Tuesday is MAKE MUSIC DAY brought to you by One Columbia and friends

make music cola  

This Tuesday, June 21, Columbia will take part in its second annual Make Music Columbia event. Music will be played just about everywhere, from Five Points, Main Street, the State House, Lexington and more. It’s a perfect indoor and outdoor event for music-lovers of all ages to experience all sorts of music, happening from 9 am – 9 pm. There will be music of all styles, from rock, hip hop, folk, jazz, experimental and anything in between.

Make Music Columbia is part of a broader network that is the Make Music Day Alliance. The first Make Music Day was in France in 1982, and it is now a worldwide event, with over 700 cities in 120 countries participating. It happens each year on the summer solstice, a great way to celebrate the longest day of the year.

Anyone is free to participate in Make Music Columbia, and there will be a number of mass appeals, which are large groups of people playing the same instruments together. These will take place at the State House, and anyone is welcome to walk up and join in. They’ll have ukulele songbooks, harmonicas and more for the crowd. No musical skill required!

There will be buskers all around the city along with other organized concerts, which are all free and open to the public. People are also welcomed and encouraged to sign up to either host or perform. This is primarily a collaborative effort, made possible by the committed work of One Columbia, Rice Music House and WXRY FM.




Most performances can be caught in Five Points, Main Street, and The Village at Sandhills, and there will be outdoor concerts at Tapp’s Arts Center and The Lula Drake on Main Street. There are still a lot more places to enjoy performances, and these can be found at makemusiccolumbia.org.

“The idea is to create so much music that people encounter it during their daily activities,” says Ashleigh Lancaster, Office Manager at One Columbia. “The idea that you can fill a whole city with performances like that is really exciting… It makes the streets feel so alive.”

Lancaster believes this is a great event for Columbia to be able to participate in a worldwide event while also enjoying the stress–relieving qualities of music. It can put a smile on people’s faces, and give them the opportunity to let go during the week.



  • First up – Join the Sound Circle!  Led by Girls Rock Columbia, make music using your voice – strange noises, bleeps, boops, even screams come together to create a unique chorus! Starts around 6pm.
  • Then – Learn the Harmonica! Thanks to Hohner, we’ll be handing out 100 free harmonicas! Walk right up and learn how to play – then we’ll try our new skills as a group. Starts around 6:30pm.
  • And, then – Uke it Up! The Cola Ukulele Band will perform their sweet tunes for you, but not before teaching you a few things they’ve learned! Be sure to bring your ukulele. There will be some books on hand with sheet music. Starts around 7:15pm 


So no matter how talented or less-than-talented you feel in your musical abilities, Lancaster and all the other good folks organizing Make Music Columbia invite you to make or just enjoy some music this Tuesday, June 21. It’ll be a great way to celebrate the summer solstice, and join the worldwide Fête de la Musique (meaning both “festival of music” and “make music” in French).

Hand music


-- Ony Ratsimbaharison