About Make Music

A Not-So-Silent Night

The fifth 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 more than 35 cities joined the party in 2021. 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. To register or propose an event for Make Music Winter, please complete this short form.

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.

Make Music Winter is intended to be an outdoor, in-person event. Even in winter, neither snow nor rain nor gloom of night shall stay musicians from the joyous completion of their appointed rounds.

2022 Make Music Winter Schedule

Make Music Winter will take place on Wednesday December 21, 2022. See below to find an event near you!

Alphabetical by City:

Bell By Bell

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.

More about Bell By Bell

The Resonant Path

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.

More about The Resonant Path

Instruments for Make Music Winter 2022 are generously donated by Rhythm Band Instruments

Make Music Winter Videos


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).

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 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

National Press
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

Denver, CO
Sixteen Things to Do for Free in Denver This Week,” Westword, December 19, 2022

Elgin, IL
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, NJ
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

Columbus, OH
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

Macon, GA
‘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, NJ
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

Muskogee, OK
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

Salem, OR
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

Toledo, OH
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

Photos: Winter Solstice Music Parade,” by Kate Albright, Montclair Local, December 20, 2020
Gig Alert – Pete Wyer: “For Love and Only for Love” at New York Botanical Garden,” by John Schaefer, New York Public Radio, December 18, 2020
Make Music Winter – South End, by Greg Pason, TAPinto, December 18, 2020
Two Rivers “12 Days of Christmas” Concert goes on-line for 2020,” by Claire Lomax, Ilkley Gazette, December 3, 2020
Make Music Winter Returns This December,” by Amanda Mullen, MS Retailer, October 21, 2020
Make Music Winter Celebration Returns in 2020,” by Nora Hones, NYS Music, September 4, 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

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 Releases: Make Music Winter Announces Updated Schedule For Nationwide Celebration, November 14, 2018
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