news & buzz

Pete Seeger & the Power of Song


New Old Town School classes begin Tuesday, March 4

This May, songwriter, activist and American folk icon Pete Seeger turns ninety-five years old. The eight-week class, Pete Seeger & the Power of Song, celebrates Seeger's rich and timeless legacy of song. The class will be taught by Mark Dvorak.

This class is open to players of all instruments and will cover material from Seeger's early recordings, when he partnered with Woody Guthrie to form the Almanac Singers. We'll explore some songs from The Weavers, whose hit records first sparked the folk song revival that would in time give voice to the Civil Rights and Peace movements of the 1960s.

MD headlines Boone County Arts festival

Fifth Grade Arts Festival expanded to three days

The 2013 Fifth Grade Arts Festival was expanded to accommodate the eight participating schools: Caledonia, Immanuel Lutheran, Lincoln, Meehan, Perry, Seth Whitman, St. James and Washington. The seven period day included classes in poetry, stage make-up, cartooning, junk art and pottery. 

Mark Dvorak is on the faculty of Chicago's remarkable Old Town School of Folk Music. His program is "Old Songs & New People," which means the history of American Folk Music. Mark did the first two days of the festival, and then Jim Kanas, and American folk musician and certified K-12 music teacher, did a history of American music on the last day... 

Soup & Bread

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January 26 fundraising event to benefit BEDS Plus in Western Springs, IL

The second annual Soup & Bread fundraising event benefitting BEDS Plus takes place Sunday, January 26 from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the Village Club of Western Springs, 4221 Lawn Avenue, Western Springs, Illinois.

Tickets are $25 per person, $50 per family (limit 5).

Savor soup dishes from popular local restaurants including Whole Foods Market Hinsdale, Now Serving Cafe & Catering, Sweet Tomatoes, Mattone Restaurant, Mecenat, and Nickson's. 

Choose from a selection of drinks and enjoy live music by Sharon Speziale

Chicago Folk Club celebrates 10 years

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Old Town School song leader talks about Folk Club@The Grafton 

CHICAGO IL - On January 4, 2004 a small group of Old Town School of Folk Music students and their instructor Mark Dvorak uncased their instruments and began to sing and play in the crowded back room at The Grafton Pub, just next door to the school.

"The owner of the place called and asked if I might be interested in setting up for a performance at the The Grafton," said Dvorak, who is artist-in-residence at the Old Town School. "At that time, a group of ten or a dozen students enjoyed hanging out in the hallway after class to play and sing together. …

Old Town School winter session begins

Big Bill Broonzy courtesyUChicagoPress

MD is teaching three classes in session one of the 2014 Old Town School of Folk Music Education calendar. 

On Tuesday, January 8, students worked on "Minding My Own Business" by Big Bill Broonzy and "All I Have to Do is Dream," first made popular by the Everly Brothers in 1960.

Download the classroom materials below for free:


There is still room for you in Guitar 1 beginning Thursday, January 10 at 5:30 pm. For information and online enrollment go

We get letters...


Ms. Julie Morley from Chicago IL writes...

Mr. Dvorak -

Two or three favorite colors? My seven-year old daughter Katharine (Kit) wants to make you a Rainbow Loom bracelet...

We LOVE  your CD 'Time Ain't Got Nothin' On Me." It's already a cult classic here in our home-bound igloo. We just keep pushing 'play.' 

Kit has dancing feet. When the first song comes on (The Middle Years) she says, 'It's a twirl song!' My husband asked me last night, "What is it with Kit humming about the Bluebells in Kentucky?'

She also asked about the blues song ('Livin' with the Blues) and the man who is using hard rocks for his pillow. …

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