Make Music
Black Hills


Last year, over 800 cities around the world threw citywide music celebrations on June 21.

It all started in France…

In 1982, Jack Lang and his staff at the Ministry of Culture dreamed up an idea for a new kind of musical holiday. They imagined a day where free music would be everywhere, all around the city: street corners, parks, rooftops, gardens, and storefronts.

And, unlike a typical music festival, anyone and everyone would be invited to join and play music or host performances. The event would take place on the summer solstice, June 21, and would be called Fête De La Musique. (In French, the name means both “festival of music” and “make music!”)

Amazingly enough, this dream has come true. The Fête has turned into a true national holiday: France shuts down on the summer solstice, and musicians take over. Almost 8% of the country (5 million people) have played an instrument or sung in public for the Fête de la Musique, and 53% of the country (35 million people) comes out each year to listen.

Three decades later, the holiday has spread throughout the world and is now celebrated in more than 700 cities in 120 different countries.


Want to play? There’s always room in the band.

We invite musicians, rappers, and instrumentalists of all kinds to collaborate on making June 21 a musical masterpiece. Singers, church choirs, jazz combos, rock bands, glee clubs, MCs, marching bands, mariachis, and every other kind of musician, of any age group or skill level, are all welcome.

More Artists and Venues will be added as we get closer to June 21st!




Mass Appeal

2020 Make Music Day Schedule!

We will begin Make Music Black Hills at noon with a traditional Lakota Drum Circle.
Nugget from the Rush will be joining them to lead our Drum Mass Appeal.
The public can join along (with the provided drum sticks) online or at our event.
Sweeto Burrito Food Truck will provide some tasty food for us!
It’s Father’s Day, so we are going to feature Hay Camp’s Breakfast Pub paired with a Krispy Kreme doughnut!!! Spread the word!
Focus Smith is going to do a demonstration of his graffiti art on canvas throughout the event. We will be able to check in with him between music groups to see how he is progressing.
Main Stage Inside Schedule
1:00 – 1:45 PM  Sentimental Journey
Sentimental Journey is a show band from the Black Hills of South Dakota. We play a variety of music types, including show tunes, big band, jazz, ragtime, gospel, country, western, patriotic, and classical. We also compose songs to enhance our audience’s experience, including two new songs (one by Cliff, one by Jim) about the Coronavirus.

Band members, left-to-right:

Cliff Riffle plays guitar and ukulele, sings in the band, composes songs, teaches ukulele lessons, and in 2019 completed a coast-to-coast US tour, playing concerts with his son.

Tom Sitzler plays drums and sings in the band. An SD Rock & Roll Hall of Famer (times 2!), he also plays for D D & the Fayrohs and Midnight Sun.

Tiffany Brett plays violin in the band, cares for her family, home schools her children, & teaches violin lessons. 

Jim Gardiner leads the band, plays piano, sings, and is a neuropsychologist who uses music to train the brain.

The band brings a combined total of 200+ years of musical experience.

Our goal is to bring you fun and joy through music!

2:00 – 2:45 PM Josh Simpson 
Leading our Harmonica Mass Appeal for Make Music Black Hills at 2 PM from the Hay Camp Brewing Company event stage; Joshua Simpson is a young singer/songwriter from Rapid City. To celebrate Make Music Day, he will share his eclectic solo collection, which approaches the limit between conventional and avant-garde. Join us at the event or follow along as we live-stream all of the performances. We have 100 harmonicas available for you to join in the fun! 
3:00 – 3:45 PM Bruce Neubert & Mark McFarland
4:00 – 4:45 PM Kim and the Cue Balls
If you like old-time rock and roll, (think Beatles, Elvis, Crystals, Ronettes…) and Classic Country (think Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Ray Price, Jerry Lee Lewis…) and Classic Rock (think Fleetwood Mac, Eagles, CCR, Journey, Elton John…), then you’re going to love Kim and the Cue Balls! With Kim’s strong vocals and guitar, Dan’s mastery of the piano, bass clarinet and melodica, and Mark’s walking bass, you’ll have a great time singing along, dancing, or just listening to this great sounding, fun-packed trio!
5:00 – 5:45 PM Starz & End






Originality comes easy when your musical influences span seven decades, and that’s precisely what you get from Startz and Endz. Since it’s inception in 2009, the band has set themselves apart with their genre-defying style of jam rock, mixing classic rock roots with funky blues, a country twang and a hint of ska and reggae. Every song is uniquely infectious, with cleverly crafted lyrics and melodies that are easy to sing along with, and there is something for everyone to dance to. Live shows feature an eclectic mix of cover songs as well. Classic tracks from the Grateful Dead are staples in their sets, but on a given night, you could hear anything from 50’s rock and roll to 90’s country or hits from today’s pop radio. There is no telling where the band might take you during a live performance, but it is always going to be a good time.

Back in the studio after an extended hiatus, they are busy writing and recording new material for an album slated for release in 2020.




Thank You To Our Sponsors!


“South Dakota Arts Council support is provided with funds from the State of South Dakota, through the Department of Tourism, and the National Endowment for the Arts.” 



Donations can be made through our Fiscal Sponsor’s website:


Hello world!

February 20, 2016

Welcome to Make Music Black Hills!                             Make Music Black Hills falls on Father’s Day! Treat your special guy! Hay Camp Brewing Company will be pairing this specially crafted brew with a Krispy Kreme Doughnut! Breakfast Pub is a cold brew coffee blendContinue Reading »




Congratulations to all who took part in another record-setting Make Music Day! More than 4,590 music-making events took place in over 2,200 locations around the U.S. on June 21, along with tens of thousands of musicians in 120 countries around the world who celebrated the day.

Read all about it, including new coverage in the Associated PressCBS News, and USA Today!

2019 – National Coverage
People Are Flooding the Streets in France for a Country-wide Dance Party – Here’s How to Join in the Fun,” by Evie Carrick, Travel + Leisure, June 21, 2019
Annual Make Music Day brings concerts, jam sessions,” Associated Press, June 21, 2019

‘Make Music Day’ 2019 Details Free Events, Concerts Nationwide,” by Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone, March 29, 2019
Make Music Black Hills was featured several times in these national news stories!
2018 – National Coverage
Landmarks to glow orange in celebration of Make Music Day,” Associated Press, June 21, 2018
Everybody’s a musician on Make Music Day,” Associated Press, June 21, 2018
Make Music Day celebrates the musician in everyone,” by David Morgan, CBS News, June 21, 2018
‘This is the Dream’: Jessica Keenan Wynn Makes Film Studio Debut in ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’,” by Scott Gelman, NBC News, June 22, 2018
Where to celebrate ‘Make Music Day’ across the USA,” by Larry Bleiberg, USA Today, June 15, 2018
Fun, Free Things to Do in June Across the U.S.,” by Harriet Baskas, Travel + Leisure, May 31, 2018
‘Make Music Day’ Plots 4,500 Free Events, Concerts Nationwide,” by Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, April 3, 2018
Make Music Day To Return This Summer With More Than 4,500 Events,” by Mackenzie Cummings-Grady, Billboard, April 4, 2018 Mark your calendars for next year’s Make Music Day on Friday, June 21, 2019


2018 Rolling Stone

2018 Billboard

2017 Rolling Stone

2017 AP—tuesday-june-21-300250924.html

A free annual festival celebrating music and music-making,” Associated Press, April 23, 2015

On June 21, Celebrate Make Music Day,” Wall Street Journal Live, June 19, 2015

Make Music Day Plots 2,250 Free Concerts Nationwide,” by Jon Blistein, Rolling Stone, June 18. 2015

Chad Smith on Make Music Day,” Late Night with Seth Meyers, June 15, 2015

Jazz Lives At Duke Ellington’s Resting Place,” by Anastasia Tsioulcas, NPR Music: Jazz Night in America, July 2, 2015

Your Creative Calendar: 91 Things to Do, See, and Hear This June,” by Joe Berkowitz, Fast Company, June 5, 2015

Sweetwater Takes Make Music Day to the Community,” Making Music Magazine, June 11, 2015


Allied Arts Fund
GiGi Lage, Executive Director
(605) 394-4106