Make Music Day

Last year’s local Make Music Day festivities included jam sessions at parks and other outdoor spots.

As the co-founders of Carambola Community Music, Maria McCullough and Yahvi Pichardo recognize music’s impact on people.

“It’s inherent to try to find ways to express ourselves,” McCullough says. “Music is something that brings people together; it’s good for your mind, body and spirit. Music makes us all happy.”

The couple, who first celebrated Make Music Day while living and working in Chicago, wants others in the community to experience that same musical euphoria. That’s why they are organizing Make Music Day in El Paso for the second consecutive year on Wednesday, June 21.

The daylong celebration is a worldwide event that originated in Paris in 1981. The event invites everyone of all ages to participate – sometimes even from the confines of their own home or workplace.

“Anyone can participate,” McCullough said. “Last year, we had 14 events and about 300 participants throughout the city. I think it went really well. We hope it continues to happen over the next few years. Our goal is to have music popping up in unexpected places, outside of these larger events.”

For those who’d like to celebrate in the company of others, Carambola and a slew of other additional businesses, such as Surya Yoga, are hosting several events throughout the day. Jason McInnes, McCullough and Pichardo’s friend from Chicago, will lead a harmonica workshop at Armijo Park at 5 p.m., for example. (Be one of the first 100 people and you’ll receive a free harmonica.)

Organizers are looking for volunteers to assist at the various events that day, whether it’s greeting participants or helping promote the event beforehand.

You don’t have to be a master instrument player to get involved, McCullough stressed.

“For most events, the purpose is to provide a venue and an opportunity for people who have never played and are curious to try,” she said. “Some events will be workshops – you’ll learn how to do something – and some will be jams. There’s opportunity for new music makers and also for more experienced or veteran music makers.”