The longest day of the year will be the one most filled with music, all over Philadelphia.
That's the idea behind Make Music Philly day, coming to the concert venues and streets of our fair city for the first time on June 21, the summer solstice in which there are more minutes of sunshine than any other day, all year long.
It's an idea that began in France thirty years ago, and came to the U.S. as National Music Day in 2006. There's has been a Make Music New York day for seven years, and the movement has spread to other cites including Denver, Chicago and Kalamazoo.
"Why isn't this happening in Philadelphia?" is the question that Roger LaMay, general manager of WXPN (88.5-FM), asked when the National Music Day organizers talked to National Public Radio programmers in Washington, D.C. last year about spreading the NMD gospel.
"It's meant to be a grass roots, viral event that takes on a life of its own," LaMay said on Thursday from D.C., where he was in meetings at NPR. "It's a one day celebration of the role of music in our lives."
Working in conjunction with the city's cultural office - Mayor Michael Nutter plans to hold a press conference on Make Music Philly in the coming weeks - XPN will spearhead the event, according to LaMay, who's pictured. He says a page will go up on the radio station's web site, www.xpn.org, next month that will be "the equivalant of an Intenet dating site," bringing volunteers and musicians together with cultural institutions and concert promoters like the Kimmel Center and Live Nation who have expressed interest in getting involved.
"There are only two rules," says LaMay. "Everything is free, and accessible to the public. We're encouraging artists of all kinds to participate, from the Philadelphia Orchestra to the guy who plays tuba who lives next door. Professionals and amateurs. We're hoping it will be a wonderful opportunity to see how much music there is in the city and how much reach it has."
No events or artists have been announced yet. For information on how to get involved, e mail firstname.lastname@example.org. More info on National Music Day can be found here.