Tunes fill Beloit area on Make Music Day

Tunes fill Beloit area on Make Music Day Main Photo

23 Jun 2024

BELOIT — David Lawrence tuned up his guitar and began to pick the strings. What resulted was a gentle melody filling the halls of the Beloit Art Center Friday.

He has been performing publicly since the 1970s, mostly as a solo act, but sometimes with bands.

He was one of the many musicians who played for free at 16 different venues in the Beloit area for Make Music Day.


Lawrence said it was his father who spurred his interest in music.

“My father was a tenor in the choir and he played piano and guitar,” he said. “Then the Beatles came along and they were my greatest inspiration.”

Lawrence said this was his first time taking part in Make Music Day. He found out about it on the Internet and thought it was a great idea to have a day dedicated to music, since he has been a singer and songwriter for decades.

Like all the musicians performing at the different venues Friday, Lawrence was not being paid. All was done strictly for the enjoyment of the people who would stop by the different locations. Some would sit quietly and soak in the music, while others couldn’t help but get up and dance.

At the Castle, Peggy Rapp staked out a spot on the front steps and played her flute.

“I picked up the flute in high school and I have played it off and on for years,” the Rockton resident said.

A small crowd gathered to listen to her play. She would introduce each song, but she noted some were so familiar they needed no introduction. One such song she played was the Theme to the Pink Panther by Henry Mancini, also known as “Piano and Strings.”

Following Rap was Adam and Ari Gasser, better known as Earth to Clark.

The husband-wife duo have been performing together for 10 years. They have played across the country and they can be heard each Sunday at 5BAR in downtown Beloit for open mike night. They stay pretty busy with their music.

“We played four gigs last week,” Adam said.

This was the second year for Make Music Day in Beloit. The event featured 23 musical artists, giving 36 performances at 16 venues in Beloit, South Beloit and the Town of Turtle.

Make Music Day started in France in 1982 and it has grown into a global phenomenon. The day, which celebrates the summer solstice, is held in 1,000 cities in dozens of countries. It is open to any musician who wants to participate, as long as they play for free.

Wisconsin had the most cities in the nation participating in Make Music Day this year. Twenty-three communities in Wisconsin took part in the day of music, including Madison, Milwaukee, Green Bay, Appleton, Sun Prairie, Cambridge and more.

In Illinois, Chicago and Wheaton had Make Music Day events.

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