Preview: Celebrate the Solstice With Make Music Chicago

On the day the north pole is pointing most directly toward the sun, Make Music Chicago will be hosting free music events throughout Chicago and surrounding areas. Of course, that day is Wednesday, June 21, the first day of the astronomical summer.

Based on the French Fête de la Musique, every June 21, Chicagoans join residents of 800 cities in 120 countries. Starting at 10am, the public can enjoy and/or make music of all genres at dozens of locations around town. Hosted by Classical Music Chicago (formerly the International Music Foundation), these DIY performances, play-alongs, sing-alongs, introductory music lessons, and kids events are all free.

Just a few of the Make Music Chicago opportunities are listed here. Downtown events will take place on the River Walk, Harold Washington Library, Washington Square Park, Fourth Presbyterian Church, Grant Park, and 680 N. DuSable Lakeshore Drive. The regularly scheduled Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert at Seventeenth Church of Christ, 55 E. Wacker Dr, 12:15pm, and Grant Park Music Festival at Jay Pritzker Pavilion, 6pm will take place.

In Lincoln Park, Allen Hall at DePaul School of Music will host classical and jazz performances all day, and the Guitar Center will have a group guitar lesson, 2633 N. Halsted, 7-8:30pm.

Horner Park will have classical, jazz, soul, and hip-hop from 11:30-4pm, 2741 N. Montrose. Following this, nearby Welles Park in Lincoln Square will have jazz, classical, and early choral music, 2333 Sunnyside, 5-8pm. There will be choral music at Uptown Branch Library, 929 W. Buena, 4pm.

In Rogers Park, Willye B White Park will offer rock, R&B, soul, and afrobeat, 1610 W. Howard Street, 5-9pm. Nearby Touhy Park will offer kids music, folk, indie rock, and classical/experimental, 7348 N. Paulina, 6-9pm.

On the South side, the Spoke and Bird Café will have a wide assortment of entertainment all day, 205 E. 18th St. Music, Inc., Chicago will be offering classical music for kids at the Douglas Brand Library, 3353 W. 13th St at noon, and Little Village Library, 2311 S. Kedzie, 5pm.

In Hyde Park, Rockefeller Chapel will have organ music, 5850 S. Woodlawn, 8pm. Jackson Park will be the scene of classical music for kids, 6401 S. Stony Island, 10am.

Farther south at Bessemer Park, there will be jazz, funk, and R&B. 8930 S. Muskegon, 4pm.

A complete schedule of music opportunities can be found here.

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Louis Harris

A lover of music his whole life, Louis Harris has written extensively from the early days of punk and alternative rock. More recently he has focused on classical music, especially chamber ensembles. He has reviewed concerts, festivals, and recordings and has interviewed composers and performers. He has paid special attention to Chicago’s rich and robust contemporary art music scene. He occasionally writes poetry and has a published novel to his credit, 32 Variations on a Theme by Basil II in the Key of Washington, DC. He now lives on the north side of Chicago, which he considers to be the greatest city in the country, if not the world. Member of the Music Critics Association of North America.