The City of Redmond is joining hundreds of cities around the world for Make Music Day on Tuesday.
The worldwide celebration began in 1982 in France as the Fête de la Musique and has since spread around the world with more than 700 cities in 120 countries now participating.
Jessica Rubenacker, cultural arts administrator for the City of Redmond, said the original idea for Make Music Day is to fill the streets of the world with music.
She said the idea for Redmond to participate in the event came from one of the arts and culture commissioners who is from France and told the rest of the commission about the event as they brainstormed ideas on how to utilize the Moving Art Center, a mobile space used to host various types of performances.
“We’re really focusing on community partnerships,” Rubenacker said about the Moving Art Center’s upcoming season.
Make Music Day — which is free — will be at Downtown Park (16101 Redmond Way) and is a partnership between the arts and culture commission and the Old Fire House Teen Center (OFH); this will be the first time the two have collaborated. Performances will take place from 5:30-8:30 p.m.
“We’re excited to bring this international day of music making to Redmond and encourage everyone to find their inner musician,” said Mayor John Marchione in a city press release. “Make Music Day is one way we focus on the importance of the arts and culture in our community.”
Ken Wong, teen programs administrator for the city, said teen programming staff as well as teens and members of the Redmond Youth Partnership Advisory Committee (RYPAC) are involved in Make Music Day. He said in addition to teen volunteers helping with setup and takedown the day of the event, they will also oversee a do-it-yourself craft booth.
Tuesday’s event will also feature a variety of performances and Wong said local teens and RYPAC members also helped make suggestions for performers.
The event’s set list includes the teen rock band Veritas, Latin group Cambalanche Salsa, Seattle Hand Drummers and School of Rock Bellevue. In addition, Rubenacker said World Dance Party will take the stage between music sets to get the crowd moving and dancing.
Seattle Hand Drummers and School of Rock will also have booths at the event, as well, and people will be able to try instruments.
Andrew Scott Young, music director for School of Rock, said he was excited when asked to participate in Make Music Day. At their booth, he said people will get to try their hands at electric guitars, electric bass and drums. They’ll also have microphones, keyboards and synthesizers for people to try.
The school’s house band, which has about 11 members who play multiple instruments, will perform on Tuesday and Young said they play various types of music ranging from Motown to AC/DC — anything with guitar, bass and drums.
“They’re very good,” he said.
Na’tan Collins, founder and lead facilitator at Seattle Hand Drummers, is also excited about being part of Make Music Day in Redmond.
He said he will be offering workshops, playshops and drum circle games throughout the event. During workshops, he will discuss the background of drumming and teach drumming techniques. In the playshops that will follow, Collins said people will be able to take the knowledge they gain and turn it into fun during the drum circle games.
In addition, Collins will close out the evening by leading an all-encompassing drum circle that will allow all attendees to participate. He said he will have upwards of 150 drums, which will in part be provided by Seattle World Percussion Society.
“I really love getting the audience involved…they can all connect with what I do,” he said.
In addition to trying out or creating instruments at the various booths, Rubenacker said as the city is officially registered with Make Music Day, they will also hand out 100 harmonicas to the first 100 attendees.
One of the focuses of Make Music Day in Redmond is community and Rubenacker said the event is for all ages — young and old.
“I’m excited to see the inter-generational music experience,” she said.