Julian Ross & Christopher Ross

Julian Ross has taken classes at the Old Town School for over 10 years. In this conversation with his son Christopher, Julian reflects on why this place has remained such a constant in his life, and Christopher shares some of...

Eric Zorn & Mary Schmich

Friends and Chicago Tribune columnists Mary Schmich and Eric Zorn talk about their memories at the school, from taking lessons to co-founding the long-running holiday showcase and singalong, Songs of Good Cheer. This interview was recorded at the Old Town...

Reggio McLaughlin

When a young Reggio “The Hoofer” McLaughlin first started tap dancing in Chicago, venues turned him away at the door, saying “we haven’t booked a tap dancer since 1945!” In this conversation with his coworker Mareva Lindo, he talks about...

Charles Kim & Kim Bellware

A conversation between Charles Kim, Guitar and Songwriting teacher at Old Town School since 1999 and Kim Bellware, friend and student. Kim and Charles discuss the effect of YouTube on classes at Old Town School, and how people choose to...

Sandy Bykowski & Ray Ariaz

A conversation between friends and bandmates Sandy Bykowski & Ray Ariaz. Sandy has been volunteering at the Old Town School for many years, while Ray’s roots at the school go back to the folk chorus in the 1970s. This conversation...

Bau Graves & Gregg Ostrom

Musician and musicologist Bau Graves was Executive Director of the Old Town School of Folk Music from 2007 to 2018, during which he was known for his humor, and as the director of the Mandolin Ensemble. IT director and instructor...

Ted & Marcia Johnson

Ted and Marcia Johnson have been married almost as long as they’ve been a part of the Old Town School community. They met at an early 1960s anniversary concert for the Old Town School, where Marcia had been taking guitar...

Carlos Cornier

In this conversation between Old Town School Latin percussion instructor Carlos Cornier and his coworker Mareva Lindo, Carlos talks about the musical origins that shaped his interest in percussion and Latin music; getting into and out of Scientology to ultimately...

Ed Holstein & Rick Weiland

Folksinger and Old Town School teacher Ed Holstein talks with his student Rick Weiland about growing up on Chicago’s south side, stories of the city’s folk scene over the past 50+ years, and memories of his brother and collaborator Fred...

Jon Langford & Sally Timms

Jon Langford and Sally Timms–of The Mekons and countless other projects–have been part of the Old Town School community in a myriad of ways since the 1990s. Just a few months after Langford was honored as a “Music Legend” by...

Stephen Wade & Matt Brown

Musician and historian Stephen Wade talks with his friend Matt Brown about Stephen’s musical beginnings, studying banjo with his mentor Fleming Brown in the 1970s, and his reflections on the Old Town School then and now. Since learning to play...

Barb Silverman & Jess McIntosh

Old Town School teachers Barb Silverman and Jess McIntosh talk about teaching at the school, experiences as women in a male-dominated music community, and reflections on their friendship over the years. Barb is a clogger and multi-instrumentalist who performs in...

Katie Lahiff & Erin Flynn

A conversation between Katie Lahiff, founder of the school’s popular early childhood program Wiggleworms, and Erin Flynn, Old Town School Children’s Program Manager. The two talk about their beginnings at the school, the joy of sharing music and movement with...

Paul Tyler & Judy Higgins

A conversation between Paul Tyler and Judy Higgins. This conversation was recorded at the school on May 8th, 2017. Go to www.oldtownschool.org/StoryCorps to hear selected excerpts from interviews collected as part of the StoryCorps-Old Town School partnership.

Tisa Batchelder & Gregg Ostrom

A conversation between partners and musical collaborators Gregg Ostrom and Tisa Batchelder, who met many years ago at the Old Town School, where they work. They share memories of their first encounters with the school, of their long courtship, and...

Jane Stracke Bradbury

A conversation between Jane Stracke Bradbury and Old Town School documentarian Mareva Lindo. Jane has been present at every incarnation of the school, even before it began. Daughter of Old Town School co-founder Win Stracke, she recalls memories of her...

Steve Doyle & Mike Drassler

In addition to teaching at the Old Town School for over 20 years, Steve Doyle is versatile guitarist who can be found gigging around town several times a week. In this conversation he talks with his coworker and one-time student...

Lance Greening & Rick Veras

A conversation between Lance Greening and Rick Veras. This conversation was recorded at the school on May 8th, 2017. Go to www.oldtownschool.org/StoryCorps to hear selected excerpts from interviews collected as part of the StoryCorps-Old Town School partnership.

Jimmy Tomasello & Bill Brickey

Jimmy T., as he is affectionately known by all, is one of the most familiar faces at the Old Town School. Now the head of the Guitar, Bass and Songwriting program, Jimmy’s worked here since starting in the music store...

Mateo Mulcahy & Karima Daoudi

A conversation between Mateo Mulcahy and Karima Daoudi. Mateo, the current director of Old Town School’s World Music Wednesday series, remembers how his involvement with the Old Town School started when he was a 14 year old punk rocker who...

Steve Rosen & Mareva Lindo

Old Town School teaching artist Steve Rosen talks with his coworker and one-time fiddle student Mareva Lindo about his long tenure at the school. Steve is a member of long-running string band The Volo Bogtrotters, winner of the Midwest Fiddle...

Jonas Friddle & Anna Jacobson

A conversation between friends, longtime musical collaborators, and fellow Old Town School teachers Jonas Friddle and Anna Jacobson. Jonas is a singer, songwriter and old-time banjo player whose songs have received The John Lennon Songwriting Award, First Place in the...

Mike Dunbar & Mark Dvorak

In 1978 Mark Dvorak took a guitar class with Mike Dunbar at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Today, Mike is a bandleader and multi-instrumentalist living in Nashville, Tenn., and Mark has just celebrated 30 years teaching at the...

Ella Jenkins

Born in St. Louis on August 6th, 1924, and raised on Chicago’s South side, Ella Jenkins was the first person in line on the opening night of the Old Town School of Folk Music, December 1st, 1957. At the time,...

Betty Nudelman

Betty Nudelman speaks with documentarian Mareva Lindo about her memories of the Old Town School community in its early years, when it was housed within the Immigrant State Bank Building at 333 W North Ave–in the Old Town neighborhood from...