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Make Music Winter 2014 to Present Musical Parades from The Bronx to Williamsburg, Beginning 12/21

Make Music New York is proud to announce the fourth annual Make Music Winter, taking place on Sunday, December 21, 2014, the shortest day of the year. From The Bronx to Williamsburg, thirteen participatory musical parades will enliven streets, parks, and other public spaces throughout four of the city's five boroughs.

Like Make Music New York's annual flagship event on the first day of summer, June 21, Make Music Winter is a free, outdoor musical event that turns audiences into music makers. Inspired by Phil Kline's annual Unsilent Night -- the boombox parade that has become an international tradition and takes place in NYC on December 13 this year -- Make Music Winter's innovative projects transform New York's cityscape for a single day.

Participating organizations include the American Museum of Natural History, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the Bronx Music Heritage Center, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Friends of the High Line, the Jalopy Theater and School of Music, the North Flatbush Business Improvement District, Prospect Park Alliance, El Puente, and Southside Merchants. Featured artists include Puerto Rican ensemble BombaYo, fiddler Anna Roberts-Gevalt, conductor Malcolm Merriweather, composers Daniel Goode, Hiroya Miura, J.C. King, Nissim Schaul, and others.

A full schedule, with starting times and exact locations, is also available on as of November 17.

Program for Make Music Winter (listed alphabetically):

  • Bell by Bell: Artist Tom Peyton distributes seventy color-coded bells to the crowd, one color per note. At the front of the parade, a team of conductors waves corresponding colored flags to lead the group in slowly moving music, written by a variety of composers. When the conductors raise their red and green flags, everyone with red and green bells start ringing, and so on for each color, creating a sonorous, atmospheric soundscape in the Harry Potter-esque thoroughfare known as Sixth ½ Avenue. The Parade begins at 5:00 pm at W. 55th Street and 6½ Ave; all are invited to join.
  • Flat Foot Flatbush: Dancers, fiddlers, and pickers will parade down Flatbush Ave playing old-time tunes while flat footing, a form of percussive dancing from Appalachia, led by fiddler/dancer Anna Roberts-Gevalt, along with Katie Cohen and Nick Horner of the Nick Horner Family. The event begins with a workshop-performance at 1:00 pmat the Brooklyn Public Library, and steps off at 2:30 pm in front of the Brooklyn Library, ending at Barclays Center. All are invited to play, sing, and dance - no experience necessary. Dancers should bring tap shoes, or an old pair of sneakers from which they can make their own at the workshop. Musicians should bring an instrument and email the organizers by December 18 to receive the music.
  • The Gaits: a High Line Soundwalk: Composers Lainie Fefferman, Jascha Narveson, and Cameron Britt have created a free smartphone application that turns footsteps into twinkling metallic sounds, electric guitar chords, dulcimer notes, water splashes, car horns, and applause. By connecting them to small, wearable speakers, smartphones become instruments effortlessly played by strolling, sauntering, or sprinting down the High Line. To honor of the newest section of the High Line - now extending up to 34th street - this year's parade will feature a new ending inspired by the expansive views and active railways below. The Parade begins at 5:00 pm at the southern end of the High Line. To join, download the free Gaits application to your phone; speakers will be available on loan for the first 100 participants. Produced by Friends of the High Line; software development by Daniel Iglesia.
  • Kalmibascope: Participants are invited to join the Kalimbascope Ensemble, and promenade the sunset with the music of the enchanted thumb piano! Composer J.C. King leads a psychedelic kalimba parade through the streets of North Brooklyn, ending at iconic McCarren Park. The parade will be accompanied by real-time electronics, with participants joining in on a kalimba chorus of mystery and fascination. The parade begins at 4:00 pm at Cooper Park (Maspeth Avenue at Olive Street, Brooklyn.) Participants are encouraged to bring their own kalimbas (thumb pianos), hand chimes and bells, all tuned to a specific key, to be announced. Kalimbas will be available for the first 25 participants to borrow.
  • Lightmotif: Winter is Fuyu in Japanese. Originally derived from the verb Furu, to shake, it refers to an ancient ritual performed to shake up the frigid spirit that was frozen cold around the winter solstice. The shaking of the bells in front of the shintoist shrine is a common sight in Japan today, calming the ancestral spirits - a vestige of the winter solstice ceremony, originally praying for the resurrection of the spirit. Lightmotif is a modern day ritual of renewal: a musical soul-shaking for the new solar cycle. Following the path of the Long Island City Sundial, brass musicians and bag pipers will march while playing a call-and-answer pattern. The parade begins at 3:00 pm at 43rd Avenue and 24th Street in Queens. All brass musicians and bagpipers welcome to join; no prior rehearsal necessary.
  • La Trullita Navideña de los Sures: El Puente, BombaYo, and El Puente CADRE (Community Artists' Development & Resource Exchange) is partnering with the Southside Merchants present their second annual parranda - an afternoon of singing, drumming and Caribbean holiday celebration n Los Sures, the Southside of Williamsburg. The Trullita begins at 1:00 pm at El Puente Headquarters (211 S. 4th Street, Brooklyn); all are invited to join.
  • Parranda con Paranda: The Puerto Rican tradition of parranda and the Garifuna tradition of paranda involve processions of carolers going door-to-door during the holiday season. In exchange for the visitors' music and poetry, residents traditionally give food and gifts. Large populations of Garifuna and Puerto Ricans live in the Bronx. Join WHEDCO and the Bronx Music Heritage Center in a festive holiday processional, and visit different sites in the Morrisania community, ending with a parranda con paranda jam amongst musicians from both two cultures. Featured musicians include Hector "Pucho" Alamo, Lucy Blanco, Carlos Espada, Matthew Gonzalez, James Lovell, Los Hermanos Nuñez and Jorge "Georgie" Vázquez. The parade begins at 4:00 pm at Intervale Greene (1330 Intervale Avenue, Bronx); all are invited to join.
  • Pilgrimage: Early Music singers led by conductor Malcolm Merriweather walk from the American Museum of Natural History to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, carrying lanterns through Central Park while singing medieval melodies once sung along the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. The pilgrimage begins at 6:30 pm on the steps of the American Museum of Natural History (Central Park West at 79th street.) All singers are invited to join.
  • Prelude:Amateur and professional singers and instrumentalists meet in Cadman Plaza Park and parade to the Archway under the Manhattan Bridge in DUMBO while performing the Prelude movement of Bach's G-Major Cello Suite No. 1 very, very, slowly. The result is a half-hour, slow-motion harmonic wash of sound conceived and produced by James Holt. All instruments and vocalists welcome; no sight-reading experience is necessary. The parade begins at 4:00 pm at Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn. To join, download the iPhone application or single mp3 tracks, available at to your phone, and bring your instrument or voice.
  • Soho Gamelan Walk: Composer Daniel Goode will lead participants through a portion of Soho's cast iron district. Using their hands, the group will drum on the hollow cast iron fronts of all the buildings, turning them into instruments. The parade begins at 2:00 pm at Sixth Avenue and Spring Street; "Wear gloves," advise the organizers.
  • Village in Volume celebrates In C: Musicians of all walks of life are invited to take part in a global celebration of the monumental minimalist work In C, celebrating 50 years since its launch in 1964 by the California composer Terry Riley. Percussionists Amy Garapic and Clara Warnaar lead participants in a performance of the work around Washington Square Park for the New York City celebration of A Worldwide Day of In C. The parade begins at 4:00 pm at the basketball courts by the West 4th subway stop (West 3rd and 6th Ave.) All instrumentalists are welcome to bring their own instruments and join in. Large cue cards will display individual musical cells, which will lead participants through the piece as well as along their route around the park.
  • Wheels: Wheels gathers the city's seasoned and casual cyclists to perform a new piece for bicycle bells by composer Nissim Schaul. Using technology developed by Merche Blasco, and taking advantage of the loops in southern Prospect Park's bike paths, riders will travel in groups through Prospect Park, following a score transmitted from the lead bike via a special helmet pre-programmed with lights that cue bicycle bells of different pitches. The groups will come together and split up, performing music that is at once stand-alone and complementary, creating concentric circles of sound and echo. The parade begins at 4:00 pm at Brooklyn's Grand Army Plaza; all are invited to join with their bicycles.
  • Winterize: Baritone Christopher Dylan Herbert presents an encore performance of his participatory version of Franz Schubert's 1828 song cycle Winterreise at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The performance will migrate throughout the Garden, passing through locations that reflect the vivid imagery of Wilhelm Müller's poetry and Schubert's music. Audience members provide the accompaniment using hand-held radios, emitting the original piano music as performed by Timothy Long and reimagined by sound designer Jonathan Zalben. This year's production features twenty-four German-to-English supertitles by Italian illustrator Irene Rinaldi. New York Times critic Zachary Woolfe has called Winterize "brave and, in all senses, chilling... an elegantly lean performance that would have been impressive in any context but was remarkable under these conditions." Winterize will begin at Magnolia Plaza at 11:00 am. (Note that the normal admission fee for the garden will be waived; this event is free.)

As with all Make Music New York events, Make Music Winter is free to the public, no tickets required. Further information on Make Music New York is available at

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