Sealed Bid Auction - Bidding is Closed

Proceeds from the auction help ensure the continuation and growth of the Old Town School's community ventures, financial aid, performances, and education programs.


Perform on Old Town School's famed Maurer Hall Stage

Joni Mitchell, Levon Helm, Emmylou Harris, Kris Kristofferson have performed on the Gary and Laura Maurer Concert Hall stage: now it's your turn! Follow in their footsteps with this unbelievable opportunity: Bring your band or make it a solo concert - either way you're in for one of the best acoustic experiences in Chicago. Perform for up to 50 minutes, and we'll provide the legendary stage, a professional sound engineer, and we'll record your concert while up to 20 of your family, friends, and fans will be cheering you on in the audience. (Note: Due to COVID-19, guest seating can be balcony only, and distancing and masks and adherence to all other health rules will be required.) Be a star for one evening and have incredible memories forever! (Some restrictions apply, see COVID-19 safety requirements, mutually agreed upon date, valid thru March 1, 2021).


Jon Langford-Decorated Telecaster

Using reclaimed wood salvaged from buildings here in Chicago, Master Luthier Dan Strack is creating this exceptional telecaster that could be yours! Strack's custom guitars are chocked full of character and glorious tone featuring Lindy Fralin pickups, Gotah tuners, a modern 6 saddle bridge and oil finish. What makes this particular telecaster even more special is the addition of a one-of-a-kind painting on the body of the guitar by musician and visual artist Jon Langford. This beautiful guitar can be equally enjoyed as an instrument and art piece. Don't miss out!


Customize your own Dan Strack Guitar

Work with Chicago Master Luthier Dan Strack to create your very own customized guitar. Strack's custom guitars are chocked full of character and glorious tone and built from reclaimed wood including douglas fir, pine and walnut salvaged from buildings right here in Chicago. Be a part of the custom build which includes: 2 single coil pickups, fixed bridge, oil finish, gig bag and Gotah tuners. This is a truly a one-of-a-kind experience and instrument.


Joyfully live! Cajun Vagabonds private concert

Rollicking cajun and zydeco will make it hard to stay seated -- so don't! Enjoy get-up-and-dance tunes with this musical dream come true: a private concert for your party as you dance along with the Cajun Vagabonds! Preferably outside but can be indoors as you and the band agree (see safety requirements).

The Cajun Vagabonds play traditional Cajun and Zydeco music with an occasional rock, funk, or swing classic. The band generates the perfect mix of dance-oriented music for dances, festivals, parties, and other events where people want to enjoy a dance groove. High energy and spontaneity are distinctive features of a Cajun Vagabond performance.

Performance band will be a trio or quartet playing traditional acoustic Cajun music with the band's sound system as may be needed. (Some restrictions apply, see COVID-19 safety requirements, PA handled by band only, mutually agreed upon date, valid thru November 1, 2021).


Bring it on home (indoors or out)! Your concert with an Old Town School Teaching Artist

Old Town School of Folk Music's faculty is a treasure trove of extraordinary teaching artists who are also outstanding performers appearing throughout Chicago and beyond. Support our Old Town School teachers while creating a unique one-of-a-kind evening for your family and friends right from your living room, front porch or backyard! Have a specific teacher in mind? Prefer a certain genre of music? Our Artist Engagement Manager will arrange this showcase of live music with you from one of our astounding Old Town School teachers. (Some restrictions apply, see COVID-19 safety requirements, mutually agreed upon date, valid thru December 31, 2021).


Recognition for the ages: Name a seat in Maurer Hall

First time in more than 20 years! Not since the School opened the famed Gary and Laura Maurer Concert Hall has there been such an opportunity: Add your name, permanently, to the history of Old Town School of Folk Music's Gary and Laura Maurer Hall with an engraved nameplate on the back of a seat. Don't miss your chance - this opportunity is available to multiple winners.


Be an Old Town School Hero

R. Crumb is known for his passion for music as well as his work as an illustrator. All collectors of his work prize the Heroes of the Blues, Early Jazz Greats and Pioneers of Country Music trading card sets he created in the 1980s. Old Town School honors R. Crumb's work in the entry of our East Building with permanently installed glass panels featuring a selection of his illustrations. Be the highest bidder and add a duplicate of one of these amazing panels to your art collection.


Escape to Scottsdale for Championship Golf

With more than 300 days of sunshine each year, Scottsdale lies in the heart of the lush Sonoran Desert. Escape to the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess and championship golf courses for a 3-night stay. TPC Scottsdale boasts two championship courses for players to enjoy – the world famous Stadium Course and the stunning Champions Course. As Arizona's only PGA TOUR property, you'll experience the standards of quality and service normally reserved for the TOUR professionals.

This Experience Includes:

  • $500 in Fairmont gift cards towards golf and/or spa treatments
  • 3-night stay in a standard Fairmont room at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
  • Daily breakfast for 2
  • Round-trip coach class airfare for 2 from within the 48 contiguous U.S. to Phoenix, AZ
  • Winspire booking & concierge service

(Reservations subject to availability and must be booked a minimum of 60 days prior to travel. Valid through November 15, 2022).


Shake it up! Virtual Dance Party with DJ Kate!

Rock out from home and dance on together with family and friends from wherever they are with your 60-minute virtual dance party! Your tunespinner will be DJ Kate of Birds and B Sides DJs! (In her day job, DJ Kate is Kate Walsh, the Old Town School's School Partnerships Manager.). Birds and B-Sides DJs are unique, professional DJs who are excited to be a part of your wedding, party or event and to create the perfect vibe for you and your guests, from chill cocktail hour, to a formal dinner party, to a dance party rager! About DJ Kate: With a degree in ethnomusicology (affectionately called rocking out studies) from NYU, Kate has been in the music education field for over a decade. She has played saxophone with 20-piece ensemble Girl Group Chicago and is a multi-instrumentalist in other bands about town. A fan of all types of songs, she particularly enjoys soul, girl group/wall of sound music, first wave ska, and early gospel and blues. (Mutually agreed upon date. Valid through November 1, 2021).


Private Concert in the Renovated 909!

The historic and newly renovated 909 Armitage concert hall and lobby are yours for a private concert! Working with the Old Town School Artist Engagement Manager to arrange a performance (solo or duo) from among the School's extraordinary teaching artists, as available. Due to COVID-19 safety requirements, this includes a maximum audience party of 10, social distancing and masks required. Lobby and concert hall are yours for a night. Sound technician to work the sound system in the 909 hall will be provided. (Some restrictions apply, see COVID-19 safety requirements, mutually agreed upon date, valid thru March 1, 2021).


Crash Course in How to Old Town School

You and up to seven friends will enjoy a customized series of four (4) Old Town School of Folk Music signature workshops. Each workshop will include an hour of instruction, either in-person or virtually with one of Old Town Schools' renowned teaching artists. Choose from guitar, vocal music, songwriting, dance, harmonica, percussion, and more. Expand your skills in one area or bring family and friends together and make each day a different experience. Come explore Old Town School and discover your newest passion. (Workshops will be scheduled on a day and time of your choice, balanced with teacher and potential room availability. Mutually agreed upon dates, valid thru December 31, 2021).


Resonator Guitar Signed by Jerry Douglas and Earls of Leicester

There are guitars – and then there's this glittering Gretsch Roots Collection Ampli-Sonic™ (G9230 Bobtail model) resonator guitar signed by the acknowledged master of the instrument, Jerry Douglas, along with his fellow master musicians – Shawn Camp, Charlie Cushman, Johnny Warren, and Jeff White – at the Old Town School on May 8, 2019. It features a 2-color Sunburst style and a Mahogany Body Spider Cone Resonator with Fishman Nashville Resonator pickup. All together it's a supercharged sound and a glorious look!


Béla Fleck Dreamed A Banjo, And It's Yours – Signed

From Gold Tone, the ML-1 Missing Link Béla Fleck Baritone Banjo with Case – this one signed by the master himself, Béla Fleck, at the Old Town School May 3, 2019. Here's the backstory: One of Béla's heroes, John Hartford, used a low-tuned five-string banjo. Béla had been playing a Gold Tone CEB-5 Cello Banjo and felt that there should be a banjo to fill the gap between the cello banjo and the standard five-string. The dream became his signature Béla Fleck Baritone Banjo. The ML-1 features a twelve-inch, three-ply maple rim supporting a bronze tone ring. A specially-made Remo Black Suede head carries a custom 7/8" bridge and an all-wound custom string set that hooks up to a Gold Tone Terminator tailpiece. The hard rock Canadian maple neck is topped by a rich black ebony fretboard. A Zero Glide nut supports super-accurate intonation and low-friction tuning. Masterful!


Fabulous Fun For The Future Package

When we're back to “live and in person” (no date set, but we'll get there!)

  • VIP concert package including 8 concert tickets to a concert of your choice at the Old Town School (not valid for offsite concerts).
    • VIP reception at the concert for you and your guests (artist will be invited but attendance not guaranteed);
    • Preferred seating (ground floor, specific location may vary with availability)
  • $150 gift certificate to a Lincoln Square neighborhood restaurant of your choice (or Lincoln Park if the event is there).
  • Complimentary Old Town School swag for those in your party;
  • Gift certificate for a complimentary Old Town School class (may be used for in-person as available, or online)
  • Two tickets to our 2021 Blue Jean Gala featuring a fabulous concert (artist TBD) and entrance into our roaming feast throughout Lincoln Square.

Sealed Bid Rules

  • Sealed bidding: Each bidder submits a bid(s) without knowing others' bids. The highest bidder wins the item. You can bid multiple times on multiple items. There is no limit.
  • To place your bid, click the item link and complete the form, including your maximum bid and contact information. An Old Town School staff member will contact you for credit card information to officially hold your bid.
  • Bidding closes at 11:59 p.m. central on Sunday, December 6, 2020.
  • The winning bidders will be announced on Monday, December 7, 2020.
  • In the event of a tie, a blind drawing will take place between the tied bids.
  • The winner will be required to furnish their name, address, and phone number.
  • Winners will work with the Development team to collect any auction items and/or follow up information.

Please contact Anita O'Connell at with any questions.

COVID-19 Safety Protocols

  • Masks and social distancing required for any event taking place both onsite and offsite.
    • Note: all artists not singing will be wearing masks as well. Artists will remove mask, only when singing.
  • 30 feet of space between artist/band and audience during performances on Old Town School stages.
  • 6 foot distancing will be maintained for all audiences (from party-to-party) and with the artist(s).
  • As additional information related to safeguarding against COVID-19 may become available over time, the School and/or artists retain the right to adjust health and safety requirements for any performance as needed.

Interested in supporting Old Town School of Folk Music with a tax-deductible gift?