On Sept. 1, 2019 Old Town School will assume responsibility for the South Loop-based Sherwood Community Music School, 1312 S. Michigan Ave. Credit: provided

SOUTH LOOP — Columbia College and Old Town School of Folk Music will kick off a new partnership next month, bringing Old Town’s signature programs to the South Loop.

On Sept. 1, Old Town will take over the Columbia-owned Sherwood Community Music School at 1312 S. Michigan Ave.

Sherwood merged with Columbia in 2007. And starting this fall, Old Town will take over Sherwood’s one-on-one music instruction and launch a new Wiggleworms program at the site to replace the current Music Together program for children.

“This is an important step in the Old Town School’s longterm strategic plan to serve more people in their neighborhoods throughout Chicago, the greatest music city in the country,” said Old Town CEO Jim Newcomb.

“Old Town School’s focus on the teaching and programming of a diverse body of music styles and genres provides great synergy with our music program’s focus on contemporary, urban, jazz and popular music forms,” said Rosita Sands, interim dean of fine and performing arts at Columbia.

By January, Old Town will start offering its traditional group guitar and other signature Old Town School programming at Sherwood.

Old Town’s expansion to the South Loop comes after it decided not to sell its 909 W. Armitage Ave. building last year.

The school considered selling that building to create an endowment fund that would “secure the future of the school in perpetuity” and address dwindling enrollment.

But after students and teachers rallied to save the school the Old Town’s leadership chose to keep the building.


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