We interviewed Jolynda Burton, Music Education Director at the Monteverdi Music School about the first upcoming coordinated Make Music Day in Montpelier.
What is Make Music Day and how did it get started:
Make Music Day began back in 1982. The first World Music Day was organized by the French Minister of Culture as a celebration of the joy of music. The story goes that a cultural study showed that roughly half of French citizens played a musical instrument. This inspired Monsieur Lang to create an event where people would share their music with the world. Thus, Fêtes de la Musique (“Festival of Music”), or World Music or Make Music Day was born. Still very big in France, it has since grown into an international event with more than 340 cities and more than 100 countries participating.
Make Music Day is likely on the summer solstice because of its proximity to the feast of Saint-Jean-Baptiste (June 24), a major celebration in France. As Jolynda understands it, somewhere around the 5th century, pagan summer solstice celebrations evolved into the feast day of St. John the Baptist. At any rate, it works well for musicians on the street to play on the day that the sun sets as late as it ever will!
What is happening in Montpelier (how many venues, what's happening at each) and how can folks participate?
Well, with the support of Montpelier Alive, Monteverdi Music School is hosting 4 live music sites around town:
- Christ Church courtyard on State Street,
- Kellogg-Hubbard Library lawn at School and Main,
- City Hall courtyard right on Main, and
- the lawn of the Monteverdi / CAL / T.W. Wood building at 46 Barre Street.
We have lots of musicians signed up – from 10-year-old pianists to 65+ year-old bassists. We’ll hear guitars, ukes, vocals, flutes, violins, pianos, a harp, and at least one accordion! To sign up to perform for a 20-minute set or less, visit monteverdimusic.org. We’ll email you back with an exact time slot and location.
Are other VT towns participating in this annual event?
Most definitely. While this is the first time anyone has coordinated a Make Music Day here in Montpelier, it is not the first time musicians have played here on this day. The amazing folks at Big Heavy World in Burlington coordinate the Make Music Day events across VT. Check out their interactive map at https://bigheavyworld.com/makemusicvt to see other celebrations happening around Vermont.
What made you decide to do this in Montpelier?
We are a community music school. At the end of the day, we are all about creating access to music for as many people as we can. This day was made for us! What better use of Monteverdi than to make this celebration of music happen? And what better way to celebrate our shared humanity and connection to each other than to play music all over town for the latest sunset of the year?
Anything else you'd like to highlight about Make Music Day?
Two things: We can all make music, and if it brings us joy, we all should. And second, if you’re a music fan, and a Montpelier fan, please come out, visit our sites, cheer on your neighbors, and support our awesome downtown Montpelier.