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...

Michael O’Toole & Mike Blackburn

Michael O'Toole and Mike Blackburn share memories of how they first got into playing music and how they became involved with Old Town School of Folk Music. This conversation was recorded at the school on October 21st, 2017. Go to...

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...

Liz Carroll & Mike Austin

World-class Irish fiddler Liz Carroll talks with friend and bodhran player Mike Austin about the Irish music community in Chicago, Liz's ideas about learning music, and her time teaching at the Old Town School of Folk Music in the 1980s....

Skip Landt & Rick Sherry

Sometime in the late 1970s, Skip Landt walked into the Old Town School on Armitage to sing in the community chorus. Today he's been teaching harmonica at the school for over 30 years. Here he talks to student-turned-teacher Rick Sherry,...

Colby Maddox & John Huber

A conversation between friends, bluegrass musicians and fellow Old Town School coworkers Colby Maddox and John Huber. Colby has been managing the Resource Center and teaching mandolin at the school since 1999. John has been working at the school since...

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...

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...

Raúl Fernández & Camilo Rincón

Raúl Fernández talks with his bandmate and mentee Camilo Rincón about Chicago's Mexican traditional music community, its connections to the Old Town School, and their experiences together as part of the group Jarochicanos. Raúl has been involved at the school...

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...

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...

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...

Jim DeWan & Elaine Moore

A running theme throughout Old Town School history is people finding deep connections and community, forging lifelong collaborations, friendships, and often falling in love. Jim DeWan and Elaine Moore are one such example. Married now for years, the two longtime...

Peggy Browning & Maura Lally

A conversation between Peggy Browning and Maura Lally. This conversation was recorded at the school on May 20, 2017. Go to www.oldtownschool.org/StoryCorps to hear selected excerpts from interviews collected as part of the StoryCorps-Old Town School partnership.

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Alisa Baum & Krista Ortgiesen

Alisa Baum and Krista Ortgiesen started taking classes and volunteering at the Old Town School in the early 2000s, and haven't left since. In this excerpt of a conversation recorded at the school on March 22nd, 2017, the longtime friends...

Andrew Sa & Mareva Lindo

A conversation between Andrew Sa and Mareva Lindo. Andrew talks about his experiences taking the class Songwriting and the Creative Process with Sue Demel and describes the experience as group therapy and recommends the experience to everyone because it teaches...

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...

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...

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...

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...