by Daniel Hathaway
Since the first Fête De La Musique was launched by Jack Lange and the French Ministry of Culture in 1982, some 5 million people — 8% of the population of France — have played or sung in public on June 21, the summer solstice. During the last 34 years, the idea of sponsoring a free day of live music of every genre in every possible location has spread to 700 cities in 120 countries. There are no auditions and no application requirements: everyone is invited to perform or to host performances.
Make Music Day is now about to debut in Cleveland on June 21 under the sponsorship of Credo Music, in partnership with the Make Music Alliance, The Cleveland Orchestra, the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and The Music Settlement.
The idea is to bring communities together through music. As Peter Slowik, Credo’s executive director said, “In our day-to-day lives, we put barriers between ourselves and our neighbors, we live very much in our own worlds. Music can help us breach those barriers, tunnel into those worlds, and connect with one another through the sheer joy of making and listening to music.” Slowik is working with neighborhood residency boards and community leaders to set up concerts in as many locations as possible.
While Make Music Day Cleveland is still evolving, venues that have signed on to date include the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, the Bop Stop, Stone Mad Pub, Root Café, Toast, and more. Individuals and ensembles who have confirmed their participation include the Oberlin Percussion Group, Chris Allen and the Guilty Hearts, the bluegrass group Poor Onry Sinners, the Cleveland Cello Quartet, the Canterbury String Quartet, flutist Gayle Getts and cellist Kent Collier, flutist Kathie Stewart, flutist Virginia Crabtree and pianist Marshall Griffith, guests and students of the Cleveland Institute of Music, assorted folk and bluegrass bands, individual acts, and many others.
Slowik said that all are welcome to participate however they see fit, and he said that he will continue to reach out to various institutions and performing groups until the day arrives.
“Most of our professional and educational music groups are already connected with their communities in one way or another,” Slowik said. “Why not combine each of those networks into one grand day of music making? Anyone can perform, anyone can listen — it’s going to be an amazing day.”
The Make Music Day Cleveland website lets musicians and listeners see what’s happening via a map of the metropolitan area, and gives them the opportunity to search a list of events organized by venue or artists and to register their own participation. All events are free and open to the public.
Published on ClevelandClassical.com June 7, 2016.
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