Columbia participates in a global celebration of making music on the longest day of the year

Make Music Columbia returns for its fifth year with a wild and wonderful mix of free outdoor musical events on Friday, June 21. During the summer solstice, Columbia and 80 chapters worldwide, encourage people all ages and skill levels to come together and make music.

Completely different from a typical musical festival, Make Music Day concerts are performed by anyone who wants to take part and enjoyed by everyone who wants to attend. The organizers of Make Music Columbia, One Columbia for Arts and History, Rice Music House, The Koger Center for the Arts, The Columbia Museum of Art and The City of Columbia Riverfront Park, invite everyone from professional musicians to people who have never picked up an instrument to join in and create music on streets, sidewalks, porches, plazas, parks, gardens, store fronts and other public spaces on the longest day of the year. Any musician, amateur or professional, young or old, is invited to take part by signing up at makemusiccolumbia.org; registration closes on June 19. Likewise, businesses, buildings, schools, churches, and other institutions can visit the website to offer their outdoor spaces as concert locations.

“Columbia is a tremendously talented city,” says Lee Snelgrove, Executive Director of One Columbia for Arts and History. “We’re fortunate to have such a large number of professional musicians and we hope to highlight that creativity and talent on June 21st. “It’s also unique opportunity for amateur musicians,” said Jyotindra Parekh, President of Rice Music House. “Many of our students and teachers are excited about the chance to perform publicly at an event that encourages participation from every level of musical experience.”

Now with the addition of The Koger Center for Arts and the newly renovated Boyd Plaza, Make Music Columbia will have more venues for music-making fun. Festivities kick off early in the morning, with performances around the capital city. We’ll have a special performance on Boyd Plaza by the lively Latin Caravan. During the afternoon concert, The Drip and Scoopy Doo gelato truck makes an appearance for anyone looking for a special treat. The excitement continues with our mass appeal event at the Riverfront Park including beverages available from local brewery Bierkeller. Friends and family can take in the day and relax along the Congaree River while having some fun enjoying all the musical offerings for both kids and adults. Attendees will be strumming the ukuleles, learning how to bucket drum with Jess Oliver of Girls Rock Columbia, and getting a harmonica lesson from musician Jim “Wallstreet” Coulliard from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. at the historic riverfront pump house complex. In the evening, The Koger Center is hosting A Midsummer Night’s Swing where attendees can swing dance to live jazz by the Mark Rapp Group. The free concert starts at 8:00 p.m., and preshow activities can be found at www.kogercenterforthearts.com.

Music has been shown to strengthen social connectivity, reduce stress, lower blood pressure, stimulate memory, and is integral to a well-rounded, enjoyable life. Make Music Day encourages every form of music-making. Local musicians and would-be musicians are invited to register for the match-making site and schedule a time to play! All events are free and open to the public. Our mass appeals will take place in the evening, and anyone can walk up and learn a new musical skill.

A full schedule of events will be available at makemusiccolumbia.org. Venues or performers can register at matchcolumbia.makemusicday.org.

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