Workshops will be held Saturday in Ida Noyes Hall.  Click here for a map to Ida Noyes.

Saturday Workshops

1st Floor
Cloister Club
1st Floor
West Lounge
2nd Floor
3rd Floor
10:00–10:30 Georgian Singing
Ensemble Alioni
Play-Party Games
& Songs for Kids

Meg Dedolph
10:30–11:00 Scandinavian Dance
Mariachi Sirenas
Chicago Recorders
Sea-Shanty Sing
Mareva Lindo and Kathy Whisler
Morris Dancing
Pullman Morris
12:00–12:30 Jug Band
Strictly Jug Nuts
12:30–1:00 Cajun Instruction
Cajun Dance
Jimmy Breaux Trio
Shapenote Singing
Mountain Music to Bluegrass
Danny Paisley
Medicine Line
English Country Dance
Harmony Singing
Barn Dance
Meg Dedolph and the Folk Fest Irregulars
Little Egypt Veil Dancing
Fiddle Workshop
Early Country Singing
Bill and the Belles
Voice of the Blues
Steve Cushing
Skip Landt


Georgian Polyphonic Singing
10:00–11:00,  Library  (1st floor)
Ensemble Alioni was founded in 2008 with the purpose of researching and sharing the ancient choral folk music traditions of the Republic of Georgia through performing and teaching.  Over the last 10+ years they have performed across the Chicagoland area and for audiences in Montpelier, VT and New York, releasing two CDs and a book in the process.nbs In this workshop, you will learn three-part vocal harmonies from different regions of Georgia, and ensemble members will discuss the traditional contexts of Georgian polyphony – at table, at rest, at work, and at worship.

Play-Party Games & Songs for Kids
10:00–11:00,  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.

Scandinavian Dance Workshop with John Parrish, Chicago Spelmanslag & Friends
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.  Partners optional, all ages welcome.  Walk-through instruction by John Parrish, and live music throughout.

Mariachi with Mariachi Sirenas
10:30–11:30,  Third Floor Theater
Mariachi Sirenas will be presenting an all-inclusive workshop that covers a broad spectrum of the mariachi tradition.  The workshop will encompass a discussion/lecture accompanied by musical excerpts and participation through clapping and dancing - take it as a short music and history lesson!

Jamming on Recorder, a Medieval Folk Instrument with Chicago Recorders
11:00–12:00,  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 Larry Johnson at ( or just show.

Sea Shanty Sing
11:00–1:00,  West Lounge  (2nd floor)
Mareva Lindo and Kathy Whisler’s sea shanty workshop is an introduction to the world of maritime songs.  Join them as they select some of their favorite shanties, and discover how easy it is to sing along to traditional work songs.

Morris Dancing
11:30 - 12:30,  Third Floor Theater
Join Pullman Morris and Sword, from the city's 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.

Strictly Jug Nuts
12:00–1:00,  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 an opportunity to try the instruments and join in!

Cajun Dance
12:30–2:30,  Cloister Club  (1st floor)
The Jimmy Breaux Trio will play for a Cajun Dance.  Instruction by Monica Vachlon from 12:30 to 1:00, with the dance to follow.

1:00–2:00,  Library  (1st floor)
Hurdy-gurdy, vielle à roue, Drehleier, or zanfona? With melody, drones, and percussion all in one instrument, what's not to love? Come learn something of the history and how-to of this instrument, known since the middle ages.  This will primarily be lecture / demonstration, with very limited possibilities for hands on participation.

Shapenote Singing
1:00–3:00,  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 and rediscovered mid–20th century, these hymns have been a part of American traditional culture since before the Revolutionary War and are now part of a living tradition and sung around the world.  The UC Folk Festival was a very early player in the renaissance of this music.

Mountain Music to Bluegrass with Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass
1:00–2:00,  Third Floor Theater
Bring old mountain folk music into Bluegrass with Danny Paisley and the Southern Grass!

Métis Fiddle with Medicine Line
2:00–3:00,  Library  (1st floor)
This workshop will explore the Métis (Native American) fiddle styles of North America, particularly of Montana.  We will cover tunes that are “crooked” (free-metered) reels and will focus on the Métis duck dances (tuning the fiddle AEAC# and these particular tunes work great for playing for square dances).  We will learn traditional tunes, working on bowing, ornamentation that makes the Metis rhythm unique.  All tunes will be taught by ear.  Students are encouraged to bring a recording device.

English Country Dances and Waltzes
2:00–3:00,  Third Floor Theater
English country dancing is an accessible social dance form done in sets of couples, with an easy walking style, and recombinable figures.  The dances range from elegant 17th century Playford to traditional rowdy community dance, not to mention modern compositions to a great range of music types.  There is a tradition of friendliness and changing of partners, so join us alone or with a friend.

Harmony Singing with Barb Silverman
3:00 - 4:00,  Library  (1st floor)
Come to this inclusive “Harmony Singing For All” workshop to share easy two-part and lush three-and-four-part harmonies from Carter family to rollicking bluegrass, swing chestnuts to early rock classics.  Veteran performer Barb Silverman leads with ease and vigor, a talented “folk festival in a box” who has appeared solo and in lauded bands including The Laketown Buskers, The Teflons, Buds & Shoots and more, region-wide, on national radio, and in multiple recordings.  Barb is a valued member of the Old Town School faculty in Voice, Guitar and Dance.  Barb’s iconic country/swing band The Teflons is performing Sunday, March 1 at Fitzgerald’s, 6615 W. Roosevelt Rd, show starts at 1:00 pm.  For more info and recordings go to

Barn Dance
3:00–5:00,  Cloister Club  (1st floor)
Meg Dedolph calls the dances and the Folk Fest Irregulars play for us.

Little Egypt and the Dance of the Seven Veils: Myth and Reality at the World's Fair
3:00–4:00,  West Lounge  (2nd floor)
Everyone knows that Little Egypt danced at the World's Fair on the Midway, and everyone knows that Salome danced "The Dance of the Seven Veils".  Come learn what everyone SHOULD know about the reality behind the myth, steps away from the actual Midway, and do a little veil dancing of your own!

Fiddle Workshop:
3:00–4:00,  Third Floor Theater
Join the fiddlers from Bill and the Belles, Medicine Line, the Jimmy Breaux Trio, and Danny Paisley & the Southern Grass to learn all about the relationship between five different fiddle traditions!

Early Country Harmony Singing with Bill and the Belles
4:00–5:00,  Library  (1st floor)
Join us in creating a sound far more than the sum of its parts (though the parts themselves are pretty interesting)! We’ll explore songs from Bill and the Belles’ catalog of early popular music (parlor songs, early country crooners, and some straight ahead old-time standards), break down their individual parts, and put them together again.  We’ll listen to inspiring source recordings, explore refreshing ways of interpreting sounds from our past, discover how three voices can adapt to one another, and practice singing as one.  Come away with new, timeless additions to your repertoire, and a greater understanding of singing in a trio format.

Voice of the Blues
4:00–5:00,  West Lounge  (2nd floor)
Blues Before Sunrise host Steve Cushing presents on his years of involvement in the Chicago Blues community.  This lecture and slide presentation tells the story of the Chicago Blues through interviews with some of the city’s most influential bluesmen in the last several decades.

Folk/Blues Harmonica Workshop
4:00–5:00,  Third Floor Theater
Harmonica is an intuitive instrument; difficult to master, but easy to get started on.  This hands-on workshop on diatonic (10 hole) harmonica will be an introduction for beginners with tips for those with some experience.  Skip Landt has taught harmonica at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music since 1985.  For those who do not own a diatonic harp (i.e. common) harmonica in the key of C, some harmonicas will be available at the workshop.

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

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