Ensemble Classes



There is no “I” in band.

The best way to become a better player is to play with others. The ensemble class gives you opportunities to play with other people on a regular basis in a comfortable setting where folks can listen to and learn from each other.

To get the most out of the class, you'll need to be able to play your instrument at an intermediate level. For folks who have taken our core guitar programs - you'll fit right in most ensembles once you've taken Guitar 3. After that, the sky is the limit.

Drummers are encouraged to bring their own cymbals and snare. Vocalists are encouraged to bring their own microphone and microphone stand. Electric guitar players are to bring a small, 10 Watt practice amp. Banjo players are encouraged to bring tuners.

Many ensemble classes conclude with a public performance either in the confines of the School or at a local venue. Check out the different ensemble genres on the right of the page.

The '60s Classics Ensemble »

Get on board for a mind-blowing journey through a musical decade that remains a major influence on popular culture. Bring your Fender, your farfisa, your green tambourine, your mini skirt or love beads. The party ain't over 'til it's over. You want Kinks, Temptations, Satisfaction or maybe the Singing Nun? The possibilities are endless. Classes are held Wednesdays at noon or late Saturday morning after cereal and cartoons. Taught by the Human Jukebox: Steve Levitt.

‘60s Classics Ensemble »   Steve Levitt »   Billboard's Top Hits of the '60s »   

Big Band Jazz Ensemble »

We're bringing the Cotton Club to Lincoln Ave. and it's going down on Tuesday nights. If you used to play in high school or college jazz ensemble, you'll fit right in. There's plenty of opportunity to improve your jazz improvisation and play with like-minded participants. Open to intermediate and advanced players who can read music.

Big Band Jazz Ensemble »   Jack Cassidy »   

Classic Album Ensemble: XTC Skylarking »

Spend a few hours on Saturday afternoon learning to play the music on a classic album. Each session we approach a specific offering from the pop/rock genre. For Session 1, we are covering Skylarking by XTC. Join us to learn and play this classic album. Saturdays at 1:00 PM.

Classic Album Ensemble »   Charles Kim »   Skylarking info »   

Gypsy Jazz Ensemble »

A new night and a new time. Gypsy Jazz Ensemble returns!

Sometimes called the Hot Club of Lincoln Square this vibrant ensemble will afford players a chance to really stretch out and share ideas with fellow jammers. Led by multi-instrumentalist Michael O'Toole, we invite guitarists, horn players, reeds, violinists, and more to produce some HOT gypsy jazz.

Mondays at 8:00PM.

Gypsy Jazz Ensemble »   Michael O'Toole »   

List of All Ensemble Classes (64 found)

‘80s Alternative Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediateNew!

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Tuesday with John Mead

Explore music that wasn't on MTV.

‘60s Classics Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Wednesday or Saturday with Steve Levitt

You call the tune; we'll learn the tune.

Daytime Beatles Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediateNew!

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Friday with Steve Levitt

A splendid time is guaranteed for all

The Great American Songbook Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediateNew!

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Tuesday with Jacob Sweet

Calling all ukes, guitars, banjoes, vocalists and more

Grunge Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediateNew!

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Sunday with Shelley Miller

yeah yeah whatever

Live Double Album Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediateNew!

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Monday with Steve Levitt

Sessions 1 & 2: 4 Way Street by CSN& sometimes Y

Windy City Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediateNew!

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Monday with Alton Smith

From Lou Rawls to Liz Phair

All Originals Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Tuesday with Charles Kim

Play and arrange originals in a band setting.

Americana Ensemble

Group ClassOpen to All

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Tuesday with Skip Landt

This class emphasizes American popular music of the 1920s and 1930s but includes songs from the folk revival and beyond.

Art Rock Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Wednesday with Bob Goins or Tommi Zender

“There's a new sensation a fabulous creation a danceable solution to teenage revolution.”

Beach Boys Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Thursday with Cathy Norden

Take your ensemble playing and harmony singing skills to a higher level with the music of a true genius, Brian Wilson.

Beatles Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

90 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Wednesday with Steve Levitt

Having been some days in preparation a splendid time is guaranteed for all.

Beatles for Beginners

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Thursday with Charles Kim

The music of the Fab Four simplified for those who have only played a short while.

Big Band Jazz Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediateNew!

110 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Tuesday with Jack Cassidy

Think the Cotton Club comes to Lincoln Square.

The Black Keys Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Thursday with Dan Fulkerson

Explore the rich blues rock repertoire of this acclaimed duo from Ohio.

Bluegrass Ensemble 1

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $192 ($182 members)

Monday with Colby Maddox or John Huber

Learn the basics of playing and singing for bluegrass.

Bluegrass Ensemble 2

Group ClassAdvanced

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $192 ($182 members)

Monday with Keith Baumann

Work on advanced skills in playing rhythm behind instrument solos and vocals.

Bluegrass Ensemble 3

Group ClassAdvanced

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $192 ($182 members)

If you would like to be contacted when this class runs again, please email Program Manager Darrell Jones with your contact information.

Bluegrass Jam

WorkshopOpen to All

110 minutes  ·  Once a week for 1 week  ·  $0 ($0 members)

Sunday with Staff

Prospective students, current students, former students, and anybody else who just wants to pick and sing - come out and join in!

Blues Band - Live!

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $198 ($188 members)

Wednesday or Saturday with Steve Hutchins

Form a blues band, rehearse, and perform in an authentic blues club.

Bob Dylan Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Saturday with Jimmy Tomasello

There's alway lots to discover when working with Bob Dylan's music.

Brass Class: Holiday Cheer!

Group ClassIntermediate

60 minutes  ·  Once a week for 4 weeks  ·  $72 ($62 members)

If you would like to be contacted when this class runs again, please email Program Manager Darrell Jones with your contact information.

Brazilian Jazz Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Tuesday with Paulinho Garcia

Voices and instruments join together to play this infectious music.

Celebrating Tradition

Group ClassOpen to All

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $192 ($182 members)

Monday with Maura Lally or Peggy Browning

Make music together, creating your own arrangements while playing and singing folk music in the tradition of Frank Hamilton & Win Stracke, our School's founders.

Charlie Poole Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

If you would like to be contacted when this class runs again, please email Program Manager Darrell Jones with your contact information.

Classic Album Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Saturday with Charles Kim

Learn an entire album. Session 1 “Skylarking” by XTC

Concept-Soundtrack Album Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Thursday with Steve Levitt

Session 1: Oh Brother Where Art Thou Soundtrack

Early Country Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Thursday with Paul Tyler

Immerse yourself in real country music and join with other pickers and singers to make a band.

Modern Country Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Tuesday with Jacob Sweet

Come explore your inner twang.

Electric Zeppelin Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediateNew!

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Thursday with John Mead

And it's whispered that soon if we all call the tune then the piper will lead us to reason.

Folk Jam Workshop: Leading & Following

Workshop

120 minutes  ·  Once a week for 1 week  ·  $20 ($19 members)

Sunday with Mark Dvorak

A hands on workshop with Jam master Mark Dvorak. Nobody in the Midwest has led more jam sessions and singalongs than Mark, dating back to the 1980s right on through the legendary Folk Club Sessions and the Thursday Night Special here at the Old Town School.

The Folk Orchestra

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Wednesday with Bau Graves

Glam Rock Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $194 ($184 members)

Saturday with Bob Goins or Jane Hanna

Come celebrate or be introduced to a host of characters, the Metal Guru, a Diamond Dog, the Slider, Lady Stardust, China Girl, Baby Boomerang, and many more.

Godfathers of Funk & Soul

Group ClassIntermediateNew!

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Wednesday with John Mead

What I Say Session 1: Ray Charles!

Grateful Dead Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Thursday with Steve Levitt

Our motto is “Don't tread on me.” Come join Uncle Steve's band.

Gypsy Jazz Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Monday with Michael O'Toole

Come join the Hot Club of Lincoln Square.

Irish Session Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediateNew!

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $192 ($182 members)

Jazz Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

110 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $192 ($182 members)

Monday or Thursday with David Jennings or Jack Cassidy

You've learned the chops and charts and now it's time to play with others.

Advanced Jazz Ensemble

Group ClassAdvanced

120 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $192 ($182 members)

Thursday with Jack Cassidy

This ensemble is geared towards heavy hitters in the jazz idiom

Johnny Cash's List Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediateNew!

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $192 ($182 members)

Tuesday with Bob Goins or Ed Holstein

Get on board and learn 100 songs in the next 4 sessions

Jug Band Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Wednesday with Jonas Friddle

With roots in the blues, jazz and ragtime, jug band music includes some of the happiest songs you'll ever play.

Klezmer Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Tuesday with Stuart Rosenberg

Celebrate the expressive melodies of this Eastern European music of Jewish descent.

Latin Grooves and Roots Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Sunday with Manny Bances

Add some spicy flavorings to whatever style you play: Jamming with Latin Roots music and contemporary funky fusions.

Intro to Latin Rhythms & Grooves for All Instruments

Group ClassBeginner

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Sunday with Manny Bances

Add a new flavor to your playing style.

Maqam Theory and Application

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Wednesday with Wanees Zarour

Mötley Crüe Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediateNew!

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Tuesday with Dan Fulkerson

You asked for it, the metal, the hair, the decadence. Come get a piece of this action.

Near Eastern Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Monday with Ronnie Malley

New Lost City Ramblers Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Tuesday with Matt Brown

New Orleans Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Thursday with Jon Spiegel

From Ragtime to the Radiators and all flavors in between.

Old Time Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

110 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $192 ($182 members)

Wednesday or Saturday with Paul Tyler, Steve Rosen or Jim Becker

Play in an Old Time string band with fellow students. You'll learn new tunes, and brush up some traditional favorites.

Old-Time Revival Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $192 ($182 members)

Tuesday with Jonas Friddle or Anna Jacobson

The beautiful sounds of traditional American music are being revived and reinvented by contemporary bands. Come play the songs!

Phish Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Monday with Jon Wall

You asked for jam band - we've got “the” jam band ensemble.

Poets of Pop Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Wednesday with Bill Brickey

We're paying attention to both lyrics and groove.

Pop Divas Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $192 ($182 members)

Sunday with John Mead

A room full of stars. Join the constellation.

Reggae Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Thursday with Al Gibbs

Come get you some ska, rocksteady, roots reggae, and dancehall from the great nation of Jamaica.

Rock Instrumentals Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Thursday with Gregg Ostrom

Sleepwalk, Wipeout and lots more.

Songs From The Holler

Group ClassBeginner

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Thursday with Peggy Browning

From North Carolina to Kentucky, we'll study some of the tunes and pickers from the Appalachian region.

Soul Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $192 ($182 members)

Thursday with Alton Smith or Bill Brickey

Join one of the longest running ensembles at the school.

Springsteen Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Thursday with John Mead

Climb in back, heaven's waiting on down the track.

Tom Petty Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Saturday with Richard Pettengill

Oh hell yes! Baby put on your party dress and join the band.

Tuesday Folk Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Tuesday with Mark Dvorak

Let's get in a room and make some great music together.

Women's Acoustic Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Monday with Aerin Tedesco

Come together to celebrate popular music by women from all eras.

Women's Rock Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Saturday with Shelley Miller

Rockin' music for women by women.

Afrobeat Ensemble

Group ClassIntermediate

80 minutes  ·  Once a week for 8 weeks  ·  $184 ($174 members)

Saturday with TBA

Join with others to celebrate the music of a continent.

© The Old Town School of Folk Music, Inc. 4544 N. Lincoln Avenue, Chicago IL 60625  •  773.728.6000