Otsfm logo

Teen Advisory Council

What is the Teen Advisory Council?

Old Town School's Teen Advisory Council supports the School's teen programs, works to grow a creative, open-minded youth community, and enriches the greater arts culture of Chicago.

The Council started in the fall of 2015 with six members and the simple idea that teen programming at the School should come directly from teens. Since then, Teen Council has grown to become an integral part of everything related to teens at the School. Council members run events like Teen Open Mic, they help teachers develop new classes and curriculum, they collaborate with other arts organizations across Chicago, and they overall ensure that the School is meeting the needs of its teen students and artists.

How Do I Get to Be on Teen Advisory Council?

All new Teen Advisory Council members go through an application process every fall. The ideal Teen Council member...

  • ...loves the arts and can advocate for other teens.
  • ...has a personal connection to teen programs at Old Town School.
  • ...is comfortable with both leading a group and empowering others to take the lead.
  • ...enjoys working on a creative team to make decisions and get stuff done.

Meet the Teen Advisory Council

Dahlia Danger Tanner-Gauspohl (she/her)

I am a senior at Jones College Prep and I absolutely love the open mic nights! I really love the passion and community that come with music and art, and although I am not a musician myself, I love creating art and films especially. I am here to help bring people together and help people show love for their music!

Ivy Tollefsen (she/her)

I'm a senior at Lane Tech. I've been taking classes at Old Town School since I was 7, and I've always really enjoyed my time here. After getting older and growing as a musician, Old Town School supported me by offering open mics and people to play with. Now, I want to pay it forward by helping other young musicians and artists be able to express themselves and to build their confidence as artists, plus work to improve what we offer teens at the Old Town School!

Cecil Ryan (any pronouns)

I'm a senior at Jones College Prep & member of their drama club, as well as a longtime fan of the Old Town Open Mic performances! I've been coming to the open mic since my sophmore year of high school. I play the ukulele and got my performing start at the Old Town School of Folk Music, and continue to gain more confidence and grow with each performance that I partake in. I'm incredibly excited to be on the teen council & help promote the arts to more teenagers - I'm so grateful for the way I've grown to be confident because of the OTS and want to create that same opportunity for others.

Charlotte Braund (she/her)

I'm a freshman at Lane Tech. I started playing music at Old Town when I was three and I'm so grateful for the community here! I've played the open mics for a little while now and it's such a fun experience. The people are all so talented and welcoming. I joined the teen council because I want to be a part of that community and because I want to make this experience available to more teen musicians in Chicago! I love music so much and I'm so grateful to Old Town for everything!

Sofie Richter (she/her)

I'm a senior at Jones and a lover of Old Town Open Mics!! I first walked in the Lincoln Ave entrance when I was just about three years old ... Wiggleworms! I've played guitar and sang at quite a few of the open mics with a band called Neptune's Core! We're a Chicago-based indie rock band that's played at venues all over the city. Old Town open mics gave us our start! We're still going strong and playing with some of our absolute favorite bands. I love writing tunes and sharing them with the Chicago music community. Music is so great! Super duper happy to be a part of the teen council!

Aoife (efa) Murray (she/her)

I'm a junior at the Lycée Français de Chicago and this is my first year of being on the Teen Advisory Council. Music has always been a big passion of mine, as I love to spend my free time singing, songwriting, or playing violin, guitar, or ukulele. After having gone to several of Old Town School's open mics, I felt so inspired to take part in such a cool program! I was drawn by the idea of a community of teens that love music as much as I do, and I hope to create even more opportunities for teens to play music together.

Trey Tucker (he/him)

I have been going to the Old Town School Open Mics for about a year and a half and it has been such an amazing output for me creatively. For each one I write original songs and it's been such a great way to express myself and keep myself creatively motivated. I've always loved music but I just in the past two years started to teach myself guitar and ukulele and piano and writing my own songs. I joined the teen council because I want to help inspire and invite other people to these open mics, just like I was once invited by a member of the teen council, so they can have access to the same creative output I do. I'm in the Jones class of 2024, and I am part of the drama club there.

Ella Cassidy (she/her)

I'm a junior at Amundsen High School, and I've been involved in the teen collectives at Old Town for the past 3 years. I love to work and perform at these open mics! I play a few instruments, mostly guitar, and I usually play at these open mics. Music is a huge part of my life, thanks to my parents. Old town is the perfect place in my opinion to showcase any talents you may have. It's such a strong community, and so open to new members. I'm excited to continue to be involved at OTSFM until I graduate.

Questions about Teen Advisory Council? Contact us!