NHSO Family Concert

Calling all families! Come celebrate International Make Music Day with members of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra in a fun performance on the New Haven Green. No special musical talents required, but the experience will be super interactive. You may have a chance to conduct, to direct the volume of the music, or to affect the speed of the professional musicians. A great way to get everyone involved in making music.


New Haven Symphony Orchestra

Deeply committed to new American music, the NHSO performed 13 world premieres from 2007-2019, and the orchestra received the ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming in both 2010 and 2014. The NHSO was the recipient of the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce’s First Annual Sunspot Innovation Award in 2018.

The NHSO’s Education Programs wide-ranging menu of opportunities include statewide Young People’s Concerts, free Family Concerts, School Night at the Symphony, the Listen Up! Podcast Series, free KidTix, the Junior Board, and the Young Composer’s Project. 

The orchestra’s innovative approach to increasing diversity and inclusion in classical music has been recognized nationally. Through the Harmony Fellowship for Underrepresented Musicians, as well as numerous education and community engagement programs, the Symphony strives to be a leader for racial equity in the arts. These ongoing efforts have earned the NHSO recognition and awards from the League of American Orchestras, the Getty Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, and the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce.

International Make Music Day

It all started 40 years ago in France. In 1982, Jack Lang and his staff at the Ministry of Culture dreamed up an idea for a new kind of musical holiday. They imagined a day where free music would be everywhere, all around each city: street corners, parks, rooftops, gardens, and store fronts. And, unlike a typical music festival, anyone and everyone would be invited to join and play music, or host performances. The event would take place on the summer solstice, June 21, and would be called Fête De La Musique. (In French, the name means both “festival of music” and “make music”.)

Amazingly enough, this dream has come true. The Fête has turned into a true national holiday: the country shuts down on the summer solstice and musicians take over. Almost 11% of French people (7 million people) have played an instrument or sung in public for the Fête de la Musique, and 64% of the country (43 million people) comes out each year to listen.

Four decades later, the holiday has spread throughout the world and is now celebrated in more than 1,000 cities in 120 different countries. Fifteen years ago, the Fête de la Musique crossed the Atlantic with the debut of Make Music New York.

Starting as a grassroots initiative by a team of volunteers, the event quickly became a critical and popular success. Today, over 5,000 New York musicians – amateurs and professionals, of all ages and musical persuasions – perform in hundreds of free, outdoor concerts each June 21, earning praise for their “inspiring” (New York Times) and “thrilling” (New Yorker) performances.

In recent years, cities across the country have launched their own Make Music celebrations on June 21, making this musical holiday a truly national phenomenon. On June 21, 2022, 104 U.S. cities organized 3,819 free concerts, with over 100 each in Cincinnati, Kansas City, Madison, New York, and Salem OR…all on a single day.

In 2014, to coordinate and expand their efforts, Make Music organizers from across North America founded the Make Music Alliance.


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