Announcing Make Music Winter!

After five years of music on the longest day of the year, Make Music New York is excited to launch an innovative new festival next month on the longest night of the year, called Make Music Winter.

If you are a singer or musician — and even if you aren’t — we invite you to take part!

Make Music Winter is inspired by composer Phil Kline’s annual Unsilent Night, in which a meditative, joyous electronic piece is played through dozens of boomboxes carried by volunteers through the East Village on an evening in late December. Unsilent Night has taken place since 1992, drawing crowds of over 1,000.

Launching next month on Wednesday, December 21st, Make Music Winter expands this cult holiday tradition into a festival of one dozen musical parades, each with its own distinct type of music, in neighborhoods across New York City.

Like Make Music New York, Make Music Winter is free, outdoors, and profoundly participatory.

Bring your instrument, your voice, or your hands and join brilliant new projects for Bells, Boomboxes, Brass Bands, Electric Guitars, iPhones, Percussionists, Parranderos, Singers, Strings, and more!

Details are available on our website. We look forward to having you with us!

Make Music Winter

Unsilent NightPhil Kline’s Unsilent Night has been a holiday tradition in New York City for the last nineteen years. ¬†About a week before Christmas, people gather at Washington Square Park, armed with boomboxes. Each box has one of the four tracks to Kline’s lovely electronic piece. At the composer’s call of “Play,” the music starts, and everyone sets off on a casual parade to Tompkins Square Park. Last year, 1,200 people took part, carrying boomboxes or just listening, and the parade itself has spread, as of 2010, to eighteen cities across the country and another six around the world.

This year, inspired by Unsilent Night, we’re creating Make Music Winter, a new event with thirty simultaneous, participatory musical parades throughout New York City on December 21, the winter solstice. Some parades will feature boomboxes, others percussionists, singers, kazoos, cellphones – essentially any instrument that can be played while walking along frigid streets. ¬†Each parade will feature its own distinctive music, composed or curated by different artists, and will be produced by its own presenting partner, all overseen by Make Music New York. MATA is helping out by leading a workshop for potential Make Music Winter composers, to be held on May 10 at the Cornelia Street Cafe (time to be determined). MATA has a deadline of April 1 for the proposals to this workshop, and ten chosen participants will be notified by April 10.

(Please note that not every Make Music Winter parade will come out of this workshop. If you’re interested in getting involved in another way, or don’t fit the MATA guidelines, email us at