Make Music Milwaukee

Baby You: Make Music Milwaukee

Make Music Milwaukee and the Przekrój Foundation are thrilled to announce the world premiere of Baby You, a public art event where a massive 112-foot long hot air balloon in the shape of a sleeping newborn will be inflated and rise over Milwaukee, accompanied by a new a cappella choral work by composer Michael Schachter.

As the sun sets in Milwaukee on Friday, June 21, 2024, hundreds of singers will gather in Veterans Park, on the shore of Lake Michigan, to perform the new composition, while behind them the balloon is inflated, takes shape, and begins its tethered ascent. The combined aural and visual experience invokes the shared humanity of all people. Everyone was a baby once: adorable, vulnerable and full of potential.

YOU are invited to join in this community chorus experience. No auditions are required and it is free to participate.

The Details

Baby You is open to all singers. We welcome any participant who is enthusiastic and dedicated, of any age and from any musical background. No auditions are required and it is free to participate.

If you are a strong, experienced singer who can read music, we invite you to join the Core Choir, led by conductor Lee Stovall. The Core Choir will learn the full piece and lead the performance

at Veterans Park on Friday, June 21. Core Choir members commit to attending one day-long rehearsal in Milwaukee on Saturday, June 15th from 10am – 5pm (lunch will be provided). Additional evening rehearsals will be offered on Monday June 17, Tuesday June 18, and Thursday June 20 from 7pm – 9pm, for those who would like more practice. Members of the Core Choir will be listed in the program and on the website.

Singers outside of the Core Choir are invited to join in at the performance and sing sections of the piece on the spot. These singers should plan to arrive one hour early to attend a “tutorial” introducing the music and rehearsing a few key moments.

Please fill out the form below, and we will follow up shortly with information on rehearsal locations, logistics, and full details on how to participate.

About the Sculpture

Baby You – a spectacular sculpture floating in the air – is a symbol for the potential in all of us that’s waiting to be awakened, unlimited, and endless as the sky. It is a reminder of the togetherness of people and the precious nature of life – joyful, full of wonder, and present in the here and now. Baby You aims to impart that each and every one of us is already enough, that we were born this way.

Baby You is a project of the Przekrój Foundation (pronounced p-SHEH-crooy), based in Warsaw and affiliated with the Polish magazine Przekrój. To bring this project to life, Przekrój partnered with Belgian artist Bart Van Peel. Production took over nine months and involved a collaboration between engineers, designers, and tailors in Poland, Belgium, and the UK. Made of tan fabric, the balloon’s colors change with the light, reflecting the many hues of human skin.

About the Music

The choral music to accompany the unveiling of the inflatable sculpture was written by Michael Schachter, a composer known for his 2018 music-theater piece The Black Clown, which played a sold-out run at Lincoln Center, and for two concertos premiered in 2022 by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Knoxville Symphony.

The singers are divided into five choirs, which Schachter envisions like the five fingers of the human hand, which also symbolize the coming together of the diverse communities of Milwaukee. The music is composed of syllables, hums and noises that express the wide range of sounds that babies make, from their heartbeat and breathing to coos and cries, which merge with the sounds of a parent’s lullaby.

“All of us, no matter what background or identity or life path, start in the womb, are born into the world, and grow from baby to child to adolescent to adult,” says Schachter. “We are far more alike than different in most ways that really matter.”

Press Contacts

Anne Katz, Create Wisconsin

Karen Loew, Make Music Day

Maria Kozak, Przekrój Foundation