WTC @ WTC: The Well-Tempered Clavier at the World Trade Center 9/11 Memorial Plaza

It’s that time of year where we want to feature each of our Special Projects so that you, the Make Music New York community, can have a better understanding of the many great ways to enjoy Make Music New York on Thursday, June 21st (mark your calendar!). Look for regular blog posts outlining events across neighborhoods and boroughs, featuring amazing and engaging musicians from the New York area.

This week, we’re talking to Jenny Undercofler, creator of the special project: “WTC @ WTC: The Well-Tempered Clavier at the World Trade Center 9/11 Memorial plaza.” Our Executive Director, James Burke, took a few minutes off of his busy schedule to ask her a few questions!


James Burke: Hi Jenny! I’m thrilled that WTC @ WTC, which debuted as a highlight of our 2017 season, will be returning as part of the Make Music New York celebrations on June 21st this summer.  What was your inspiration in creating the concept?

Jenny: Well, partly it was just playing with names – I am a pianist and I was writing “WTC” for some program or other – and I thought “wow, playing the Well Tempered Clavier on the World Trade Center Memorial Plaza would be epically cool.” And, because it’s Make Music New York, epic things can happen!

JB: Make Music New York is all about uniting New Yorkers in our shared social spaces through the power of music and no public space is more essential to the city than Memorial plaza. How is the program integrated into the layout of plaza itself?

Jenny: The project integrates four pianos into the Memorial Plaza space – one at roughly each “corner”. What is lovely is that at that time of day – from 5 to 8 PM – there are so many different reasons that people are wandering through that space. People commuting home from work; tourists visiting the city; families who live nearby, with their children and dogs….

JB: What are you most looking forward to in the second incarnation of WTC @ WTC?

Jenny: Really, just more of what I enjoyed the first time. I get to see many of my pianist friends and colleagues, and they bring their students and friends, and we get to “nerd out” with JS Bach for a few hours, in public, without the constraints of the concert hall.

JB: How can Make Music New York fans best enjoy the performances and what should they expect?

Jenny: Really, just pick a time and enjoy one of two ways: either camp out at one piano for the time you have; or divide it up between multiple pianos. Last year, we had pianists ‘cycle’ from one piano to the next, but this year we’re going to have the pianists stay in place, just to make everything a little bit more relaxed.

Thank you so much to Jenny for her time, and we look forward to another great WTC @ WTC!


Partering with Community Gardens

We are proud to partner with many different communities and organizations throughout the five boroughs. The more diverse the groups we partner with, the more people we can engage with on Make Music Day (June 21st – mark your calendars!), and the better we can make real our mission of celebrating music with the people of New York City.

One such community is GreenThumb Community Gardens. GreenThumb supports over 550 gardens throughout the five boroughs. They put on workshops that provide supplies to garderes, as well as teach gardeners anything from basics to advanced farming techniques. Some gardens are meant as a social and open space, others are small farms as oases in the city, and many are a combination of both!

Community gardens share a vision with Make Music New York, in that they believe in bringing together communities, relaxation, and believing in individuals to be the backbone of their program of all ages and backgrounds to share their passions.

Perform in a community garden

We have 12 community gardens signed up as venues so far – these gardens are perfect for singer-songwriters, acoustic acts, chamber groups, and even bands! In this more intimate setting, surround yourself with green space as you bring music to your community in a unique way.

From GreenThumbs: “Music in the gardens can be the perfect opportunity to get to know your neighbors and other organizations! Visit to find a list of gardens that will be participating.”

Sound like your cup of tea? Once you’ve visited to see the list of gardens, register here to perform in your local community garden!


Artist Sign Ups

May 11th is the artist sign-up deadline…sign-ups end in less than a month! Do you have a band or an act that you’d love to perform for your neighborhood? You can register here!

And, even if you don’t want to perform yourself, tell your friends! Let them know about us – Make Music New York is a great opportunity to grow a fan base as an artist, or to reach more people and grow awareness of a venue.

As we have said before, it’s the people of New York City make this festival possible, and its their (and our!) music we celebrate.