The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Today is the first day of summer. Also today, the second annual Make Music Madison celebration features folk, blues, pop, bluegrass and other genres. Check out the artists, times and venues. But The Ear thinks that classical music is underrepresented for a city so rich in that kind of music. | June 21, 2014

By Jacob Stockinger

Today is Saturday, June 21, 2014.

That makes it the Summer Solstice, the first day of summer, which arrived early here in the Midwest at 5:51 a.m. CST.

Summer Solstice

It seems so soon for the longest day of the year to arrive. Much too soon, really.

Can it really be that from now on until Dec. 21 the days will start getting shorter and the nights longer? That we are on our way toward the winter solstice? Why, it hardly seems we had a spring.

winter solstice image

Well, the good news is that today is also when the second annual FREE Make Music Madison celebration will take place.

Make Music Madison logo square

The FREE event will take place CITYWIDE.

It takes place INDOORS and OUTDOORS.

MMM 2014 indoors

MMM 2014 crowd outdoors playing

It starts in the early morning and runs until almost midnight. It features some 394 individual and group performers — lots of amateurs and some professional musicians.

All kinds of musical genres will be heard.

The emphasis and quantity are clearly on jazz, pop, rock, folk, bluegrass, gospel, hip-hop and roots music and other genres. But classical music is also included – though no specific composers, works or programs are listed.

Here is a link to the Make Music Madison homepage:

And here is a link to the performers, venues, time and maps for direction:

From the homepage, you can clock on artists, times, venues.

Here are just a few hints of the offerings –- including string quartets and a performance by the Classical Guitar Quartet of Madison — that you might be interested in if you are a classical music fan:

The very young Suzuki Strings of Madison will perform:

Suzuki Strings of Madison MMM 2014

Duo-cellists Kristin Scheeler and Angie Griffith (below) will perform.

Kristin Scheeler and Angie Griffith duo-cellists MMM 2014

On Madison far west side, nest West Towne, Farley’s House of Pianos will host keyboard musicians:

Farley's House of PIanos MMM 20141

If you attend Make Music Madison either to perform or to listen, let The Ear know what you heard and how it went. You can even include photos if you have them. (Please don’t forget IDs and the photo credits.)

Here is the promotional video for last year’s Make Music Madison.

Unfortunately, it gives short shrift to classical music, which The Ear finds to be an odd oversight. After all, Madison is a city that can boast of a very active classical music scene for its size: It is the home of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music, the Madison Symphony Orchestra, the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, the Madison Opera, the Wisconsin Union Theater, the Pro Arte String Quartet, Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television and so many other fine classical individual and group classical performers and presenters.

It is posted on YouTube, where you can also find samples from last year’s performances.

The Ear thinks this year’s performance should have more YouTube videos posted, along with more videos of classical music to encourage other amateur and professional longhairs to participate:


  1. Greetings Ear: Jess Salek here, a performer and teacher in Madison.

    I wanted to mention I also believe classical music is underrepresented–this year especially. Last year many students of my piano studio performed on the pianos set up in front of Ladder 9 firehouse on Midvale. I gave all students a 2-hour window to just show up whenever they could.

    The only rules were:

    1-no fancy dress 2-no memorization 3-no stress– just fun performing in a nontraditional atmosphere with a really appreciative audience in front of friends, family, and also strangers.

    It was a wonderful experience for all the students, parents, and passersby. I filled in playing when no students were there– playing Chopin Nocturnes, some of the Goldberg, movements from Beethoven and Mozart Sonatas, Brahms character pieces– things of that sort.

    After speaking with the planning committee, I found out that this year some pianos were slated to be set up outside around the Capitol, but the city cancelled the plan because there was no plan for piano-storage inside at night.

    I’m sure that lessons are to be learned from this year’s non-piano experience, and I hope that next year they go back to having pianos all around the city, instead of just at the Capitol. All things considered it will still be a wonderful music-filled day for the city.


    Jess Salek Salek Piano Studio

    Sent from my iPhone


    Comment by Jess Salek — June 21, 2014 @ 9:24 am

    • Hi Jess,
      I know your music-making, and respect and like it very much.
      I especially love the rules for your students’ participation last year. No memorization! Keep it relaxed!
      I couldn’t agree more with you.
      Last year I pushed for pianos to be available.
      Given how many piano students there are in the Madison area, there should be at least one good piano in every a major fire station on all sides of town.
      I myself would like to play something next year, I think, some Bach or Scarlatti or Schubert or Chopin on the piano. We will see.
      But clearly classical music and especially classical piano deserve amore attention and respect from the organizers of Make music Madison than it is now getting.
      Maybe some other students, pianists, listeners and fans will chime in and agree, and Make Music Madison officials will pay attention for next year
      Thank you for reading and then responding in such a specific and thoughtful, helpful way.

      Comment by welltemperedear — June 21, 2014 @ 11:20 am


    My daughters, Anna and Alice Ogden-Nussbaum, will be playing classical music as the Oaknut Duet. They will play at The Gardens at 1:30 and the Green Owl Cafe at 5:30. Last year they only had 1 gig, at the Carillon.

    Comment by Genie Ogden — June 21, 2014 @ 12:56 am

    • Hi Genie,
      Thank you for putting us on to what sounds like a fine classical music concert today.
      Congratulations to your daughters and their guitar duo.
      I hope they get an excellent turnout, a big and appreciative audience.

      Comment by welltemperedear — June 21, 2014 @ 8:48 am

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