Old Town School of Folk Music Ensembles

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Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Come join one of our Old Town School of Folk Music Ensembles! We have a variety of groups you can join depending on your skill level, interests, and availability.


Old Town School of Folk Music Ensembles is a community-based music school located in Chicago, Illinois. We offer a variety of ensemble classes for all levels of students, from beginner to advanced. Whether you’re looking to find your voice in a group setting or learn a new instrument, we have something for everyone.

Our ensembles perform a wide range of music, from traditional folk tunes to original compositions. We believe that music is for everyone, and our ensembles reflect the diversity of our city and our students. We welcome everyone to come and make music with us!

What is the Old Town School of Folk Music?

The Old Town School of Folk Music is a music school in Chicago, Illinois, United States. It was founded in 1957 by Frank Hamilton, Win Stracke and Gerald Kaufman. The school teaches mostly folk music, but also some blues, jazz, country music, world music and rock and roll.

The Old Town School of Folk Music has two locations in the city of Chicago, one in the Lincoln Park neighborhood on the north side and one in the Lakeview neighborhood on the northwest side. Both locations have multiple performance spaces and classroom facilities. The Lincoln Park location also has a music store.

The school offers both group classes and private instruction for students of all ages. It also has a performing arts program which stages more than 700 concerts and events each year.

What are the benefits of taking part in an Old Town School of Folk Music ensemble?

When you take part in an Old Town School of Folk Music ensemble, you’ll have the opportunity to learn new musical skills, make friends, and enjoy performances together. Our ensembles are a great way to meet other musicians and build your confidence playing in front of an audience. We offer ensembles for all skill levels, so you can find the perfect group for your interests and abilities.

What are the different types of ensembles available?

The Old Town School of Folk Music offers many different types of ensembles that students can participate in. These ensembles include traditional folk music groups, as well as more contemporary groups that play a variety of genres.

Some of the traditional folk music ensembles available include Celtic bands, Appalachian string bands, klezmer groups, and Scandinavian dance bands. These ensembles typically perform at Old Town School events and concerts, as well as at various folk festivals around the country.

The more contemporary ensembles available at the Old Town School include rock bands, jazz bands, bluegrass bands, and Latin jazz groups. These ensembles often perform at a variety of venues in the Chicago area, including clubs, bars, and concert halls.

How do I join an ensemble?

Ensembles are a great way to improve your musicianship, learn new material, and meet other like-minded folk music lovers. Our ensembles meet once a week for two hours and typically perform two concerts per semester. Some ensembles may also go on tour. If you are interested in joining an ensemble, the best way to get started is by taking an Intro to Ensembles class. These classes are offered three times a year and help you decide which ensemble is the best fit for you. You do not need to be a current Old Town School student to take an Intro to Ensembles class, but you must be at least 16 years old.


We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the Old Town School of Folk Music ensembles. If you’re interested in joining one of these groups, or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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