BENNINGTON — This Wednesday Bennington's four corners, newly graced with piano keys, will come alive with music to celebrate International Make Music Day.
Though Bennington's celebrations are being facilitated by the Vermont Arts Exchange (VAE), Make Music Day will be a true community effort with no single sponsor or organizer. As this is the first year the celebration will take place in downtown Bennington, local organizations and individuals are working closely in conjunction with Big Heavy World in Burlington, the coordinator of the statewide effort. Local musicians and educators Krista Speroni and Brian DeAngelo will be helping to coordinate this musical effort on the day of the celebration.
"Making music and drumming relieves stress and it's a lot of fun," said Matthew Perry, executive director of the VAE. "It's a good way to meet new people, and making music is a amazing way to bring people together and unite them."
Starting at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, June 21, community members and musicians of all ages will gather at the four corners in downtown Bennington to make music. A short parade will follow the celebration, ending at Harvest Brewing for more lively musical performances.
The organizers of the celebration encourage participants to bring drums and instruments to the celebration, or to play music anywhere in their own communities including porches, parks, and public spaces.
"This is a great opportunity for community members who maybe don't have a drum to be able to play one or become interested in making music," said Perry. "Instead of being in the audience they can be a participant and a performer."
Founded in France as `F te de la Musique,' in 1982, the celebration was soon after brought to Vermont under the name `Make Music Vermont,' by Burlington music behemoth Big Heavy World. Throughout the state, Make Music Vermont encourages Vermonters of all ages to celebrate music in all of its forms and to play everywhere including porches, sidewalks, stores, and stages. The festivities are open to everyone from high school bands to marquee names, and people who have never touched an instrument, playing and learning alongside experienced musicians.
More than 120 countries participate in the International Make Music Day, held on the summer solstice, and more than 50 U.S. cities will be organizing celebrations this year. In 2016, Vermont became the first entire U.S. state to participate with Bennington's celebrations representing the Southwest corner of Vermont.
Make Music VT is hosted by Big Heavy World, a nonprofit organization promoting and preserving the original music of the state. Big Heavy World is a member of the Make Music Alliance, the national coordinator of Make Music Day in the U.S.
For more information on the Bennington Make Music Day event, please call the Vermont Arts Exchange at 442-5549.
Reach Cherise Madigan at 802-490-6471.