A day full of music planned in Philly on June 21

MARISSA CORONADO / Make Music New York
MARISSA CORONADO / Make Music New York (MARISSA CORONADO / Make Music New York)
Posted: January 12, 2013

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 for the first time to the concert venues and streets of our town June 21, the summer solstice, when there are more minutes of sunshine than any other day of the year.

It's an idea that began 30 years ago in France, and came to the United States in 2006 as National Music Day. There has been a Make Music New York Day for seven years, and the movement has spread to other cities, including Denver, Chicago, and Kalamazoo, Mich.

"Why isn't this happening in Philadelphia?" Roger LaMay, general manager of WXPN (88.5 FM), asked himself when the National Music Day organizers talked to National Public Radio programmers in Washington last year about spreading the NMD gospel.

"It's meant to be a grassroots, viral event that takes on a life of its own," LaMay said Thursday from Washington, where he was in meetings at NPR. "It's a one-day celebration of the role of music in our lives."

'XPN will spearhead the event, working in conjunction with the city's cultural office, according to LaMay. The Mayor's Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy did not respond to a request for comment.

LaMay says a page will go up next month on the radio station's website, www.xpn.org, that will be "the equivalent of an Internet dating site." The site will bring volunteers and musicians together with cultural institutions and concert promoters, such as the Kimmel Center and Live Nation, that have expressed interest in getting involved.

"There are only two rules: Everything is free and accessible to the public. We're encouraging artists of all kinds to participate," says LaMay, "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. For information on how to get involved, e-mail makemusicphilly@xpn.org.

More information on National Music Day can be found at http://nationalmusicday.org/.

Contact Dan DeLuca

at 215-854-5628 or deluca@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @delucadan. Read his blog, "In the Mix,"

at www.philly.com/inthemix.