Updated: November 26, 2013 9:34AM
Music lovers will want to be in Chicago on Friday, June 21, for Make Music Chicago, a day of free music. Sit back and listen, or even join in the music-making at this event, which “celebrates the ability of everyone to participate in music-making.”
The sounds of music begin at 9 a.m. at the Daley Plaza, in the shadow of the Picasso. The programming ends at 9 p.m. at St. James Cathedral with the event’s grand finale of family programming and international music on three outdoor stages. In between there will be performances of many musical genres at 25 event venues across the city and in Evanston.
Have you ever wanted to play with the Chicago Symphony, or sing opera somewhere other than in the shower? Participants of all ages and of all levels of talent are invited to join in, and you just might perform alongside members of the symphony or other professional artists.
Three participatory programs will take place at the Daley Plaza. The Rise and Shine Orchestra will rehearse at 9 a.m. and then perform a concert dedicated to public school orchestra teachers at 10 a.m. Sousapalooza will be at noon. For these, BYOI (instrument) and a music stand. The sing-along of favorite arias and show tunes will begin at 11 a.m.
Those planning to participate in these programs are encouraged to sign-up online and to visit the website for the song list and available downloadable sheet music.
A harmonica jam is another one of the day’s participatory programs. This will take place at the St. James Cathedral, 65 E. Huron, at 8:10 p.m., with free Hohner harmonicas available.
The Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the venues hosting family programming. Add free performances of “Peter and the Wolf” at 10:30 a.m. followed by a SuZOOki kids play along to free zoo admission to get a fun and easy on the wallet family outing.
An organ crawl is one of the more unique programs of the day. Beginning at 11:40 a.m. at St. Chrysostom Episcopal Church, 1424 N. Dearborn, the program continues on an organ with over 6,000 pipes at the Fourth Presbyterian Church at 126 E. Chestnut, and concludes at St. James Cathedral in a program that includes pieces by Bach, Saint-Saens and Reger.
A wide range of classical music performances will be offered throughout the day at the Music Institute of Chicago, 1490 Chicago Ave. in Evanston, beginning at 10 a.m. The vibes there will change at 4:30 p.m. with the Healing Earth Native American flute circle followed by other programs then concluding with a “massive multi-generational community samba parade and jam” from 7 to 8 p.m.
Numerous lunchtime concerts will be offered at venues around the loop, including at Millennium Park and in Symphony Center. Piano Forte performances will take place at the Fine Arts Building, 408 S. Michigan, and even on the sidewalk outside from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
World music will be performed in many programs, including at the International House, 1414 E. 59th St. at the University of Chicago, beginning at 2 p.m. and concluding with the ChickenFat Klezmer Orchestra at 7:15 p.m.
Many, many more free programs are part of Make Music Chicago. For the complete schedule of concerts and venue locations go online to www.makemusicchicago.com.
Those who can’t make it to the venues can hear live concert broadcasts plus interviews on the radio and streaming on WFMT 98.7. Its live broadcast will run from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and will include classical music from the Music Institute of Chicago, folk from the Old Town School of Folk Music, world music from the International House, and gospel and contemporary from St. James Cathedral.
This is the third year for Make Music Chicago, an event which was inspired by Fete de la Musique, a national holiday in France which has inspired similar free music events on the first day of summer in more than 500 cities in over 100 countries.