There will be workshops on Saturday and Sunday this year.  Click here for map to Ida Noyes Hall.

Saturday Workshops

1st Floor
Cloister Club
1st Floor
West Lounge
2nd Floor
3rd Floor
10:30–11:00 Jamming on the Recorder
Chicago Recorders

Scandinavian Dance
Mary Alsopp & Friends
Waltzing & English Country
with Putting On Airs
11:00–11:30 Play-Party Games
& Songs for Kids

Meg Dedolph
11:30–12:00 Sea Shanties
Tom Kastle
12:00–12:30 Cajun Dance Instruction
12:30–1:00 Jug Band
Skip Landt
Cajun Dance
with T'Monde
Dick Hensold
Morris Dancing
Irish Music
Liz Carroll & Laurence Nugent
2:30–3:00 Harmony Singing
Barbara Silverman
  Blues Piano
Ethan Leinwand
Barn Dance
The Bucking Mules
with Bill Sudkamp

Mike Feagan


Sunday Workshops

1st Floor
Cloister Club
1st Floor
West Lounge
2nd Floor
3rd Floor
Irish Social Dance
  Stracke All-Stars
1:00–1:30 Bandura
1:30–2:00 Shapenote Singing
Mary J Rogel
Ida y Vuelta
2:30–3:00 Beginning Blues

Barn Dance
Heather & Dan
with Jo Mortland

Jamming on Recorder, a Medieval Folk Instrument with Chicago Recorders
Saturday, 10:30-11:30, Library   (1st Floor)
Join Chicago Recorders, directed by Lisette Kielson, in a recorder performance, demonstration, and jam session. The recorder was a very popular instrument for friendly gatherings in Europe from the 1400s through the 1700s, and it has an eager following in the 21st century as well. Bring your recorder (and stand) if you have one. We'll have a few on hand to borrow. RSVP to Chicago Recorders President Ben Eisenstein at ( or just show up!

Scandinavian Dance Workshop with Mary Allsopp & Friends
Saturday, 10:30-12:00, Cloister Club  (1st Floor)
Get your day started moving to the lively tunes of Scandinavia. We have playful party dances, gentle waltzes and lively set dances. Traditionally, the morning wraps up with a Grand March. Partners optional, all ages welcome. Walk-through instruction by Roo Lester, and live music throughout.

Sea Shanty Singing with Tom Kastle
Saturday, 11:30-12:30, Library   (1st Floor)
Join Tom Kastle for a look at traditional sea songs and a cappella shanties based on research as well as two decades of being a professional maritime singer and tall ship captain. Tom also teaches the sea music class at the Old Town School of Folk Music and is the co-director of the Chicago Maritime Festival, taking place at the Old Town School of Folk Music on April 18th. Bring a song or learn one quickly as these songs become your friends quite easily.

Play-Party Games & Songs for Kids with Meg Dedolph
Saturday, 11:00-Noon, West Lounge   (2nd Floor)
This interactive music-making workshop is perfect for families.  Meg Dedolph will lead young children and their families to a world of music through imaginative musical play rooted in the folk music traditions of American and global communities.

Waltzes, More Waltzes and English Country Dance with Putting On Aires and Tom Senior
Saturday, 10:30-12:30, 3rd Floor Theater
Putting On Aires will play for an extended time of waltzing and occasional English Country Dances. The workshop will be led by Tom Senior.

Cajun Dance with T'Monde
Saturday, Noon-2:30, Cloister Club  (1st Floor)
T'Monde will play for a Cajun Dance. Instruction from Noon to 12:30, with the dance to follow.

Strictly Jug Nuts
Saturday, 12:30-1:30, Library   (1st Floor)
Strictly Jug Nuts is a 21st century fusion jug band, bringing the fun music of Maxwell Street to contemporary audiences. We've scoured closets, basements and old laundry rooms for instruments, wrangling the results into Chicago's champion jug band. Our workshop will introduce the players, the sounds, the songs and the fun, with opportunities to try the instruments and join in!

Pipes with Dick Hensold
Saturday, 12:30-2:00, West Lounge  (2nd Floor)
This program features our concert piper Dick Hensold playing Northumbrian smallpipes (a quiet bagpipe from Northeast England), reel pipes (an indoor version of the Scottish Highland pipes, intended for Scottish dance music), seljefløyte (Norwegian willow-flute), säckpipa (Swedish bagpipes), pibgorn (Welsh), and several other instruments.  Please note that NONE of these instruments are very loud.
Dick plays music in several traditional and historical styles, with particular emphasis on Cape Breton, early Scottish, and Northumbrian, but also including Scandinavian, medieval, and original music. The program also includes a couple of songs, neither of them in English, and a limited amount of dancing while seated.

Morris Dancing with Pullman Morris
Saturday, 12:30-1:30, Third Floor Theater
Join Pullman Morris and Sword, from the city's far South Side, for a demonstration and workshop on Morris dancing, an English traditional dance done in teams to live music. Clash sticks, leap high and banish the winter doldrums with this longstanding Chicago tradition.

Irish Music with Liz Carroll and Laurence Nutgent
Saturday, 1:30-2:30, Library   (1st Floor)
Liz Carroll and Laurence Nugent will present an hour of Irish music.

Bluegrass with Mike Feagan
Saturday, 3:00-4:00, Third Floor Theater
Join Mike Feagan in the Third Floor Theater for a mini-concert and discussion of Bluegrass music..

Harmony Singing wtih Barbara Silverman
Saturday, 2:30-3:30, Library   (1st Floor)
Come one come all to this sweet-sounding harmony session and sing easy two-part and exciting three-part harmonies from Carter family to rollicking bluegrass, swing chestnuts to early rock n roll classics.  Veteran performer and songstress Barb Silverman leads with ease and vigor, a talented ”folk festival in a box” who has appeared in concerts, clubs and fests region-wide, on national radio, in multiple recordings, and is a valued member of the Old Town School faculty.

Blues Piano with Ethan Leinwand
Saturday, 2:30-3:30, West Lounge  (2nd Floor)
Join Ethan Leinwand in the West Lounge for a mini-concert and discussion of Blues Piano.

Old-Time Barn Dance with Bucking Mules (Saturday) and Heather and Dan (Sunday)
Saturday 3:00-5:00 and Sunday 2:30-4:30, Cloister Club  (1st Floor)
Two Barn Dances dances this year!  The Bucking Mules will play for an old-time Barn Dance in the Cloister Club on Saturday afternoon, and Heather Malyuk and Dan "Spritzer Space Telescope" will play on Sunday. The dances will be called and brief instruction will be given.

Shapenote Singing
Sunday 1:00-4:00, West Lounge   (2nd Floor)
Please join us for some robust four-part harmony singing from the Sacred Harp.  First composed by itinerant New England singing masters in the 18th century, then nurtured and developed in the South in the 19th and 20th centuries, these hymns have been a part of American traditional culture since before the Revolutionary War.

Irish Social Dance
Sunday Noon-2:00, Cloister Club  (1st Floor)
Irish Ceilis and Sets are folk dances. Sets are popular throughout the world, even Japan. We dance with partners (don't need to bring one), not solo.  These are "team" dances, so there is an element of time and place.  We don't teach much footwork, and most of that is for timing with the music, which, as you know, drives us.  The workshop is intended as a sampler of our dance concepts. We promise to have everyone on the floor dancing in minutes.

The Stracke All-Stars
Sunday 2:30-3:30, West Lounge   (2nd Floor)
The Young Stracke All-Stars are a band of musicians ages 9 to 16 who celebrate the legacy of Win Stracke, one of the founders of the Old Town School and who performed at the Folk Fest several times in his career.  Join them for a concert of the music that Win Stracke was known for.

Bandura with The Ukrainian Women's Ensemble
Sunday 1:00-2:30, Library   (1st Floor)
The Bandura is a 60-stringed instrument from Ukraine.  Join the Ukrainian Women's Ensemble for a performance and discussion of the instrumental and vocal pieces indigenous to Ukraine.

Ida y Vuelta
Sunday 1:30-2:30, Third Floor Theater
Join Ida y Vuelta for a performance and discussion of Mexican music.  Ida y Vuelta comes from a long tradition of music called Son Jarocho. The genre is a fusion of african, spanish and indigenous music and poetry.  Ida y Vuelta's instrumentation is native to the Veracruz region; it includes jaranas (8 string small guitars), requinto (lead 4 string guitar), cajón (wood peruvian box), cajita (small peruvian box), leona (acoustic bass), zapateado (percusive foot tapping) and vocals.  Ida y Vuelta plays traditional sones that date back 300 hundred years as well as their own arrangements and original tunes.

Beginning Blues Harmonica with Joe Filisko
Sunday 2:30-4:00, Library   (1st Floor)
The diatonic harmonica may be the world's most popular musical instrument.  This workshop with Joe Filisko will send you away playing with a smile.   Joe, who has taught for 25 years on 5 continents, has the motto, "If you can breathe, you can play the harmonica".   Participants will need a diatonic harmonica (4 inches long) in the key of "C".  Inexpensive harmonicas will be available for sale for those who don't have one.   Free harmonicas will be available to children who are supervised by a parent.

Ida Noyes Hall
1212 E. 59th St.
Chicago, IL 60637

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