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Unsilent Night offers an immersive musical experience

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Athens Mayor Kelly Girtz has officially declared December 23, as Phil Kline’s Unsilent Night Day -- and this year marks the 30th anniversary of the composition that has turned into a holiday tradition across the world, where people gather to play different parts of the song to create an communal, immersive experience.

Mark Mobley, an organizer of the event, says that participating is easy:

“One of the great things about unsilent night is that it is incredibly simple to do. All you need is a phone and a bluetooth speaker to amplify the sound coming from your phone and there’s an Unsilent Night app that allows you to stream a track and join in the parade.” 

He says the event has gathered a large crowd in the past.

“Unsilent Night has a sense of community about it. Before the pandemic, in 2019, we had about a hundred, hundred and twenty people walk with us, and our walkers over the years have included the mayor Kelly Girtz, Kishi Bashi, and all sorts of people of different ages,”

The parade celebrates music and community, Mobley again:

“It’s something that everyone can participate in regardless of religious affiliation or anything like that. It’s a completely nonsectarian expression of the feelings we all have at the holidays.”

The parade will take place on Friday, December 23 at 7:30 and will begin at Little Kings Shuffle Club.

Martin Matheny is WUGA's Program Director and a host and producer of our local news program 'Athens News Matters.' He started at WUGA in 2012 as a part-time classical music host and still hosts WUGA's longest-running local program 'Night Music' which is heard on WUGA and GPB Classical. He lives in Normaltown with his wife, Shaye and dog, Murphy.