Starlight Celebrates Make Music Day

Make Music Day began in France in 1982 as a way to spread music to the public and include musicians of all ages, genres, and abilities. The event happens every year on June 21. As the summer solstice, the day provides the longest amount of daylight to countries in the northern hemisphere allowing for thousands of free outdoor public performances around the world. 

Kansas City and Starlight are no strangers to sharing the art of music. Kansas City is known for its rich musical history, including jazz, blues, and swing, with iconic venues such as the Gem Theatre and The Blue Room in the historic 18th and Vine District. Performers including Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Charlie Parker performed regularly in Kansas City’s jazz clubs in the early 20th century, cementing the Kansas City Jazz style. 


In 1951, Starlight hosted its first Broadway season featuring a lineup of 10 musicals on the new Starlight stage. Over the decades, Broadway musical classics including Fiddler on the Roof, Camelot, The King and I, Brigadoon, and The Sound of Music have been featured along with contemporary musicals such as Cats, Les Misérables, Jersey Boys, Waitress, and Hairspray.

Each summer for almost 75 years, families and friends gather at Starlight to see some of the best touring productions of Broadway shows. 


Starlight has been sharing popular music with the public since the early 1980s. A schedule of concerts includes bands such as The Beach Boys, David Bowie, Jack Black and Tenacious D, Earth, Wind and Fire, Harry Connick Jr., Gordon Lightfoot, Oleta Adams, Barry Manilow, The Grateful Dead, James Taylor, Alanis Morrissette, Arcade Fire, Barenaked Ladies, Tori Amos, Janet Jackson, Paramore, Josh Groban and many others.  

Supporting Musical Theater 

As a non-profit, Starlight’s mission is to connect our community through live arts experiences that entertain, inspire, and engage. While some of Starlight’s programs allow community members to enjoy performances for free, others take theatre to the community to provide a chance to experience live theatre. 

Starlight Stars is a program that helps local youth prepare to pursue a career in the performing arts. With this program, students can strengthen their resumes, hone their talent, start and expand their network, and gain performing experience in many different varieties. 

The Blue Star Awards is another way that Starlight supports local musicians. The Blue Star Awards Ceremony highlights the accomplishment of high school musical theater in the greater Kansas City area. Each year, two winners are sent to New York to learn from theatre professionals, make connections, and gain experience with the industry.  

Alongside these programs Starlight also has the Vincent Legacy Scholarship that is geared toward middle schoolers who are people of color and are interested in the performing arts. This award is meant to find exceptional individuals and help support their professional training.  

Starlight’s Vision 

Starlight is dedicated to excellence in the performing arts and to provide a home for accessible live arts experiences for all generations. Each year, over 30,000 Kansas Citians engage with the programs that are provided here. Music is a big part of the culture in Kansas City, and we hope that we can continue to share it with you.  

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