What is Make Music Day? It all started 36 years ago in France. 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 store fronts. 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: Paris shuts down on the summer solstice and musicians take over. Three decades later, the holiday has spread throughout the world and is now celebrated in more than 800 cities, towns and villages in 120 different countries. In 2015, Mike Risko Music registered Ossining/Briarcliff to be part of the international celebration. Ossining/Briarcliff is the first and only community in Westchester to celebrate this growing event. The event in our community has grown to not only include a celebration on the summer solstice, but also the winter solstice. Says Mike Risko, "We were excited at the idea of musicians taking over and we also want to give back to the community that supports us in all our musical endeavors. What better way to give back than to organize a tremendous music festival like Make Music Day." Each year, Make Music Ossining Briarcliff features over 25 locations/musical acts all over the community and it is growing! The winter 2018 event was the biggest one thus far. "It is so nice to drive around the community and see people gathering on the shortest and darkest day of the year to share music. This event started much smaller with just local restaurants hosting musicians. We have featured musicians in real estate offices, pharmacies and village hall. We look forward to seeing what kind of venue will pop up next!"
The Make Music Ossining Briarcliff Committee not only encourages people to get out and enjoy some of the live music that is scheduled on the longest and shortest days of the year, but to also make some music of their own. Whether you sing a song, jam with a friend on guitar or listen to someone else make music, you will be participating in this special international celebration of music, the largest music festival in the world . Check back here to see who will be playing at the next Make Music Day. You can also visit Make Music Ossining Briarcliff on Facebook and download the Make Music Day free app from the app store. Happy Music Making!
Check out some videos about Make Music Day here! Also, check out pictures below from some of our Make Music Day events courtesy of Gregory Perry Photography, our official Make Music Day photographer!