Make Music Chicago Sunday, June 21st

2015-pianos-in-the-park-chicago MMC_2015-2 MMC_2015 MMC_2014_riseandshine MMC_2014_lia_carlo_har MMC_2014_LadyHarmonica MMC_2014_KH_Daley MMC_2014_Jazzband_SJC MMC_2014_boytrumpet


Thank you for playing a part, one and all! We had yet another very successful event and are beyond thankful for all of you, artists, volunteers, spectators…everyone, THANK YOU!

We would love to see all of your photos and videos, please share them with us on social media using #makemusicchi and/or send them our way via email to


We’re excited to present an ongoing musical opportunity via…


Play a Part! Play in the Park! Play a Piano in the Park!

Six pianos in six Chicago neighborhoods! Open to the public during park hours starting June 21st in conjunction with the 5th anniversary of Make Music Chicago.

Berger Park : 6205 N. Sheridan
Eckhard Park : 1330 W. Chicago Ave
Piotrowski Park : 4247 W. 31st St.
Seneca Playlot Park : 220 E. Chicago Ave
Washington Square Park : 901 N. Clark St.
63rd St. Beach : 6300 S. Lake Shore Dr

Presented by Rush Hour Concerts.

Click here to learn about the Pianos in the Parks Challenge!

Make Music Chicago presented by Rush Hour Concerts, links Chicago with a massive global music-making festival that takes place on the Summer Solstice every year and allows people of all ages and abilities to play together all day long – for free.

Whether you’ve played an instrument all your life or haven’t sung since kindergarten this Father’s Day, Sunday June 21st enjoy free participatory events all over the city. Come play a part. We’ll have a few headline events and many, many more where you can either walk up and join in or just enjoy some great, free music.

More information about the day itself can be found on this site, including how to register as an artist, a venue or a volunteer, as well as the history of Make Music Chicago and a whole bunch of Frequently Asked Questions. To download the Make Music Chicago brochure, click here.

If you’re interested in sponsoring or supporting Make Music Chicago, please get in touch with us here.

In the meantime, save the date!

Make Music Chicago is a proud member of the Make Music Day Alliance.


All Instruments • All Genres • All Levels • All Ages • All FREE

Make Music Chicago is a joyous celebration of music and everyone’s innate ability to make it, from amateurs all the way up to Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians. A kazoo is a kazoo and so can you.

On June 21st, we’re hoping to include all of Chicagoland with as much free and fun music as possible. From parks and parking lots to sidewalks, store-fronts, and stoops, anywhere in the city can be a backdrop for music on Make Music Chicago.

We’re looking for Artists to perform, Venues to host and Volunteers to help make this the best spontaneous explosion of musical merriment ever.

If you know a good band, a great location or have friends who would want to pitch in at an event like this, please send them our way.

Click here to sign up and take part!

(And if you just want to watch, we’ll see you on June 21st!)

Make Music Chicago: June 21, 2015

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Every Make Music Chicago event is free and open to the public, thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and supporters.

Corporate and In Kind Sponsors


Foundations and Government Support


Additional Sponsors and Partners


Individual contributions to support Make Music Chicago can be made online (secure payments handled by PayPal) or via mail to the address below. Please make checks payable to “Rush Hour Concerts” and note “Make Music Chicago” in the subject line.

Make Music Chicago
c/o Rush Hour Concerts
650 N. Dearborn, Suite 500
Chicago, IL 60654

Make Music Chicago is presented by Rush Hour Concerts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. All contributions are 100% tax deductible.

For more information about becoming a sponsor or supporter of Make Music Chicago, please contact Kitty Rothschild at


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Make Music Chicago
Make Music ChicagoThursday, February 4th, 2016 at 1:16pm
Thanks to Mike and Lia who performed cello duets for our fabulous long time sponsor at Tishman-Speyer today! And thank you Tishman Speyer for your ongoing support of Make Music Chicago!!
2    View on Facebook
Make Music Chicago
Make Music ChicagoThursday, February 4th, 2016 at 4:12am
We had so much fun with this project.
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Make Music Chicago
Make Music Chicago shared Chicago Parks Foundation's post.Thursday, February 4th, 2016 at 4:10am
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Make Music Chicago
Make Music Chicago shared Rush Hour Concerts's post.Monday, February 1st, 2016 at 5:56am
Catch Kuang-Hao this Wednesday for free down at Roosevelt University in Ganz Hall at 7:30 pm.
   View on Facebook
Make Music Chicago
Make Music Chicago shared Chicago Cultural Mile's event.Thursday, January 28th, 2016 at 6:23am
What do you think? Would you join us to march in this again on October 22, 2016? We had an awful lot of fun with the Lakeside Pride Band leading the way in 2015!!! Could we get 76 trombones to play alongside Kuang-Hao Huang???
   View on Facebook


2015 Press Coverage

Splash Magazine
6-21-15 :

6-21-15 :

6-20-15 :

ABC7Chicago : Festival Friday with Roz Varon
6-19-15 :

Chicago Parent
6-19-15 :

CBS Chicago
6-18-15 :

Rolling Stone
6-18-15 :

DNAinfo : The Block Club
6-19-15 :

6-19-15 :

Chicago Tribune : Classical Corner
6-19-15 : Chicago Tribune

Chicago Magazine
July 2015 :

Showbiz Chicago
6-12-15 :

June 2015 :

Choose Chicago
6-15-15 :

WDCB : The Arts Section
6-14-15 :

Chicago Tribune : Just Kidding
6-14-15 :


Chicago Parent Magazine
June 2015 :

Chicago Magazine
June 2015 :

Chicago Tribune : Classical Corner
5-29-15 : Chicago Tribune

Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association
5-27-15 :

MakeItBetter Event Listing
5-20-15 :

Rush Hour Concerts, Make Music Chicago in Summer Culture Guide
5-11-15 : Crain’s Chicago Business

Summer Activity Guide – North Side 2015 (22nd Annual Edition)
May 2015 : Inside Booster, News Star, Skyline

2014 Press Coverage

Make Music Chicago
6-21-14 : Choose Chicago

Make Music Chicago Features More Than 100 Free Events Across City
6-5-14 :

A Round-Up: Lazy Blogging & World Music
6-4-14 : Lollygag blog

Solstice Mania
June 2014 : Chicago Magazine

‘Make Music Chicago’ daylong fest set for June 21 
5-28-14 : Chicago Sun Times


Where did the idea come from?

Make Music Chicago is based on France’s Fête de la Musique, a national musical holiday inaugurated in 1982, which has since become the largest single-day music event in the world. The festival has become an international phenomenon, celebrated on the same day in more than 700 cities in 110 countries, including Germany, Italy, Egypt, Syria, Morocco, Australia, Vietnam, Congo, Cameroon, Fiji, Colombia, Chile, Nepal, and Japan.

Who can participate?

Anyone and everyone can participate.  All musicians are welcome, regardless of whether they are amateurs, professionals, students, or established artists. Make Music Chicago is open to artists of all ages, genres, and levels of ability.

How do I sign up to perform/host a concert?

For musicians without a venue (and venues without musicians), we maintain a matchmaking tool, to help you find and make concert arrangements with each other. Click Participate at the top of your screen to get started. You will receive an email confirmation from when your registration is complete.

Where do the musicians play?

Possible locations for musicians include sidewalks, parks, plazas, schools, courtyards, or community gardens. Get creative!  If you want to use some other kind of location send an email to with a detailed proposal of what you want to do and who you have already spoken to at the location and we’ll do our best to make it happen.

Who will provide a stage/backline/tuned grand piano/ for my concert?

Make Music Chicago is not a typical music festival. Yes, there are some major stages with some major artists, but the true spirit of Make Music Chicago is that of a holiday: people getting together in their own neighborhoods, creating their own musical events in a do-it-yourself fashion. Make Music Chicago provides the framework and helps facilitate the creation of concerts — the rest is up to you! Artists and locations are responsible for producing their own events. This includes finding electricity, and providing whatever equipment is needed.

Will musicians be paid to perform?

Our organization does not pay musicians — nor do musicians pay us.  We are simply setting up the framework by coordinating the concerts and publicizing the event citywide with tens of thousands of posters, earned media stories, concert listings with our media partners, an interactive website and a corps of volunteers. Most musicians perform for free.  But, artists and venues are welcome to make any financial arrangements they wish as long as the concerts are free and open to the public.

Can Make Music Chicago Performers sell CDs, or ask for donations?

Musicians are not allowed to solicit donations nor can we provide the permits to allow vending at your event.  On the other hand, musicians are encouraged to pass out fliers to promote their upcoming shows and recordings, ask listeners to sign their mailing list, and generally promote themselves.

What will Make Music Chicago do to help promote my concert?

We list all concerts on the Make Music Chicago website (with descriptions and artist websites). Our MMC program will be distributed citywide, publicized, and promoted over various forms of social media. We are counting on musicians and venues to promote their own shows in all the ways they normally would — sending out email blasts, putting up notices on websites, calling up their friends, etc.

Can I charge admission for a Make Music Chicago Concert?

No.  All Make Music Chicago concerts are free and open to the public.

Can my concert be “invitation only?”


Can I create a Make Music Chicago Event that does not include live music?


What about some other way to be exclusive or skip the music?

Nope, not today. We only have room for inclusive, free accessible musical concerts on June 21st.

Can I register multiple locations or artists to participate in Make Music Chicago?

Absolutely! You are welcome to create multiple venue profiles if you would like to host concerts in more than one location. And, if you play in more than one ensemble, or are curating a show with multiple bands, you can create profiles for each one. Just be sure to create a separate profile for each location and each artist, so that each one can be officially matched in the system and included in our promotions.

What happens if I want to play at a location that is not listed?

That’s great! We encourage musicians to create their own performance locations, especially when they have an existing relationship with the space. Make sure it’s OK with the location first, then log in, click on your name in the top upper right hand side of the screen. A dropdown will give you the option to “Manage Profiles”. Click here and register the location on the website. Finally, match your artist and venue profiles together at the time of your choosing. We’ll take care of the rest.

What happens if I want to host my friend’s band, but they aren’t listed on the site?

That’s great too! First, register the details of your location. Then either ask your friend to sign up their band, or do it for them — log in, click on “Manage Profiles”, and fill in their information. Finally, match the artist and venue profiles together at the time of your choosing using our brand new “self-match” capability. It’s as easy as clicking where it says “Already have an Artist lined up?” and we’ll take care of the rest.

What happens if it rains?

Each outdoor location will have a different rain plan. Some will be moved to a nearby indoor space and some may need to cancel. During the matchmaking process, registered locations will indicate what they will do in case of rain.

What if I play an instrument, but don’t have my own band?

Join one of our “Mass Appeal” events! We are organizing hundreds of musicians to band together to create an orchestra (Rise and Shine), a choir for a sing-along, and a band to play all things Sousa (Sousapalooza), as well as gatherings for groups of individual instruments. Each performance works differently, depending on the genre, the instrument, and the location.

How do I curate a show with multiple artists? Or, what if I want to play on the same show as my friends?

Each artist should sign up separately — we need to have a unique musical description and web address for everyone. Then have each one match themselves to the same location, at different time slots. If the entire program has a particular theme or title, put that in the location’s description box.

What if my ensemble signs up now, and has to back out later?

Once your event is confirmed by your chosen location and by Make Music Chicago, we will block off your spot and pay for your permits. We are counting on you to perform! If you do need to cancel, it is your responsibility to find another performer to take your spot. Please let the location – and us – know about all program changes ASAP.

I’d like to take full advantage of Make Music Chicago and perform all over town!

Scheduling more than one performance is fine. However, please allow reasonable time for travel and set-up if you plan to perform more than once.

You said something about a Matchmaking software earlier…are you promising eligible bachelors and bachelorettes at Make Music Chicago?

No…but maybe.




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