ACF is excited to be a new national partner in Make Music Day, and we want you, the ACF community, to participate! Make Music Day is free celebration of music around the world each June 21st. Launched in 1982 in France as the Fête de la Musique, it is now held on the same day in more than 750 cities in 120 countries. Ten years ago, the Fête de la Musique crossed the Atlantic with the debut of Make Music New York. Starting as a grassroots initiative by a team of volunteers, the event quickly became a critical and popular success. Today, over 5,000 New York musicians – amateurs and professionals, of all ages and musical persuasions – perform in more than 1,000 free, outdoor concerts each June 21st. In recent years, other cities across the continent have launched their own Make Music celebrations. Last year, 38 North American cities organized 3,238 free concerts at 1,078 locations… all on a single day.

Make Music celebrations are again taking place in dozens of communities across the US, and there are many ways to enjoy the festival. Composers and musicians of all genres and experience levels can perform; individuals and businesses can list their spaces as performing venues; and audiences and musicians can participate together in public performance events of all kinds.

One of the ways you can participate is to create a Street Studio: where sound artists set up mobile recording studios in public, neighborhood gathering spaces: like an art gallery, downtown plaza, or in a park. Passers-by join in a completely improvised music creation session, and at the end of the day, each studio mixes down one track, using only the material recorded on-site, to share the sounds of their city with the world.

ACF has also been working behind the scenes this spring with Make Music Inc (the creators of Finale and SmartMusic), coordinating a new Young Composers Contest for composers aged 13-21. The winner will be announced next week, so stay tuned! The winning composition will be made available to all users of SmartMusic Teach Free, and be performed live this June 21st by wind bands in New York, Chicago, Cleveland, and the Twin Cities. Special thanks to this year’s judges, nationally renowned composers Brian Balmages, Jennifer Higdon (BandQuest and ChoralQuest), and Jim Stephenson (BandQuest).

Watch for more updates on these two new partnerships as June 21st approaches!