Armitage 50th Anniversary

Celebrating 50 years of musical history at 909 W. Armitage in Lincoln Park!

Saturday, September 22, 7:00 - 10:00 PM · 909 W. Armitage Ave.

Armitage 50th Anniversary Concert

1968 was a tumultuous year for America and Chicago. Just a few weeks after the notorious Democratic National Convention, The Old Town School of Folk Music opened up in a new location. On September 16, Aldine Hall at 909 W. Armitage was purchased with a down payment provided by fundraising events, auctions and contributions from other groups both local and national. The location and ambience of the building were perfect to meet the mission of the school. 50 years later, after renovations and the entire gentrification of the neighborhood our mothership on Armitage continues to provide music dance and arts education to adults and children from throughout the city. So let’s celebrate!

Before the move to Lincoln Ave, our performance hall at 909 W. Armitage, originally named Broonzy Hall, housed hundreds of concerts, workshops, and radio broadcasts. Of course, the hall was and still is host to Second Half where at the end of the evenings’ classes, students and faculty assemble to play songs from our songbook. Over the years the stage at Armitage has seen the likes of Odetta, Pete Seeger, Bob Gibson, Ella Jenkins, Donovan, Bonnie Koloc, Jim Post, Valucha, Buddy Guy, John Fahey, Steve Goodman, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Richie Havens and scores of others.

Now 50 years and many thousands of students and concert goers later, we’re having a party. Come join current and former faculty, friends and folkies as we celebrate the birthday of the mothership... hosted by Jimmy Tomasello who started at Armitage in 1973; Ed Holstein, Michael Miles, Chris Farrell, Byron Roche, Al Day, Larry Rand, Carol Weston, Steve Levitt, Paul and Gail Tyler, Mike Blackburn, Alvin McGovern, Barbie Silverman, Zachary Stevenson, and more are among the scheduled performers. In addition, Ted Johnson - who has been with the School since opening night 1957 - will make an appearance. More surprises are sure to arise as the date nears.

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Thursday Night Special

As part of the celebration, we are offering a handful of adult classes on Thursday for $50 off the regular price. Grab your spot now, availability is limited!

6:00 PM · 909 W. Armitage Ave.

Guitar 1 with Michael O’Toole

Your musical journey starts here. Learn chords, simple strums, and tuning in a fun, relaxed group setting.

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6:00 PM · 909 W. Armitage Ave.

Guitar 1 Repertoire with Lisa Joy DeRosia

Improve your skills by learning lots of great songs, different strums and a few "licks," while singing and playing at the same time!

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6:00 PM · 909 W. Armitage Ave.

Guitar 2 with Julia Storke

Learn new chords and ways of playing and connecting them with bass runs, arpeggios, and using a capo.

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6:00 PM · 909 W. Armitage Ave.

Guitar 3 with Dan Fulkerson

Move on to the next plateau with bar chords and movable shapes. Build dexterity with basic fingerpicking and flatpicking.

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6:00 PM · 909 W. Armitage Ave.

Ukulele 1 Jimmy Tomasello

Learn common chords and strums and start playing songs on the first day of class. Repertoires will cover a variety of styles and genres ranging from traditional Hawaiian songs to Tin Pan Alley to folk, rock, pop, and other favorites.

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8:00 PM · 909 W. Armitage Ave.

Vocal Techniques 3: Practice, Musicianship with Julia Storke

Vocal Techniques 3 introduces new concepts while continuing to build on what you’ve learned in the previous two levels.

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8:00 PM · 909 W. Armitage Ave.

Music of 1968 Unplugged Ensemble Jimmy Tomasello

Explore songs of 1968 for acoustic guitars and voices. From Burt Bacharach to The Temptations, we will learn and perform a good numbers of tunes from this era. Plans are that we will join the 1968 Plugged In Ensemble section later in the session, and it will be a certified Love-In.

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8:00 PM · 909 W. Armitage Ave.

Music of 1968 Plugged In Ensemble Dan Fulkerson

Explore the songs of 1968 for for electric guitars, bass, and drum. Explore the songs of 1968 for for electric guitars, bass, and drums. From Credence to Cream, Janis to Jimi, and all Psychedelia in between. Plans are that the sister section '68 Unplugged will come together with this group later in the session, and it will be a certified Love-In.

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8:00 PM · 909 W. Armitage Ave.

Songs of Protest, Struggle and Hope Ensemble with Michael O’Toole

Come back to the early days of the Old Town School! Guthrie, Seeger, Baez, Ochs, PPM Buffy, and the Little Red Songbook. All voices and acoustic instruments welcome.

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8:00 PM · 909 W. Armitage Ave.

Songwriting: Fundamentals with Lisa Joy DeRosia

Songwriting is a rewarding form of expression. This class provides the novice with basic tools and creativity exercises to "get them going."

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Join Us for The Second Half!

A time honored traditional hootenanny led by faculty OPEN TO ALL

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