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June 21 is Las Cruces Make Music Day virtual festival; registration open


Make Music Day (MMD) was going to be a raucous and joyful street party with live events around the city to mark Las Cruces’ first observance of what has been a global phenomenon for the last four decades. And then the coronavirus pandemic, as it has done with so many other large gatherings, scuttled those plans.

Now members of the Las Cruces Make Music Day Alliance are pivoting to create a free, online virtual festival of streamed and recorded showcases of local musical talent on international MMD, Sunday, June 21.

The alliance will stream live on its MMD Facebook page (Make Music Day- Las Cruces) and have pre-recorded performances from The Range, Las Cruces’ only recording studio and event venue. Anyone interested in virtually sharing a musical performance with the community can contact planners at lascruces@makemusicday.org. The alliance welcomes other live streams and recordings from local musicians, music teachers and amateurs showing off their talents.

Free registration is open until the day of the festival at www.makemusicday.org/lascruces. Musicians of all levels, teachers, performers and local venues with an active social media presence are invited. 

To watch or participate in the festival from a phone, laptop or tablet, there are tutorials and links on the website and Facebook page on how to go live and get access using social media.

MMD was born in France on the summer solstice in 1982 as the Fête de la Musique – literally, Music Party or Music Festival. The French Ministry of Culture launched the observance by taking to the airwaves and encouraging the nation’s amateur and professional musicians to get out into the community and share their talents at public events. The French people so enjoyed the first Fête de la Musique that it has continued flourishing and spreading. 

MMD is not quite a music festival, because it’s not confined to one location and it’s not completely organized, since musicians don’t need official permission to perform in public.

As MMD Alliance Executive Director Aaron Friedman has said, “Make Music Day is kind of like Halloween for music – a day when regular folks are given permission to get out in the streets and share their love of music.”

Until this year, MMD had not been observed in New Mexico. In December 2019, Friedman, with the assistance of the office of U.S. Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., a patron of the arts and sponsor of legislation aimed at boosting the creative arts economy, traveled to cities around the state, including Las Cruces, to encourage organized MMD events in their communities.

The Las Cruces MMD Alliance is comprised of community members from Visit Las Cruces, Doña Ana Arts Council and various musical groups and organizations.

“Make Music Day, Las Cruces is a great way to bring together musicians, artists, arts organizations and all Las Crucens to ease back into ‘normalcy’ by supporting and enjoying our local creative economy, while in solidarity with a worldwide event, as we are facing this global pandemic,” said David Senk, who is the principal organizer of MMD-Las Cruces. The Range owner Logan Sage is co-producer, co-presenter.

MMD- Las Cruces will stream performances throughout the day on YouTube and Instagram, as well as on Facebook.

For more information, email lascruces@makemusicday.org or david@davidsenk.com. 

Make Music Day, MMD, festival