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Make Music Day in Middletown to feature free lessons, concerts

Music makers and those who want to play an instrument or learn about music will have a chance to come together for a one-day event — Make Music Day.

Middletown will be one of many cities in the United States to participate in the annual, one-day global celebration of music on June 21. Locally, Broad Street Bash and Lester’s Rock N Roll Shop are teaming up with the NAMM Foundation (the National Association of Music Merchants) to bring the free event to Middletown.

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“This is a worldwide event, and this will be the first year for Middletown. Cincinnati will also be participating,” said Ashley Baumgarten, who is coordinating the event in Middletown, and also manages the musical lineup for the Bash.

She said the participating musicians and businesses in Middletown are excited to be a part of Make Music Day. In addition to Broad Street Bash and Lester’s Rock N Roll Shop, a few of the other businesses that will be involved include SoulCraft, Triple Moon Coffee Company, Canal Pub at the Landing and Mockingbirds Café.

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“There are so many talented people here in Middletown. A lot of times, we don’t get a chance to showcase our talent or our desire to be creative, so this is a way to invite people out.… We hope to turn this into one big open jam with everybody there and inspire people who want to play music,” Baumgarten said.

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Festivities will kick off in Middletown at 5:45 p.m. with a proclamation by a City of Middletown official. Participants will gather on the sidewalk in front of Lester’s Rock N Roll Shop. Following the proclamation, the event will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

“They are going to officially make June 21 Make Music Day in Middletown,” Baumgarten said.

Other highlights will include a group harmonica lesson immediately following the proclamation in the same location; a group guitar lesson at 6:30 p.m.; a group ukulele lesson at 7 p.m. and a drum circle at 8:15 p.m.

Free harmonicas will be handed out for those that want to learn to play the harmonica. Those who wish to participate in the group guitar lesson should bring their own guitars. Free guitar/music books will be given out. For the drum circle, attendees can bring buckets, pots and pans, a snare drum or a bongo drum.

The sidewalks on either side of Central Avenue, between Main and Verity, will be filled with musicians playing unplugged as well as at the corner of Broad Street (in front of Canal Pub). The event will conclude with a night cap @the Square (1045 Central Ave.) for an open acoustic jam. (Must be 21 for the night cap.)

Make Music Day is observed by hundreds of millions of people in 800 cities in 120 countries. The event brings together musicians of all ages, backgrounds and genres, amateur and professional alike, to make and enjoy music – from bucket drummers and opera singers to hip-hop artists and marching bands.

“We would like anybody and everybody to come out. This is an all-age event, incorporating all skill levels,” said Baumgarten.

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