Make Music Chicago Preview – A Free Musical Celebration Across Chicago

Presented by Rush Hour Concerts, Make Music Chicago, a completely free musical celebration across Chicago, returns for its fourth annual event on the first day of summer and longest day of the year, Saturday, June 21.  Chicago joins more than 700 cities across the world celebrating free music as part of the international music holiday, Fête de la Musique, all on the Summer Solstice each year.  This year, Make Music Chicago is presented as part of the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks with the support of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. 

 

Make Music Chicago celebrates the ability of everyone to participate in music-making.  Throughout the day, people of all ages and backgrounds – amateurs and professionals alike – gather in Chicago’s public spaces to perform live music of all genres. 

 

This year, more than 60 sites host music events in all areas of the city, including Avondale, Back of the Yards, Bronzeville, Edgewater, Englewood, Evanston, Gold Coast, Humboldt Park, Hyde Park, Jackson Park, Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Lincoln Square, Logan Square, Loop, River North, South Loop, Streeterville, West Loop, Wicker Park and Woodlawn.  A complete list of performance sites can be found at the Make Music Chicago Website

 

The Grand Finale takes place in the historic St. James Cathedral (65 E. Huron Street at Wabash) in River North, followed by an outdoor party at the St. James Commons.  Chicago's only classical music radio station, 98.7WFMT, broadcasts live at the Music Institute in Evanston in the morning and at the Grand Finale in the evening. 

 

Make Music Chicago 2014 Highlights

Play the Plaza

Make Music Chicago invites anyone and everyone to “Play the Plaza,” beginning in the morning at Daley Plaza (50 W. Washington Street).  These fully participatory events welcome all orchestral, choral and concert band musicians of any age.  “Play the Plaza” opens with the Rise and Shine Orchestra and continues with two popular lunchtime events returning from prior years, the Solstice Sing-Along and Sousapalooza.  The “Play the Plaza” continues in the afternoon with a concert by the Providence St. Mel Choir and a family-friendly Suzuki Play-Along

  • Rise and Shine Orchestra: 10 – 10:45 am

Lloyd Palmiter of Quinlan & Fabish Music Company leadsmusicians through vibrant orchestral music (rehearsal begins at 9:00 am).  Special guests include Chicago Symphony Orchestra members Nisanne Howell, Blair Milton, Paul Phillips, Barbara Queen, Brant Taylor and Cynthia Yeh.

  • Solstice Sing-Along: 11 – 11: 45 am

Bill Chin, Artistic Director of the Oriana Singers, leads fans of musical theater through some favorite show tunes.

  • Sousapalooza: 12 – 12:45 pm

Richard Fischer, Director of Bands at Concordia University-Chicago, leads players through the classic marches of John Philip Sousa.  Special guests include Chicago Symphony Orchestra Principal Trumpet Christopher Martin.  Anyone who ever played a band instrument is encouraged to join in.

  • Providence St. Mel Choir: 1 – 2 pm
  • Suzuki Play-Along: 2 – 3 pm

Kids of all ages familiar with the popular Suzuki Method for Music are invited to join in playing popular tunes such as “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and “Go Tell Aunt Rhody,” led by members of the Chicago Consortium of Community Music Schools.

 

Any musicians interested in participating in “Play the Plaza” events can learn more, download repertoire and sign up at the Play the Plaza Website

 

Live Broadcasts on 98.7WFMT

Chicago's only classical music radio station, 98.7WFMT, broadcasts live throughout the day at select Make Music Chicago events.  The broadcast is produced by 98.7WFMT's program director, David Polk.

  • Nichols Hall at Music Institute of Chicago (1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston): 10 am – 12 pm

New Music by and with Music Institute of Chicago Composition faculty and students

  • Grand Finale concert at St. James Cathedral (65 E. Huron St.): 5 – 7pm

Featuring Stradivari Society violinist and Paul Huang with pianist Jessica Osborne, Project Inclusion Quartet, Singers from the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center and the Euclid Quartet

 

Family Concerts

Make Music Chicago includes multiple Family Concerts throughout the day, including at Lincoln Park Zoo (2001 N. Clark Street), Old Town School of Folk Music in Lincoln Park (909 W. Armitage Avenue) and Daley Plaza (50 W. Washington Street).

  • Lincoln Park Zoo:Quintet Attacca’s Peter and the Wolf”: 10:30 – 11:30 am

Woodwind ensemble Quintet Attacca perform their interactive "Peter and the Wolf" show where different characters of the story are represented by different instruments.

  • Old Town School of Folk Music: 12 – 2 pm

Youth Music Program Saturday Jam and Busking performances

  • Daley Plaza: Suzuki Play-Along: 2 – 3 pm

Kids of all ages familiar with the popular Suzuki Method for Music are invited to join in playing popular tunes such as “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and “Go Tell Aunt Rhody,” led by members of the Chicago Consortium of Community Music Schools.

  • Taylor Park (Bronzeville):  IMW Allstars: 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

The IMW All-Stars, a group of talented young musicians ages 11-17 from Intonation Music Workshop, Chicago’s premier youth pop band, perform their best repertory.

 

Organ Crawl

The Make Music Chicago Organ Crawl returns for a second year in a row, featuring midday performances on the organs of three historic churches.

  • St. James Cathedral: 11 – 11:30 am
    Performance by David C. Jonies
  • St. Chrysostom Episcopal Church (1424 N. Dearborn Street): 12 – 12:30 pm
    Performance by Richard Hoskins
  • Fourth Presbyterian Church (126 E. Chestnut Street): 1 – 1:30 pm

Performance by Thom Gouwens

 

Grand Finale

The day’s events close with the Grand Finale, including a free two-hour concert event as part of the Rush Hour Concerts Summer Concert Series from 5 – 7 pm, at St. James Cathedral (65 E. Huron Street), featuring:

  • Stradivari Society violinist Paul Huang with pianist Jessica Osborne
  • Project Inclusion Quartet, composed of pre-professional musicians from Project Inclusion, a joint venture of the Chicago Sinfonietta and the Grant Park Music Festival
  • Singers from the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center
  • Euclid Quartet

 

The Grand Finale continues outdoors in the new St. James Commons on Wabash at Huron with the Jazz Institute of Chicago’s Jazz Links Youth Ensemble, 7 – 7:45 pm, followed by renowned harmonica performer and teacher Skip Landt leading an all-age Harmonica Jam with free harmonicas generously donated by Hohner, Inc., 8 – 8:30 pm.   The celebration closes with an appearance by the Bucket Boys, 8:30 – 9 pm.

 

Additional Make Music Chicago Sites and Events

Back of the Yards

Holy Cross Church (4541 S. Wood Street): 6 – 7 pm

Children from Rush Hour Concert's Community Engagement programs in collaboration with Axiom Brass, Spektral Quartet and Ensemble Ad-Hoc

Englewood

Sherwood Park (5701 S. Shield Avenue): 3 – 8 pm

So Fresh Saturdays

Evanston

Nichols Concert Hall (1490 Chicago Avenue): 1 – 5 pm

Free music from citizen musicians and professionals from around Chicagoland features David Yonan and Susan Merdinger, plus bluegrass, flute and guitar ensembles and piano soloists

Presence Saint Francis Hospital (355 Ridge Avenue): 10 – 11:30 am

            Chicken Fat Klezmer Orchestra

            Solo concert by pianist Katrina Sudman

Humboldt Park

Humboldt Park (1440 Humboldt Drive)

            Wicker Park Choral Singers: 12:30 – 1:30 pm

            Ravenswood Community Orchestra: 3:30 – 4:30 pm

            Shelley Miller: 4:30 – 5 pm

            a.pe.ri.od.ic: 5 – 6:30 pm

Hyde Park

Midway Plaisance (1130 Midway Plaisance)

            House DJs curated by Taigo Onez: 9 am – 4:30 pm

Friends of the Gamelan: 5 – 7:30 pm

House DJs curated by Taigo Onez: 7:30 – 9 pm

Lincoln Square

Winnemac Park (5100 N. Leavitt): 4:30 – 8 pm

            School of Rock concert

Loop

Argo Tea Marquette (140 S. Dearborn Street): 2:30 – 3:30 pm

            The Pippins perform

Mozart Park

Mozart Park (2036 N. Avers Avenue): 4 – 5:30 pm

Open Rhythm Revolution Drum Circle, facilitated by John Yost

River North

St. James Cathedral Commons (65 E. Huron Street): 1 – 2 pm

“Rush Hour Concerts in Back of the Yards” presents a collaboration concert between the Marimba Ensemble of Holy Cross/Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Sones de Mexico and Third Coast Percussion

South Loop

Sherwood, Community Music School at Columbia College (1312 S. Michigan Avenue): 1 – 1:30 pm

            Sherwood faculty concert

West Loop

The French Market (131 N. Clinton Avenue)

            Third Sunday String Band: 11 am – 12 pm

            Chicago Chapter of the American Recorder Society: 12:30 – 1:30 pm

            Paul Coady & The Edsel Bros: 1:30 – 2:30 pm

            Cowboy Choir: 2:30 – 3:30 pm

            Piobagusfadil: 4 – 5:30 pm

 

Over 100 Make Music Chicago events take place throughout the day, so for a complete and up-to-the-minute list of events, visit the Make Music Chicago Listings website.  Programming is subject to change.

 

About Make Music Chicago

Celebrating the ability of everyone to make music, Make Music Chicago is completely free for musicians and audiences alike.  It is inspired by Fête de la Musique, a national musical holiday in France.  Since its inaugural year in 1982, Fête de la Musique has become an international phenomenon taking place every June 21.  In 2013, over 700 cities took part in 130 countries worldwide – including Germany, Italy, Egypt, Syria, Morocco, Australia, Vietnam, Congo, Cameroon, Fiji, Colombia, Chile, Nepal and Japan – easily making it the largest music event in the world.  Make Music Chicago is part of a national group of “Make Music” cities that includes New York, Los Angeles, Denver, Baltimore and Philadelphia.

 

Make Music Chicago is presented by Rush Hour Concerts in partnership with 98.7WFMT, Alliance Française de Chicago, the Consulate General of France in Chicago, the Chicago Loop Alliance, Chicago Sister Cities International, the Chicago Park District and St. James Cathedral.

 

About Night Out in the Parks

Arts programming in neighborhoods across the city advances the goals of the Chicago Park District and the Chicago Cultural Plan.  In its second year, the 2014 Night Out in the Parks series will bring 1,000 events and programs to more than 250 neighborhood parks throughout the city, making community parks safe havens and hubs of activity.  Projects will vary from traditional performances and concerts, to peace rallies, movies, magic shows, community workshops, nature based programs, dance pieces, festivals, and more. The Chicago Park District has partnered with more than 50 arts and community organizations to expand and produce this successful initiative.

 

About Rush Hour Concerts

Rush Hour Concerts presents the annual Summer Concert Series featuring free concerts of “great music for busy lives” at St. James Cathedral every Tuesday evening, June 3 – August 26, 2014.  In a format that reinvents classical music for life in a new century, Rush Hour Concerts begin with a pre-concert food and beverage reception with the artists at 5:15 pm in the cathedral foyer, followed by a 30-minute concert at 5:45 pm.  The reception and concert are always free and no tickets are required.

 

Since its founding in 2000 by Deborah Sobol, Rush Hour Concerts has reinvented the classical music experience through a dedication to artistic quality, a concert format suitable to contemporary lifestyles and a policy of admission-free events.  Rush Hour Concerts has created groundbreaking programs and access initiatives that have revolutionized music-making in Chicago and forged trendsetting partnerships with the city’s arts and cultural community.  In addition to the Summer Concert Series, Rush Hour Concerts unites the city through music every year during Make Music Chicago on the summer solstice, June 21, a citywide, daylong celebration of everyone’s ability to make music. 

 

Rush Hour Concerts is committed to broadening arts access and launched its Community Engagement Residencies to bring expert musical instruction to under-resourced neighborhoods in Chicago through a long-term strategy of artistic and community collaboration.  Now celebrating its 15th anniversary, Rush Hour Concerts has expanded into a year-round arts organization, yet remains grounded in its mission to reach across all communities with new ways for audiences to experience world-class music in Chicago.

 

To learn more about Make Music Chicago, please visit the Make Music Chicago Website and to learn more about Rush Hour Concerts, please visit the Rush Hour website.

 

Photos: Courtesy of Rush Hour Concerts

 

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