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. To register or propose an event for Make Music Winter, please complete this short form.
Make Music Winter is presented by The NAMM Foundation.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
Make Music Winter will take place on Wednesday December 21, 2022. See below to find an event near you!
Created by Tom Peyton, Bell By Bell is a lively and atmospheric parade that is accessible to all, and can be performed in any kind of weather. An event leader will distribute dozens of color-coded diatonic bells to the crowd, one color per note. At the front of the group, a team of conductors will wave corresponding colored flags to lead the group in slowly moving music by the composers, creating a sonorous, atmospheric soundscape. No one needs to be a musician in order to join in and play the pieces.
Make Music Winter rings in the solstice this year with a new gong experience called The Resonant Path. In each city, a path lined with gongs will be continuously played over the course of an hour, creating a natural crescendo and decrescendo as participants walk past, enveloped in waves of sound.
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!
Download the Make Music Winter logo in a variety of formats (.ai, .eps, .pdf, and .png).
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 Releases: Make Music Winter Announces New Cities and Music-Making Events Across the Nation, December 6, 2022
Nationwide Make Music Winter Returns December 21, November 10, 2022
“Hollywood Minute,” by Rick Damigella, CNN Entertainment, December 20, 2022
Clatsop County, OR
“Make Music Winter brings solstice delight to Astoria,” Our Coast Magazine, December 14, 2022
“New DIY Music Fest Erupts in N. Oregon Coast’s Astoria for Holidays,” Oregon Coast Beach Connection, December 9, 2022
“Sixteen Things to Do for Free in Denver This Week,” Westword, December 19, 2022
“Winter solstice being ushered in not with a bang but with a gong courtesy of percussion event planned in Elgin,” by Mike Danahey, The Chicago Tribune / Courier-News, December 9, 2022
“Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra to connect with the community on Make Music Winter Day,” by Leigh Hugenberg, Daily Herald, December 14, 2022
“Celebrate Make Music Winter Day With EYSO,” Northern Public Radio WNIJ, November 29, 2022
Gig Harbor, WA
“Harbor Happenings: Winter Make Music Day,” by Charlee Glock-Jackson, Gig Harbor Now, December 20, 2022
La Crosse, WI
“Harmonicas “Make Music” on the winter solstice,” by Roger Staffaroni, News 19 WXOW, December 21, 2022
“Celebrating the winter solstice with harmonica lessons,” News 8 WKBT, December 21, 2022
“Montclair musically celebrates winter and the holidays,” by Sydney Topf, Montclair Local, December 26, 2022
“Experience Music All Over Montclair: Make Music Winter Celebrates Winter Solstice, December 21,” Baristanet, December 13, 2022
“Weekend Family Fun: Holiday Crafts, Winter Festivals, Theater, Santa and More,” by Michelle Longo, Baristanet, December 9, 2022
New London, CT
“New London gets through the longest night of the year with music, joining cities across the globe,” by Ray Hardman, Connecticut Public Radio, December 20, 2022
New York, NY
“Make Music Winter: Plan Your Day Of Musical Parades In Harlem!,” Harlem World, December 15, 2022
Press Releases: Make Music Winter Returns December 21, November 30, 2021
“Hollywood Minute,” CNN Entertainment, December 20, 2021
“Need a Reason to Get Off the Couch This Winter Solstice? Make Music!,” by Laura B. Whitmore, Parade Magazine, December 20, 2021
“Whether it’s Santa, Grinch, Griswold or Bailey, it’s all a wonderful life,” by Mike Wagner, Columbus Dispatch, December 23, 2021
La Crosse, WI
“‘4th Street Stage’ launches during ‘Make Music Winter’ day in La Crosse,” WKBT TV, December 21, 2021
“Winter music welcomes in solstice,” by Roger Staffaroni, WXOW TV, December 21, 2021
“Downtown La Crosse music celebration Tuesday, showing off renovated ‘4th Street Stage’,” by Rick Solem, WIZM, December 20, 2021
“‘Philanthropy with flair’: Macon woman spreads Christmas spirit, singing to homeless,” by Ashton Packer, WGXA, December 21, 2021
“Making Music Winter: How one woman is spreading holiday joy through song,” by Peyton Lewis, WMGT (NBC), December 21, 2021
“Make Music Winter makes some sweet sounds in downtown Macon,” by Alexandria Dorsey, WMAZ 13, December 20, 2021
“Montclair Buzzed with Live Tunes for Make Music Winter (Photos),” by Adam Anik, Montclair Local, December 24, 2021
“The Rodner/Tyler Duo Performing at Trend and DLV Lounge,” Montclair Local, December 16, 2021
“It’ll be an ‘Unsilent Night’ at Make Music Winter in Montclair,” by Diego Jesus Bartesaghi Mena, Montclair Local, December 13, 2021
“Depot District filled with sounds of the holidays,” by Cathy Spaulding, Muskogee Phoenix, December 21, 2021
“‘Make Music Muskogee’ Preparing For Special Christmas Concert,” by Grant Stephens, KOTV 6, December 8, 2021
New York, NY
“Make Music Winter Will be Back on December 21 Throughout New York City,” by Nora Hones, NYS Music, December 20, 2021
“It’s In Queens! (Dec. 17 to Dec. 23),” Queens Gazette, December 15, 2021
“Make Music New York Winter 2021,” NYC Plugged, December 9, 2021
“PHOTOS: Yule Make Music spreads yuletide in downtown Salem,” by Brian Hayes, Statesman Journal, December 22, 2021
“LIST: Holiday events to supercharge your cheer in the Mid-Valley, Statesman Journal, November 29, 2021
“Action News at 11:00pm,” ABC 13, December 21, 2021 (coverage at 15:44)
Press Releases: Make Music Winter Announces Complete Schedule for December 21, December 2, 2020
Make Music Winter Returns on December 21, October 20, 2020
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
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