe social-distancing practices. But we’re flexible — if you have an idea for a virtual event, please let us know!

Make Music Winter Schedule: Monday December 21, 2020

Alphabetical by City:


Instruments for Make Music Winter 2020 were kindly donated by Rhythm Band Instruments

Make Music Winter Videos

Handbooks

These step-by-step handbooks explain how to produce five of the most popular Make Music Winter events. Use the handbooks to bring these parades to your city, or as inspiration for your own creative winter ideas! We kindly request that all participants follow safe social distancing practices and abide by local, city, and state guidelines pertaining to COVID-19.

Logos

Download the Make Music Winter logo in a variety of formats (.ai, .eps, .pdf, and .png).

Marketing Materials

Use these images on your website or social media to promote your Make Music Winter event across your city, at your venue, or to your followers! Each version comes pre-formatted for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, along with a large-scale web banner.

Press

Press Releases: Make Music Winter Announces Updated Schedule For Nationwide Celebration, December 4, 2019
Make Music Winter Returns Nationwide On Saturday, December 21st, October 29, 2019

Celebran el inicio del invierno con música al aire libre,” NY1 News Manhattan, December 24, 2019
The Approval Matrix: Week of December 23rd, 2019,” New York Magazine, December 23, 2019
Make Music Winter parades ring in Winter Solstice,” NY1 News Manhattan, December 22, 2019
Performers Make Music in the Streets,” NY1 News Queens, December 21, 2019
Make Music Winter,” Spokane 7, December 21, 2019
American Master He Jiayi Harmonic Ensemble Celebrates Christmas,” by Zhang Chen, World Journal, December 22, 2019
The Mobile Hallelujah at Make Music Winter,” WNYC Studios, December 20, 2019
Make Music Winter,” by Natalie Ford, Issaquah Reporter, December 20, 2019
Winter Solstice in Washington: When It Arrives and Things To Do,” by Lucas Combos, Microsoft News, December 20 2019
5 Classical Music Concerts to See In N.Y.C. This Weekend,” by David Allen, The New York Times, December 19, 2019
Agenda de Nueva York: Los eventos que no te puedes poder,” by Francis Rodriguez, El Diario, December 19, 2019
Merry Melody: Music Parade Marches Through Brownsville,” by Rose Adams, Brooklyn Paper, December 18, 2019
Make Music Winter Solstice Pub Crawl Set For December 21,” by Staff Reporter, The Bulletin, December 17, 2019
A Chat with Matt Fox About Make Music Day and Make Music Winter,” Happy Talk, Blog Talk Radio, December 17, 2019
The Best Events to Check Out in NYC This Winter,” by Kyler Alvord, Thrillist, December 13, 2019
How to Spend the Holidays in New York City,” by Jason Barone, The New York Times, December 5, 2019
Descubre los espacios que te llenarán del espiritu de la Navidad,” by Francis Rodriquez, El Diario, November 28, 2019
Make Music Winter regresa el sábado de diciembre,” Música & Mercado, November 6, 2019
Make Music Winter Set To Return,” Music Inc. Magazine, October 31, 2019
Make Music Winter Returns December 21st,” School Band and Orchestra Magazine, October 30, 2019
Press Release: Make Music Winter Announces Updated Schedule For Nationwide Celebration, November 14, 2018
Press Release: Make Music Winter To Expand Nationwide This December 21, October 17, 2018″A very moving symphony of strings and bells,” by Bob Krasner, The Villager, December 31, 2018
Solstice Soul Train celebrates the season,” by Jennifer Williams, Fox 5 NY, December 28, 2018
NY communities participating in outdoor music events,” Associated Press, December 21, 2018
Favorite Christmas Sounds: The Week in Classical Music,” by Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, December 21, 2018
Best Things to Do in NYC During Christmas Break, Dec. 21-31,” by Eva Kis, Metro New York, December 21, 2018
Make Music Winter,” Time Out New York, December 21, 2018
‘Make Music Winter’ Details December Events with Caroling, Parades,” by Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, December 20, 2018
5 Classical Music Concerts to See in N.Y.C. This Weekend,” by David Allen, New York Times, December 20, 2018
N.Y. Today: Here Comes the Darkness,” by Azi Paybarah, New York Times, December 20, 2018
Plenty to do in and near L.A. in the run-up to Christmas,” by Sara Cagle, Los Angeles Times, December 20, 2018
From sing-alongs to sweater parties: 22 things to do on S.I. this weekend,” by Victoria Priola, Staten Island Advance, December 20, 2018
10 Things to Do This Weekend,” by Vanita Salisbury, Grub Street, December 20, 2018
Bob Fournier and Vincent James at Our Community Cup Dec. 21,” By James M Wurster, Patch (Springfield PA), December 20, 2018
La parranda navideña se toma El Bronx,” by Francis Rodriguez, El Diario, December 19, 2018
Celebrate the winter solstice in NYC with one of these musical parades,” by Alexandra Alexa, 6sqft, December 19, 2018
Saoirse Ronan, Legislating Cannabis, Marin Hinkle, Make Music New York,” All of It with Alison Stewart, WNYC Radio, December 18, 2018
The Best Things To Do In NYC This Week,” by Oriana Leckert, Gothamist, December 18, 2018
Make Music Winter: Celebrate The Winter Solstice In Brooklyn,” by Pamela Wong, Bklyner, December 18, 2018
Make Music Winter brings music to the streets,” by Azaria Podplesky, Associated Press, December 17, 2018
Make Music Winter,” Pittsburgh City Paper, December 17, 2018
Yule Make Music Winter Solstice Celebration,” Salem Weekly News, December 17, 2018
Make Music Hartford celebrating winter solstice with parade, concerts, drink specials at area bars,” by Susan Dunne, Hartford Courant, December 17, 2018
Make Music Winter brings music to the streets,” by Azaria Podplesky, The Spokesman-Review, December 17, 2018
Make Music Winter returns on Friday, December 21,” by Jennifer Khedaroo, Queens Examiner, December 12, 2018
Make Music New York spreads holiday cheer across the city,” by Tammy Scileppi, Queens Times Ledger, December 11, 2018
Fermented: Winter Solstice Pub Crawl,” by Mark Griswold, iCVR Radio (Chester CT), December 11, 2018
Family Parade, Live Performances and More! Montclair Make Music Day Presents Winter Solstice Events,” Baristanet, December 10, 2018
The Holidays in New York City: An Event Guide,” by Joshua Barone, The New York Times, December 6, 2018
Music Festival Marches On,” by Raelynn Sheridan, Alaska Beyond, December 2018
Make Music Hartford Winter Edition,” Connecticut Lifestyles, December 10, 2018
Everything You Absolutely Must Do in NYC This Winter,” by Kyler Alvord, Ruby Anderson, and Alex Erdekian, Thrillist, December 5, 2018
The Best Free Events for Kids & Families This Month,” by Yuliya Geikhman, Red Tricycle, December 3, 2018
Every Festive, Fun and Foodie Thing to Do Between Now and New Year’s,” by Carolyn Kuang-Chen Stanley, PureWow, December 3, 2018
Long Beach Holiday Season,” Southern California Life Magazine, November 26, 2018
Best Things to Do with NYC Kids: December GoList,” by Maureen Wilkey, Mommy Poppins, November 25, 2018
Tilted Axes: How to Create a Mobile Electric Guitar Orchestra and Make it Sound Good,” by David Slavković, Ultimate-Guitar.com, November 17, 2018

Press Release: Make Music Winter 2017 Announces Full Schedule, December 5, 2017

Sprawling Across New York, a Solstice Music Marathon,” by Zachary Woolfe, Anthony Tommasini, Joshua Barone, and James R. Oestreich, New York Times, December 22, 2017
New York Today: The Year in (Good) News,” by Jonathan Wolfe, New York Times, December 21, 2017
‘Making music in Montclair’ to open winter,” by Ricardo Kaulessar, NorthJersey.com, December 19, 2017
Performers Make Music In The Streets,” NY1 News, December 21, 2017
8 festive things to do in NYC on Christmas weekend,” by T. Michelle Murphy, Metro New York, December 21, 2017
The five best free things to do in NYC this week,” Time Out New York, December 20, 2017
Editor’s Arts and Culture Picks Monday–Wednesday (Dec. 18–20),” Flavorpill, December 18, 2017
What to Do in New York This December: Tree Lighting Skate-tacular & Hip Hop Nutcracker,” by Katherine Martinelli, AFAR, November 29, 2017
18 great things to do this weekend,” Staten Island Advance, December 19, 2017
11 epic things to do with kids before the New Year!,” by Allie Early, Time Out New York Kids, November 21, 2017
Best Things to Do with NYC Kids: December GoList,” by Maureen Dempsey, Mommy Poppins, November 26, 2017
Take part in a jazz parade through Kew Gardens during Make Music Winter on Dec. 21,” by Emily Davenport, QNS.com, December 14, 2017
Five things to do in Brooklyn, Dec. 15–21,” Brooklyn Paper, December 15, 2017
Winter Music Events Brighten Up Tomorrow’s Solstice,” by Paul Stremple, Bklyner, December 20, 2017
Thursday: Put On Your Headlamps and Make a Singing Pilgrimage Through Riverside Park,” West Side Rag, December 19, 2017

Solstice Serenades in New York City for Make Music Winter,” by Teddy Wayne, New York Times, December 23rd, 2016
In Make Music Winter, Critics Find Their Inner Yodelers And Pilgrims,” by Corrina da Fonseca-Wollheim, Vivien Schweitzer & Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, December 22, 2015
NYC Event Marks Winter Solstice With Music Parades,” by Deepti Hajela, Associated Press, December 19, 2014
In SoHo, the Buildings Become Drums,” by Andy Battaglia, Wall Street Journal, December 19, 2014
Ride Along with Blink, A Composition For Bicycle Bells,” by Araby Williams, Wall Street Journal, December 23, 2013
A Romp, Meant to Ring in the Cold, Feels Like Spring,” by Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, December 22, 2013
On a Solstice, Music Can Pop Up Anywhere,” by Daniel J. Wakin, Anthony Tommasini, Zachary Woolfe, and Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, New York Times, December 23, 2012
All Across the City, Coming Together to Make Joyful Noise,” by Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, New York Times, December 19, 2012 [LINK]
Marching to Their Own Drummers,” by Daniel J. Wakin, Anthony Tommasini, Zachary Woolfe, Allan Kozinn, and Steve Smith, New York Times, December 23, 2011

Make Music Winter Photos

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