Liberty is planning to mark the start of summer with a free summer music celebration. Organizers are inviting anyone who can carry a tune, play one or enjoy one to consider becoming a part of the Make Music Liberty festival on June 21.
Interested players can sign up until June 10 at the event’s website www.makemusicliberty.org. For Liberty residents and businesses, the event is still open to new venue locations. Musicians can go online and see the available venues and request a time slot.
The longest-day-of-the-year event is the first of its kind in the Kansas City area.
Originating in France in 1982 as a celebration of the Summer Solstice, Make Music Day has grown into an international celebration which includes more than 700 participating cities in 120 countries.
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Here in the United States, the Make Music Day movement started in New York a decade ago. Until this year, there were no participating cities in Missouri. St. Louis has also started a Make Music Day event for 2016. Last year, the closest event of its kind was in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Event organizer Bill Stilfield is also the chairman of the Liberty Arts Commission. He sees the event as a way to help get people interested in the musical arts.
“We have Liberty Arts Squared and a lot of public events dealing with visual art, but it’s one of the few that the arts commission has been involved with that deals with the musical arts,” Stilfield said.
Among the 23 venues currently available for music during the event are private homes with front porches, parks, museums and downtown businesses. The only requirement for a venue site is that it be within Liberty city limits. Players are invited to come from anywhere. Beginners — even children — are welcome.
“This is for all people no matter what level of musical ability you have,” Stilfield said.
“It’s a festival, and it’s made to have fun but also to get people interested in the musical arts. We feel like it will bring the community together so everyone can participate.”
Make Music Liberty will also include what Stilfield calls “Mass Appeal” events, like a harmonica workshop of sorts planned for the Presbyterian Church Park near the downtown square from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Phil Duncan, who is a performing artist for the Hohner company, will conduct a harmonica workshop and mass harmonica play. The company will be giving away free harmonicas to the first 100 people who attend.
Stilfield says they are hoping to also put together a drum circle and perhaps a mass ukulele play, but they are still working on the details of those events.
Make Music Liberty festival
▪ The free music venues, which are throughout the city in Liberty will start at 10 a.m. and go until 8 p.m. June 21
▪ A schedule will be available at www.makemusicliberty.org. There is also an iPhone and Android ap available for Make Music Day allows visitors to look up local acts and venue times.
▪ Those interested in attending should bring a lawn chair.