Old Town School teaching artists lead sing along

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Old Town School of Folk Music teaching artists to lead community sing along in Forest Park on April 30

RIVER FOREST IL - Chicago’s “official troubadour” Mark Dvorak and Old Town School of Folk Music Distinguished Teaching Artist Jason McInnes will lead the first Oak Park River Forest Community Sing Along on Sunday, April 30 at 6:00 pm. The event takes place at Doc Ryan’s, 7432 W. Madison, Forest Park.

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Dvorak, who is celebrating his 30th year on faculty at the Old Town School will be joined on stage by the Power of Song Singers, a ten-member adult chorus which formed at the school after Pete Seeger passed away in 2014.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of this event,” said Dvorak, who has released seventeen albums and performed across the country and in parts of Europe. “I had the chance to sing with Pete Seeger some years ago. We had this very nice conversation about the importance of community singing and Pete said, ‘Never underestimate the power of bringing harmony into the world,’ and I’ve never forgotten it.”

McInnes is the director of the Young Stracke All-Stars, an ensemble of youth musicians aged 8 to 14. The group is named for Old Town School of Folk Music cofounder Win Stracke, who was a singer, early television star and music education pioneer.

“The students who become Young Stracke All-Stars are many things,” said McInnes. “They are dedicated, curious, passionate and enthusiastic about making and sharing, community music. We’re so excited for this opportunity.”

The event is sponsored by the Songs For Peace and Justice Fund and will benefit three local  community service organizations, the Oak Park River Forest Community Foundation, the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry, and Housing Forward.

“Music is the medicine our spirits need right now,” said Elizabeth Sweeney Backes, president of the board of the Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry. “This is our first event and our plan is to use music and singing together as a positive, community-building tool. We want to created opportunities for our neighbors to reconnect, while at the same time raise critical dollars for our local support agencies.”

All ages are welcome to attend. General admission is a sliding suggested donation of $10-20. $25 is suggested for families. Advance tickets are available from Brown Paper TicketsThe sponsors regret that the event is not wheelchair accessible. Doors open at 5:00 pm. For more information phone 312 451 5101 or email musicandpotlucks@gmail.com.

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