Make Music Liberty moves over two days this year

The Bill Stilfield Trio entertains a small gathering at Rotary Plaza during last year’s Make Music Day. This year’s event is Friday and Saturday, June 21 and 22.

LIBERTY — This year’s Make Music Liberty is expanding to move across two days, Friday and Saturday, June 21 and 22. Hours are 4 to 9 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Friday is traditionally the assigned day for Make Music as the larger worldwide movement takes place on the summer solstice annually. However, Make Music Liberty founder Bill Stilfield decided to capture a bit more energy.

“With the Friday and Saturday dates, we are hoping to capture a lot of foot traffic, especially for the Farmers Market on Saturday,” he said. “There will be lots going on downtown and along Kansas Street.”

Currently, there are two other cities in the state of Missouri that participate in Make Music Day: Springfield and St. Louis.

Four years ago, Liberty was the first city in the state to join the global project. More than 1,000 cities in 120 countries are part of this free musical effort.

“We have 52 performances scheduled,” Stilfield said.

Shane Immelt, who serves as chair of the Liberty Arts Commission and on the Make Music Liberty committee, said the vast majority of the performances are around downtown, but there are also a few on Missouri Highway 291. CONRAD’S Restaurant & Alehouse, 210 N. Highway 291, has also signed on as a venue this year.

“We still have people signing up,” Immelt said.

Some of the Saturday venues include City Hall Plaza, 101 E. Kansas St.; Corbin Theatre, 15 N. Water St.; and the Farmers Insurance Office, 1170 W. Kansas St., Suite M.

Stilfield and harmonica player Phil Duncan will start Saturday morning at Norterre’s Performance Park at 10 a.m.

“That’s an exciting venue to add to the mix,” Stilfield said. “Each year, it gets a little bit bigger. It’s our fourth year. I am grateful that we are able to schedule more performances and more artists. While the venues are similar, we are thrilled with the turnout.”

Similar to previous years, there will be two events at First Presbyterian Church’s park gazebo, 138 N. Main St. The first is at noon, Saturday, with a ukulele event sponsored by Palen Music and Alfred Publishing. Stilfield said there will be free ukulele songbooks given out while supplies last.

A harmonica event is at 1 p.m. with Hohner artist Duncan. The event includes free harmonicas and is sponsored by Palen Music and Hohner.

Another draw for families, a drumming circle, will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at Rotary Plaza, 100 W. Franklin St.

Palen Music, which moved recently to 340 S. Highway 291, will be the host for an instrument petting zoo during Saturday’s hours.

“We will have an information booth at the City Hall Plaza,” Stilfield said. “With the Friday and Saturday dates, the Farmers Market, there’s great things for kids and families and we hope that as we grow, the interest in this will grow. It’s a good time to experience Make Music Day and it’s all free. People can stay as long as (they) want. Let it fit into your schedule.”

Southeast Editor Kellie Houx can be reached at or 389-6630.

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