On the first day of summer, Port Townsend is joining more than 750 cities worldwide in a celebration of music making. This year marks the first that PT has officially participated in Make Music Day, which began 35 years ago in France.
Judith-Kate Friedman of Songwriting Works, the main organizer of the local event, had heard about Make Music Day last year, just three days before the event was taking place around the world, and decided to quickly put together a last-minute event. This year, on June 21, other venues, organizations and musicians are jumping on board for a day’s worth of music-making events.
“There really is something for everyone, and we hope that everyone will participate,” said Friedman. Everyone from professional musicians to people who have never picked up an instrument or sung out loud are invited to participate by listening, learning and making music together, she said.
Events are taking place between 1 and 9 p.m. at the Cotton Building (event headquarters), Crossroads Music, the Port Townsend Visitor Information Center, The Boiler Room, Key City Public Theatre, Bear Root Apothecary and elsewhere.
A highlight of the day is a “harmonica blowout,” taking place at 4 p.m. at the Cotton Building, downtown. Eighty harmonicas are to be given away for free on a first-come, first-served basis. When Friedman found out the giveaway was part of the worldwide event, she decided to host the harmonica jam in honor of Andy Mackie, “one of the great angels of music in this world.” Mackie contributed significantly to the Port Townsend music scene. “He made music accessible for young people in every way he possibly could,” said Friedman.
Other events taking place at the Cotton Building include improvisational circle singing, community singing with PT Songlines, and performances by Wild Rose Chorale, Friedman, Keeth Monta Apgar, Micaela Kingslight and others.
Also offered are classes from 1 to 4 p.m., with Chicago Bob, George Yount and Jeannie Murphy, at Crossroads Music, 2100 Lawrence St.; and free music book giveaways (and more free harmonicas).
“We are thrilled that so many people are responding,” said Friedman.
There’s also going to be a demo by Pete Lack about how you can record music on an iPhone (“for the tech geeks that aren’t performers”) and performances by other area musicians.
Interested community members can sign up to participate as a teacher or performer, or to offer a venue, by going to makemusicday.org/porttownsend or calling 385-1160. The schedule is to be updated on the website.
Friedman hopes to create a “a new community tradition of making music together across generations, and enjoy the power of music in all of these different forms.”