Bremerton’s Make Music Day Festival Offers Musical Performances, Hands-On Exhibit for Children

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Make Music Day first took place in France in 1982 as Fête de la Musique. Now, the celebrations take place all over the world — including in Bremerton.

Although the global celebration officially takes place on June 21, in Bremerton, this year’s event takes place on Saturday, June 22, to take advantage of the weekend.

“We made the executive decision that a Saturday, all-day event is certainly more appealing than a Friday event that would have to happen after work hours,” said Francesco Crosara, a board member for the local nonprofit Music Discovery Center, which is putting on the event. 

Crosara said the event is “internationally recognized as a day of music, of community of basically creating music, whether you’re a pro or an amateur.” Past events have featured about three hours of musical performances, whereas this year’s event will feature closer to seven, with performances kicking off at 11 am and running through approximately 6 pm.

Musicians performing live on a sidewalk in downtown Bremerton, WA.
Francesco Crosara, Glenn Young, Derick Polk, Eugenie Jones and Dean Kelly performing at a past Make Music Day event. Photo Courtesy of Music Discovery Center and taken by Mike Barnet.

In addition to live music, the event features food, booths, and representation from various community organizations. The Music Discovery Center will offer “Touch and Try,” a hands-on instrument exhibit that exposes children to a variety of musical instruments: Guitars, violins, trumpets, saxophones, percussion instruments, and more.

“Our hope is that for young kids, it can be a catalyst to then get into music education and take it on to study and to ultimately perform, whether … [as] professionals, or just an amateur level,” Crosara said.

Crosara, who was responsible for organizing the event this year, acknowledged that it wasn’t a task he could perform alone. “It takes a village to put together a festival like this,” he said.

One of his primary responsibilities was winnowing down the list of musical artists who applied to perform at the event. Of about 30 artists, 18 were selected to perform, he said.

“The idea is that this is expected to cover all ages … [and] all the genres, or as many as possible,” Crosara said. Genres represented at this year’s festival will include jazz, Latin, soul, rock, heavy metal, Celtic, indigenous, Americana, electronic, and honky tonk.  The ages represented span from teenagers to musicians in their 60s and possibly even older, he said.

The mission of the Music Discovery Center is to “create an inclusive space for community members, youth and adults to experience, explore, and contribute to the world of music through education, performance, and mentorship.”

“We feel that Seattle and Bellevue are well served,” Crosara said. “We need Kitsap itself to be able to have a stronger presence in terms of fostering music.” That includes promoting music education, and the center is currently running a pilot program at Catalyst, a charter school in Bremerton. The center plans to work with other schools soon to provide music education to children, particularly to students who may not otherwise have the means to access instruments.

Make Music Day

The Make Music Day festival takes place 11 am – 6 pm, June 22, at Evergreen Rotary Park in Bremerton. Admission is free for all ages. For more information on the Music Discovery Center, visit the Music Discovery Center website or follow the center on Facebook.

Photos courtesy of Music Discovery Center and taken by Mike Barnet. Featured photo features the Pistol Pete Band.

Steven Wyble

Steven Wyble is an award-winning journalist who has written for both daily and weekly newspapers.

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