Thursday, June 21, 2018

Mass Appeal and Other Participatory Events

Bring your instrument and join one of over 20 massive concerts!

Photo: Kris Connor/ Getty Images
Photo: Kris Connor/ Getty Images

There’s no better way to experience Make Music New York than to come make music yourself!

One of Make Music New York’s signatures, the Mass Appeal series is back for an eighth year, giving New Yorkers without groups of their own a chance to take part in the music-making, by gathering hundreds of musicians to play pieces written for single types of instruments. There are over twenty Mass Appeals this year, open to everyone from the complete newbie to the polished professional, including spectacular new works for Bagpipes, Boomwhackers, Cymbals, Music Boxes, Pianos, and Voice.

And don’t miss three more creative ways to participate: the brassy Sousapalooza, the quirky Boleros, and the Make(r) Music New York.

Jump to: Accordions | Bagpipes | Boomwhackers | Cymbals | Double Reeds | 49 Waltzes | French Horns | Guitars | Harmonicas | Mandolins | Modular Synth Orchestra | Music Boxes | Percussion: Bells-Door | Pianos | Recorders | Stones | Ukuleles | Voice: Circle Singing | Voice: Sacred Harp | Voice: The Gauntlet | Sousapalooza | Boleros | Make(r) Music

Mass Appeals

Mass Appeal Accordions

 Carroll Park (Smith St and Carroll St), Brooklyn
6pm – 7pm

Mass Appeal Accordions will feature solo accordionists and groups with accordion players throughout the day. The event will culminate in a Mass Appeal where anyone with an accordion or free-reed instrument can join. Music will include Cantus for Benjamin Britten by Arvo Part and Hight Summer Brood V by Peter Flint.

How to Join: Bring your accordion! Music for this event and rehearsals, if any, will be posted at

Mass Appeal Bagpipes: Windchime, by Matthew Welch

Bagpipes, 640x480 Court Square, Long Island City (Queens)
12pm – 2pm

Windchime is an interactive musical work for a public space, intended for a large group of Highland bagpipers and bass woodwinds. The public space is mapped out in such a way that the performer saunters through various pathways, playing sounds and notes specific to each marked out location, mimicking a breeze traveling through and activating a windchime.

The bright sound of the bagpipe evokes the metallic luster of metal chimes, with the low woodwinds evoking wooden chimes. The blending of the low woodwinds with the low drones of the bagpipes provides a resonant “bed” of supportive sound. As the performers travel through all locations, a sense of musical form is attained through the pathway’s construction and sequence of sounds. Windchime is a composition and collaboration between bagpiper-composer Matthew Welch, saxophonist-composer Shelley Washington and bassoonist-composer Susanna Hancock.

How to Join: Click here to sign up!


Mass Appeal Boomwhackers: Eye of the Tiger, by Survivor

Boomwhackers 640x480 Richmond County Ballpark, 75 Richmond Terrace (Staten Island)
7pm – 10pm

On June 21, over 2,000 fans attending the minor league Staten Island Yankees game will be given Boomwhackers (pitched percussion tubes) as they enter the stadium. During the seventh-inning stretch, conductors will come onto the field and lead fans in a crowdsourced performance of Survivor’s anthemic “Eye of the Tiger,” inviting people to whack the tubes on cue.

Original Survivor frontman Dave Bickler, renowned for his vocals on “Eye of the Tiger,” will sing the classic hit from on the field (as well as the national anthem). After the game, instruments will be donated to local Staten Island elementary schools, in association with VH1 Save The Music.

How to Join: Visit the Staten Island Yankees website to purchase tickets to the game.

Mass Appeal Cymbals: Shimmer, by Brian Chase

Cymbal and water 640x480 Madison Square Park, Manhattan
3:30pm – 4:15pm

Shimmer is a new work for cymbals, composed by Brian Chase of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Says Chase, “The event comes at the time of the summer solstice, the moment marking the official arrival of summer in the Northern Hemisphere – what instrument better complements the form of the sun as much as the shape of a cymbal? Contained within each individual cymbal is a huge world of tones ranging from very low to very high. Exploring this ‘tone world’ and the sonic potential of cymbals, both individual and collective, is a primary aim of Shimmer.” Presented in collaboration with the Madison Square Park Conservancy, and sponsored by Zildjian and the Music Performance Trust Fund.

How to Join: Email Jordan at for details. Bring your own cymbal and stand. No rehearsal needed, but come early so Brian Chase can talk everyone through the piece.

Zildjian MPTF

Mass Appeal Double Reeds

Double Reeds 640x480 Bleecker Park, Bleecker Street and Hudson St (West Village)
6pm – 7pm

NYU Steinhardt Double Reeds will join with Rutgers University Bassoons in concert with extraordinary music ranging from Handel’s Royal Fireworks to contemporary masterworks for festive celebration of music in the West Village.

How to Join: Email Matt Sullivan,

Mass Appeal: 49 Waltzes, by John Cage

 Multiple Locations

John Cage’s 49 Waltzes is a 1977 ode to New York City that allows everyone to participate, whether by playing, singing, recording, or simply “experiencing” music in one of 147 different locations. This annual event is organized by Avant Media, in collaboration with C.F. Peters.

How to Join: Find out more about participating by clicking here.

Peters logo in bitmap format

Mass Appeal French Horns

 Citicorp Plaza, 601 Lexington Ave (at E. 53rd)
6pm – 7pm

Professionals, amateurs, and students: Please join us as we celebrate Make Music New York in a bustling Midtown location! The French Horn Nation is an amicable aggregation of conical bore brass instruments led by Linda Blacken, performing music from classical to jazz and beyond. Help us build our mass for this Mass Appeal event!

How to Join: Click here to RSVP. Contact Linda Blacken at if you have any questions.

Mass Appeal Guitars

 Union Square Plaza South (W. 14th St and Broadway)
4:30pm – 6:30pm

Join a historic and massive guitar jam in Union Square!

The featured performance begins at 5:00pm with artist Sasha Dobson. A member of the band Puss N Boots with Norah Jones and Cat Popper, Dobson will perform with her solo trio sharing her fun and funky music.

Then at 5:45pm the play-along begins! We’ll be handing out free songbooks on site – join us in playing:

The Beatles, “I Saw Her Standing There” – Led by New York City Guitar School (key of E)
The Who, “The Kids Are Alright” – Led by Jay Moran from VH1 (key of D)
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, “Teach Your Children” – Led by Laura B. Whitmore (key of D)
Kenny Loggins, “Danny’s Song” – Led by NYC artist Dorit (key of A)
Aerosmith, “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” – TBA (key of D)
Creed, “With Arms Wide Open” – Led by Sasha Dobson (key of C)

This year’s Guitar Mass Appeal is hosted and sponsored by the Women’s International Music Network’s ( Laura B. Whitmore, with special thanks to Alfred Music, Guitar Center, and the Music Performance Trust Fund.

How to Join: Bring your guitar! There will be space for a couple of hundred guitarists to sit on the steps for the performance, but feel free to bring a chair or stool if you want. Other optional bring alongs include a music stand and sunscreen! Come at 4:30pm to get your songbook and your spot! More details at the Mass Appeal Guitar MeetUp Page. Questions? Want to volunteer? E-mail

Alfred MPTF

Mass Appeal Harmonicas

Central Park: Ladies’ Pavilion (on the shore of the Lake, near W. 75th St and Central Park West)
5:30pm – 7:30pm

This year, Hohner is once again donating harmonicas to Make Music Day events across the country for a national day of harmonica playing on June 21st!

Here in New York, the Mass Appeal Harmonicas will be led by harmonica virtuoso Jia-Yi He (featured on “America’s Got Talent”). Jia-Yi welcomes kids, teenagers, adults, seniors and whole families for a free harmonica lesson in Central Park. A mini-introductory seminar will teach you to quickly read music and to play by ear: sheet music indicating hole numbers will be ready for newcomers. You’ll be able to play simple melodies in just 40 minutes.

How to Join: The first 100 participants will receive a FREE HARMONICA, courtesy of Hohner! Please email with any questions, or to suggest a few pieces to be added to the program!


Mass Appeal Mandolins

Mandolins 640x480 Theodore Roosevelt Park, W. 79th St and Columbus Ave
7pm – 8pm

The New York Mandolin Orchestra (now celebrating its 92nd year!) leads the fifth annual Mandolin Mass Appeal. Our group features Mandolins, Mandolas, and Mandocellos, rounded out with support from flute, guitar, cello, bass, contrabass balalaika, and concertina. We will be playing a diverse program including ragtime, classical, Tin Pan Alley, tango, and blues. The event will be led by Jeffrey Ellenberger, the conductor of the New York Mandolin Orchestra.

How to Join: Musicians of all ages and levels are welcome to join! Please contact the Orchestra leaders at or visit for information about attending one of our weekly rehearsals.

Mass Appeal Modular Synth Orchestra

electronics 640x480 CultureHub NYC, 47 Great Jones Street, Manhattan
5pm: Arrival & Setup
6pm: Workshop Dark Circuits Modular Synth Orchestra
8pm – 9pm: Performance of Dark Circuits Modular Synth Orchestra

Take part in a massive synth orchestra! Using flashcards and hand signs, Hans Tammen has worked with large ensembles using electronic instruments for way over a decade. As part of this year’s Make Music NY at CultureHub, we will work with analog synth players – Eurorack, Moog, Buchla, Serge, Tonto, self-designed instruments: as long as it has patch cords and is analog, it’s in! We are looking for about 20+ players to take part in the workshop and performance, to create a massive piece of waves, filtering, noise, and beats!

Setup starts at 5pm to get ready to make noise at 6pm. We’ll get familiar with the graphical score, then learn the piece for the performance at 8pm. You HAVE to do the workshop to take part in the performance, because we’ll look at everybody’s setup to find the best place for you in the piece. And bring friends: workshop and performance are free, and open to the public, of course!

How to Join: Bring an analog synth, and a cable to the house system. Contact Hans Tammen at for more details and to register (we need to know how many people will show up!).

Mass Appeal Music Boxes: Here, by Angélica Negrón

MusicBoxes Transmitter Park in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
6:30pm – 8pm

Inspired by microscopic images of sand and distant childhood memories, Here is a new piece by composer Angélica Negrón written for an indeterminate number of small music boxes.

Here weaves together the threads of different music box tunes to create a haunting, uncanny sound mass. Players are welcome to bring their own music box or may use one of the boxes which will be generously supplied by Kikkerland. New techniques for playing with the sound of the music box will be introduced over the course of the performance, which is open to musicians and non-musicians alike.

How to Join: Sign up today to take part in Here!


Mass Appeal Percussion: Bells/Door, by J.C. King

DUMBO Archway, Anchorage Pl, Brooklyn
8pm – 9pm

Bells/Door is a public participatory sound installation. We will communicate as an ensemble a joyful noise, while levitating the Manhattan Bridge Archway to an ethereal displacement. Anyone, young and old, performer or witness, is invited to participate. The proceedings will catalyze on the end of the longest day of 2016, Sunset, Summer Solstice, June 21st. The piece has two elements, a Soundscape and harmonically tuned metallophone tubes for improvising. Additionally, Bleue Liverpool will provide projections.

How to Join:Just show up and breathe. Everyone is encouraged to participate. As many as 30+ participants can freely improvise with the metallophone tubes.

Mass Appeal Pianos: Celebrating Earle Brown

Cornelia Street, Greenwich Village
1pm – 5pm

Sponsored by the Earle Brown Foundation, the Mass Appeal for pianos will take place on the street outside Cornelia Street Cafe. On four grand pianos in the middle of the street, a concert led by Karl Larson and Hitomi Honda will include works by iconoclastic American composer Earle Brown, who would have turned 90 in 2016, Morton Feldman, and others. Some elements of the performance will be open to public participation.

Pianists Hitomi Honda and Karl Larson, along with other guest pianists, explore the sonic possibilities of one, two, and even four grand pianos playing together outside the Cornelia Street Café. The event features the music of Earle Brown (25 Pages and Four More), in honor of his 90th birthday year, along with works by other NYC composers including Morton Feldman (Piece for 4 Pianos), John Cage (Experiences 1 and Mysterious Adventure), Julius Eastman (Gay Guerilla), David Lang (Orpheus Over and Under), Philip Glass (Two Pages), and a host of others. The afternoon will also feature an hour-long participatory “Mass Appeal” component inspired by Cage.

This event is generously supported by the Earle Brown Music Foundation, Piano Piano, Edition Peters, and the Music Performance Trust Fund.

How to Join: Just bring yourself.

9.pianopiano Peters logo in bitmap format MPTF

Mass Appeal Recorders

Straus Park, Broadway and W. 106th St.
7pm – 8pm

Recorders will perform a varied program of music from the Renaissance, Baroque, and Early 20th Century Periods (Ragtime & Paso-Doble), as well as some folk settings of familiar songs. Composers will include Bach, Handel, Telemann, Bertali, Lully, Gibbons, Dowland, Holborne, Josquin, Isaac, and more.

How to Join: Email Deborah Booth,


Mass Appeal Stones: Stones/Water/Time/Breath, by Dean Rosenthal

Lullwater Bridge (near the Boathouse), Prospect Park, Brooklyn
11am – 12pm

Dean Rosenthal’s Stones/Water/Time/Breath is a kind of experimental music-theater piece in which a participant or participants choose any body of water and perform a set of actions designed to create a musical performance. It was born from an impromptu performance by the composer in May 2012 on Martha’s Vineyard that was later written down as a set of performance steps that can be performed by everyone.

How to Join: Download the score at Bring your own stones if possible. Contact Jen Baker,, for more information.

Mass Appeal Ukulele

Central Park: Pond Lawn (near 5th Avenue and 60th Street)
5pm – 7pm

Sing and play along with with Makalina Abalos Gallagher, one of NYC’s finest uke players and organizer of the NYC Ukulele MeetUp group. Thanks to Alfred Music, Kala, and Uke Hut, participants will receive copies of Alfred’s learn-to-play book, It’s Ukulele Time, and have a chance to win a brand new Kala ukulele!

How to Join: Bring your Ukulele and play along!

KALA Logoovalgradient Alfred

Mass Appeal Voice: Circle Singing

Sakura Park (Morningside Heights)
5pm – 7pm

Everybody sings! Every heart beats. Blending voices & rhythms bring together individual and collective expression in harmony. The art of listening to our genuine voice, and to share it with others is both a musical and communal activity. Along these lines we invite you to celebrate all voices: everyone’s unique gift. This workshop and performance led by Anaïs Maviel will explore a wide repertoire of traditional songs and chants from various cultures that we will enrich with learning about the body as a music instrument: voice and percussion. All levels and ages are welcome.

How to Join: Sign up to participate here!


Mass Appeal Voice: Sacred Harp Sing

Calvary Church, 61 Gramercy Park North (at E. 21st and Park Ave S)
8pm – 9pm

A Sacred Harp sing open to singers of all experience levels! More info at

How to Join: Email for details.

Mass Appeal Voice: The Gauntlet, by Sxip Shirey

Sxip-portraint-for-Metro copy The High Line, Sunken Overlook at 17th Street
8:15pm – 9pm

The Gauntlet, created by composer Sxip Shirey and presented in collaboration with the Friends of the High Line, is “a choir you walk through…a vocal adventure of tones and rhythms for 60 singers.” It calls for two rows of 30 singers to engage in a musical dialogue as the public experiences the piece by walking at their own pace through a “tent” of vocalists.

How to Join: If you’re interested in taking part, email Jordan at

Other Participatory Projects


Bryant Park, Upper Terrace (behind the NYPL Main Branch)
5pm – 6:30pm

For the second year, Make Music NY is proud to present “Sousapalooza,” a massive, brassy tribute to the March King in Bryant Park. We’ll be running through all the best-loved marches and fanfares by John Philip Sousa and his contemporaries, including the Liberty Bell March, El Capitan, and Stars & Stripes Forever, led by conductor Jeff W. Ball of the Brooklyn Wind Symphony.

Join in the fun! We welcome new and returning players to take part. Whether you are a professional or amateur, a student or a teacher with your own private studio, we invite you and your colleagues to join us! Click here for more details.

How to Join: Visit this Sousapalooza page, download the sheet music, and sign up!


Boleros, by Maurice Ravel

Bolero Maria Hernandez Park, Bushwick, Brooklyn
12pm – 12:30pm
4pm – 4:30pm

Boleros is a celebration and confusion of one of the most despised and most famous pieces of 20th century music, Maurice Ravel’s “Bolero”.

The participatory aspect of Boleros on June 21st involves two performances of the piece in Maria Hernandez Park in Bushwick, one with a pick-up band of acoustic instruments, the other with a mix of electronic and acoustic instruments. Go to for full details.

Boleros is organized by Brian McCorkle of Panoply Performance Laboratory.

How to Join: Visit the Boleros Facebook page to sign up for the 12pm (acoustic instruments only) and 4pm (acoustic or amplified instruments) performances.


Make(r) Music New York

Central Library Plaza, 10 Grand Army Plaza (Brooklyn)
4pm – 5:30pm

For kids (and others), the Brooklyn Public Library will host a Make Music New York workshop for budding electronic musicians, starting at 4pm. Tables will be set up with different activities on the library’s front plaza by Grand Army Plaza. There will be littleBits synth kits and a multitude of littleBits buzzers; the workshop leaders will also show attendees how to make banana pianos using Makey Makeys. On the analog side, they will offer kazoos, and a make-your-own percussion-instrument craft. At the end, attendees will participate in a 5-10 minute long performance.

How to Join: Just come! More details on the library’s website.

General support for the Mass Appeals is provided by:

NAMM Foundation