Make Music Winter, a free outdoor celebration boasting musical parades, performances and events in dozens of U.S. cities, will return for its 10th-anniversary edition on December 21.

Since 2011, people of all ages, musical abilities and backgrounds have met up for Make Music Winter to promenade through public spaces and play music. The event is presented by The NAMM Foundation and coordinated by the nonprofit Make Music Alliance. The organizers believe bringing it back will offer a socially distanced, safe way to ring in the winter solstice after a long year.

In addition to the flagship event in New York City, where 12 participatory and socially distanced musical parades will be held across the five boroughs, Make Music Winter celebrations will take place in Boston, Mass.; Charleston, S.C.; Chequamegon Bay, Wis.; Chicago, Ill.; Federal Way, Wash.; Hartford, Conn.; Honolulu, Hawaii; Islamorada, Fla.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Montclair, N.J.; New Haven, Conn.; Ossining, N.Y.; Ridgefield, Conn.; Santa Fe, N.M.; St Louis, Mo.; St Petersburg, Fla.; and Tucson, Ariz. Additional participating cities will be announced in November.

Several national highlights for Make Music Winter this year include:

  • Citizens Band Radio: Large ensembles in St. Petersburg, Fla., and elsewhere will split up and ride in the passenger seats of a slow procession of cars, listening to a local community radio station. At the appointed time, the station will broadcast a piece from the band’s repertoire. Using the radio as a “click track,” band members will stick their horns, tambourines, amps and other instruments out the car windows and give a synchronized mobile performance for people on the street.
  • Window Serenades:  Musicians in Milwaukee, Ossining, Boston and other cities will share the joy of live music with isolated older adults, bringing solo musicians or small groups to play outside nursing home windows for those who request a song.
  • Percussion Parades: New percussion events, with instruments donated by Rhythm Band Instruments and Vic Firth, will come to life around the country.

In New York, N.Y., the birthplace of Make Music Winter, over a dozen events are planned, including a participatory community project, “Harmonicas in Solidarity,” from NYU Faculty Housing Happenings led by Dr. Dave Schroeder and residents of Washington Square Village; “Bell by Bell,” featuring handbell compositions for beginners from Elizabeth Street Garden; “32 for Third,” a program of Beethoven’s piano sonatas as performed by the students, faculty, and friends of Third Street Music School; and “Flatfoot Flatbush,” a Brooklyn parade of percussive music and dancing from Appalachia.

To learn more about Make Music Winter, click here.

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