Make Music NY’s Winter Solstice Parades this Friday!

Crowd of people joining in on the Make Music Winter parade

Every summer for seven years now, Make Music New York has staged the "largest music event ever to grace Gotham", a one-day sonic extravaganza with more than a thousand free outdoor concerts in public spaces all over the five boroughs. Concerts vary from high school bands, choirs and enthusiastic amateurs of all ages to established pros and marquee names. The Make Music New York summertime festival is always a treat. Then last year they launched Make Music Winter, featuring nearly a dozen different musical participatory parades to mark the first day of the season. The parades in NYC embark from various locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan, all of varying in length and tonal character. We somehow missed the winter solstice concerts last year, but definitely plan on checking out at least one of these this coming Friday. 

Big crowd of people at the Make Music Winter in New York City

Parades of Make Music Winter

There are several terrific-sounding options from which to choose. We had the great pleasure of joining Phil Kline for his annual Un-silent Night last weekend in the Village (pictured above), so we're more than a little intrigued that he has a piece in Make Music Winter. Called Peregrine, it's a "walking boom-box ambient" composition. Kline will have 50 boom-boxes on hand, but bring your own if you can. The parade will start at BAM and wind its way around Fort Greene for about 45 minutes. And this one sounds pretty haunting, too: Kent Title's Pilgrimage (below), which takes you on a lantern-lit procession through Central Park while singing medieval melodies. There will be a number of experienced Early Music singers on hand, but all are welcome to join; just download the scores here. Pilgrimage leaves the Park Avenue Methodist Church on the Upper East Side at 6:00, and arrives at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, across the park, a little more than hour later. 

Silhouette image of a statue blowing a horn at the Cathedral of St. John

Parade in NYC: The More the Merrier

But really, all of Make Music Winter Parades in NYC seem cool. From Daniel Goode's Soho Gamelan Walk, featuring hand-drumming on that neighborhood's hollow building facades, to Jonathan Batiste's Love Riot, a melodica parade in East Harlem; to Patrick Grant's Tilted Axes (below), a piece for "mobile electric guitars" that will rock the East Village starting at the Public Theater at 7:00. As is the case during their summer festival, Make Music Winter is "open to anyone who wants to take part, enjoyed by everyone who wants to attend." Like so much that happens in this beautiful city, we're grateful for the time, energy and creativity that the Make Music folks put into these programs, and we'll be there with bells on.

People playing music at the Make Music Winter concert, electric guitairs in hand

Make Music Winter 2012 details  

The Make Music Winter 2012 parades in NYC will all happen on the Winter Solstice, this Friday, December 21, at various times and locations. For lots more information about Make Music New York and all of the winter solstice concerts, visit them online!


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