- Written by Christian Wissmuller
- Published: 26 June 2013
Music filled Manhattan’s West Village when 175 musicians performed on 175 Yamaha portable keyboards to achieve the Guinness World Records title for "Largest Electronic Keyboard Ensemble" as part of the annual Make Music New York celebration.
Now in its seventh year, Make Music New York is a unique, citywide festival of more than 1,000 free concerts held in public spaces throughout the five boroughs, and all on June 21st, the first day of summer.
The record-breaking event—the previous mark was 160 keyboard players in Sri Lanka last December—featured a performance of Pachelbel's “Canon in D” by musicians recruited throughout the city, and led by composer Jed Distler on a Yamaha grand piano provided by Faust Harrison Pianos of Manhattan. It was then followed by the world premiere of Distler’s composition, “Broken Record.”
At the conclusion of the event, Viacom, through Viacommunity, the company’s umbrella for social responsibility; VH1 Save the Music Foundation and Yamaha Corporation of America donated the keyboards to the New York City Department of Education, which will place them in deserving schools throughout the city. The keyboard donations were facilitated by Materials for the Arts, a reuse program of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
Make Music New York takes place simultaneously with similar festivities in more than 514 cities around the world — a global celebration of music making. From 10am to 10pm, musicians of all ages, creeds, and musical persuasions perform on streets, sidewalks, stoops, plazas, cemeteries, parks, and gardens. From high school bands to marquee names, Make Music New York is open to anyone who wants to take part, enjoyed by everyone who wants to attend