Artist Tom Peyton and friends lead this popular community parade through the East Village. Participants are each given a color-coded hand bell that plays a specific note. As the ensemble wends its way through the streets of the neighborhood, a team of conductors wave corresponding colored flags in time with a series of specially curated compositions, prompting participants to collectively contribute to sonorous, atmospheric soundscapes that intensify as the group learns to work and play together.
The parade kicks off from Astor Place Plaza and heads east to wrap up at Two Boots Pizza, at the corner Avenue A and E 3rd Street, where participants can warm up with free slices and soda courtesy of the restaurant.
Hand bells on loan are distributed to the first hundred participants to arrive. Participants are welcome to simply show up ready to ring in the winter solstice, but if you know you will be coming ahead of time please send a courtesy email with the subject line “Bell by Bell” to info@MakeMusicNY.org so that the organizers will know how many paraders to expect.
Make Music Winter, first launched in 2011, is a free, outdoor musical event each December 21st that turns audiences into music makers. Inspired by Phil Kline’s annual Unsilent Night, a boombox parade that has become an international tradition, Make Music Winter transforms New York’s cityscape with participatory musical parades on the winter solstice, running the gamut of musical genres.