Virtual & LIVE Songcircles

 Updated 21:00 PT on 5/19/2022

Songmakers and other Virtual & LIVE Song Circles Information you are welcome to share with non-members too! Keep alert to last minute changes to be updated below.

Warning!!! Covid is not gone. Please keep up to date with event status before attending.

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SONGMAKERS GUIDELINES:

Except for those in compliance, listed in-person gatherings are officially DARK. We will continue to list LIVE events with the caution to use your own judgement.

Please note that all indoor event hosts can only allow attendees with full Covid-19 vaccination + 14 days + booster(s). Also, at indoor events, hosts currently limit the total number of attendees and the method of reservation to maximize safety. Outdoor events currently follow county guidelines. Please read in-person Songmakers event announcements carefully and use good judgment regarding your own risks. Please note:

  • In-person events follow all Songmakers Board policies and guidelines which are currently at least as stringent as those of the CDC, State of California, local county, and local city.
  • Covid sickens both vaccinated & unvaccinated. LIVE events will continue to be listed but do take into consideration the increased risk to your health.
  1. Public events will remain officially DARK since there is no way to control who attends.
  2. Songmakers members should verify their vaccination status by self-reporting their status on our website. The link is under the membership tab. Hosts / leaders may also use alternate means of confirming Covid safe status.
  3. In-person events will continue to be published at www.songmakers.org & in the EChord but intended for Songmakers members only. Please use good judgment regarding your own risks.

Songmakers in-person indoor event attendance requires the following:

  • Membership in Songmakers or invited guest status approved by the host.
  • Registration on the Songmakers list of fully vaccinated members or other confirmation of status accepted by the host.
  • Reservation via Meet-up or other RSVP acceptable to the host.

All in-person events are subject to cancellation in case of emergency or new safety guidelines by the Board, CDC, state, or local government that would prohibit small gatherings.

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Weekly Repeating Event List

Times are Pacific Time Zone except LIVE times are local.

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Every Sunday 1-3:30pm: LIVE Pitts Ranch Park Song Circle, SMPOC Steve Linsky invites Songmakers, Old Time Fiddlers & friends to come jam at Pitts Ranch Park, 1400 Flynn Rd., Camarillo, 93012 (Directions Here). Led by Steve Linsky or Jack Zigray. Free admission. Bathrooms, seating, and shade available. Come bring your instruments and your voices and let’s make some music!

Every Sunday 7-10:15pm: Virtual Agoura Hills Song CircleSteven Mark Berman <President@songmakers.org> is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom Song Circle: Join via: https://zoom.us/j/637717652?pwd=ZW92MDYwN3NYUGtyWHJtQW1BRXlQQT09 Meeting ID: 637 717 652 Password: 008615. 

Every Monday 12-4pm: Mudcat Worldwide Zoom Singaround, Email Joe Offer <joe@mudcat.org> to get the meeting number and password sent to you by email on Sundays (changes weekly). Joe is the Music Editor, The Mudcat Cafe Folk Music Discussion Forum.

Every Wednesday 1-2pm: Bill’s Uke Beginner Ukulele Class via Zoom, Email Bill Dempsey <billdempsey@cox.net> to get meeting number and password sent to you by email on Tuesday. For more info: www.billdempseymusic.net. New album, Oft I Sing, currently available only as a download. Here’s a link http://billdempsey.hearnow.com.

Every Wednesday Virtual Open Mic. 6:30 sign-in for 7pm:  Guitar Merchant Open Mic. 2 songs or 8 minutes. If there are problems with Tinyurl so go to Zoom by clicking this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88449766479?pwd=aFduYkwybDVvblA1V2dycmZud250dz09 any time after 6:30 PM to sign up to perform or to watch. If performing, please read “Zoom Setup for Music Performance” below. For more information, email <openmicGM@socal.rr.com>.  SMPOC: Joel Amromin.

Every Thursday 7-10pm: Virtual Chuck Behrman’s Thursday Evening Zoom <chuck@chbphoto.com>. Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83549396377?pwd=NFVqTEZJVzFHU3U2Mm9iZFdlVVRSQT09  –  Meeting ID: 835 4939 6377  Password: 262022

Every Friday morning from 9:30-11:30am: David Steinhart’s Virtual Song Circle. Start the Day With A Song! dstein1209@yahoo.com – Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89162569327 – Meeting ID: 891 6256 9327 – Passcode if needed: 839872

Every Saturday 9:30-10:30am: Bill’s Uke Beginner Ukulele Class via Zoom, Email Bill Dempsey <billdempsey@cox.net> to get meeting number and password sent to you by email. For more info: www.billdempseymusic.net. New album, Oft I Sing, currently available only as a download. Here’s a link http://billdempsey.hearnow.com.

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Not Weekly Chronological Event List

Times are Pacific Time Zone

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May 20 – 3rd Fridays 4pm (7pm ET): Let’s play a game called “Can You Follow This?” Domi hosts and will go first with a random song. Pluck any word from that song and offer the next song that uses that word. The next person (preferably someone who hasn’t gone yet) will call out any word associated with the previous song and pick a song related to the previous song that has that word in it…and so on. We keep going until everyone has had a chance to sing a song. Join via: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/445190667?pwd=CqJY_No5ObVUVzY0QMiSZI3NgLRMIu.1 – Meeting ID: 445 190 667 – Passcode: FollowThis (note the capital letters) – For dialing-in/audio only, use passcode 3081388262 – We are an open and welcoming jam, so please feel free to invite your friends! If you have problems with the link, email MCCRFolkJam@gmail.com and request to be included on the distribution list. SMPOC Gaia Rettinghouse

May 21 – 3rd Saturday Noon ’til the traffic clears: The Songs We All Know By Heart LIVE JAM. Chuck Behrman. This in-person event will be Songmakers guidelines compliant. It is a “potluck” event, and the host will provide the main dish. An RSVP is required to chuck@chbphoto.com for address and details. The jam will be limited to 12 participants. Additional RSVPs will be added to a waiting list. Please note that this event is a JAM for songs we know by heart. No solo performances and no music stands will be permitted. This jam is being created to satisfy the desire of many Songmakers to enjoy a jam environment in which everyone is encouraged to participate in every song. Please choose songs we all know or can easily join in playing and singing. This event is for vaccinated people only.

May  21 – 3rd Saturday 1-3pm (not verified): San Mateo Virtual Folk Music Singing Meetup hosted by Lee Strieb. Full details and to RSVP via: https://www.meetup.com/San-Mateo-Folk-Music-Meetup/events/274959830

May 22 – 4th Sunday 4-8pm: LIVE WEST LA HOOT & 6pm Potluck – led by Louise Dobbs & hosted by Marty Oaklander & Mha Atma Khalsa, at 1536 Crest Dr., West Los Angeles 90035. Please bring a contribution for the 6pm potluck. Outdoors so dress warm. Contact info: 310-203-0162 or mhaatma@earthlink.net or WestLaHoot@songmakers.org. The following changes are based on Songmakers / CDC guidance for now:

May 23 – 4th Monday 6-9pm: LIVE Woodland Hills Song Circle. Alan Stillson <astillson13@gmail.com> is inviting you to attend this in-person event. The address is 5515 Keokuk Ave. Woodland Hills, CA 91367. It’s close to the Ventura Freeway and Winnetka Ave. The landline telephone number is 818/884-4284. Co-leaders are Linnea Richards and Alan Stillson. All musical instruments are welcome. It will be held in compliance with state/local safety guidelines and the rules adopted by the Songmakers board of directors for in-person gatherings to protect our members during this period of post-pandemic recovery. Attendance requires the following:

  1. Fully vaccinated plus at least two weeks – honor system.
  2. Reservation via Meet-up or direct contact with host.
  3. Rules for this event, as requested by host:
  • Maximum number of attendees is 15 (couples = two attendees).
  • All pre-pandemic Songmakers rules and protocols still apply.
  • The gathering is indoors. There is a full-size keyboard in the room.
  • Bring light snacks to share. Host will provide non-alcoholic beverages.

May 24 – 2nd & 4th Tuesday 4-6:30pm: Virtual Port Hueneme Zoom Song Circle. Marty Capsuto <m_capsuto@earthlink.net> is inviting you to a SCAN Health Plan sponsored Song Circle. Join Zoom Meeting via: https://scanhealthplan.zoom.us/j/6345438370?pwd=ZklITVVjYmRySUtKTjMvM0ZldTlIQT09 Meeting ID: 634 543 8370 – Passcode: ac9gM3 / One tap mobile +16699006833,,6345438370#,,,,,,0#,,728002# US (San Jose) Dial by your location +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose) Meeting ID: 634 543 8370 Passcode: 728002

May 24 – 2nd & 4th Tuesday 7-10pm: a Zoom Thousand Oaks Song Circle hosted by Valerie Kotas valkat_8@yahoo.com. Telephone number is (805) 558-4792 (text best) and she invites you to join via Zoom link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85494724709?pwd=eFFqVm1qWlYrM3hselV0Y3ZrOWYwZz09
Meeting ID: 854 9472 4709 – Passcode: 825597 – One tap mobile +16699009128 ,,85494724709  # ,,,,*825597 # US (San Jose)

May 25-30:  Strawberry Music Festival, Nevada County Fairgrounds, Grass Valley http://strawberrymusic.com/

May 272nd & 4th Fridays 8-11:59pm: San Francisco Folk Music Club – For full details and to sign up, go to https://www.sffmc.org/.

May 28 – 4th Saturday 1-4pm: LIVE Stagecoach Inn Museum Song Circle in Newbury Park is not an official Songmakers event. David Steinhart leads & donations to support the museum music program are welcome. Please do not join the circle unless you are fully Covid vaccinated. RSVP via StagecoachSongCircle@songmakers.org. The director, Jana Goldsworthy, has waived museum admission fees on the 4th Saturday for Songmakers, however, the day use fee is expected to be paid if you are not a current paid up member of Songmakers or the CVHS. For parking, please use the lot on Susan Drive. Do bring your own chair. While masks are not required, participants will be in close proximity, so masks are strongly recommended. Dressing in a fashion that supports the era is desired. SMPOC TJ Zeiler StagecoachSongCircle@songmakers.org

May 29 Sunday 8-8:30pm: Karen Hart will be playing a special Memorial Day show at THE THIRD WHEEL HOLLYWOOD. Please come show your support of this wonderful new listening room. They also have open mics Wednesday and most Sunday nights, so come check it out. Also on the show after Karen is Chase Coleman (HBO’s Boardwalk Empire) and Muuni (EP release party).

Jun 04 – 1st Saturday 7-9pm Santa Monica Folk Club Zoom musical get together. To be co-hosted by Ellen Silverman and Chuck Behrman <chuck@chbphoto.com>. The way it works is you need to click on the zoom link below. You will be let into the meeting from the waiting room by the host – Please turn your video ON so that we can identify you as a real person and not a Zoom Bomber. Between songs we can all unmute and chat. We will all have an opportunity to see each other and share our music. Meeting ID: 825 8956 4896 – Passcode: 728632 – One tap mobile – +16699006833,,81687335715# US (San Jose) – +13462487799,,81687335715# US (Houston) Join via: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82589564896?pwd=YVFjL2lqNXkwaDk5Q0J6ZEZadG5FUT09

Jun 06 – 1st & 3rd Mondays DARK (due to Covid): LIVE E. P. Foster Library Song Circle

Jun 07 & 21 – 1st & 3rd Tuesdays 1-3pm: SFFMC Zoom Sings will have a song swap in the lobby and breakout rooms will be available. If you have a suggestion for a workshop subject, please email it to info@sffmc.org or phone 510-473-6651. Edward Hilton is inviting you to join via https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87532430768?pwd=ZkpNSXA5eDdJYkNKVVJUaU1zNGVrZz09 – Meeting ID: 875 3243 0768 Passcode: sing – One tap mobile 16699009128,,87532430768#,,,,*724994# US (San Jose)

Jun 07 – 1st Tuesday 6-9pm: LIVE Thousand Oaks IHOP Song Circle. Valerie Kotas valkat_8@yahoo.com hosts – telephone #(805) 558-4792 (text best). Details of the event, including location, can only be gotten through the host.

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Notes:

  • If you are aware of any LIVE or virtual song circle or performance that will welcome Songmaker participation (or want to host one), please provide the info to EChord <songmakersinc@gmail.com> for inclusion to our members.
  • Inputs for “Southland” also come from our members. Do you know of an upcoming musical event that may be of interest to our readers? Please provide a write-up with dates & website &/or other pertinent information, send to: <SongmakersInc@gmail.com> (no photos).

Down the Road

Too many events to track individually so all should be considered unverified.  Please do not attend any other than Songmakers approved face to face events.

Jun 16-19:  CBA Father’s Day Festival, Grass Valley https://californiabluegrass.org/fathers_day_festival/fdf-home/

Jun 23-26:  Kate Wolf Music Festival, Black Oak Ranch, Laytonville https://katewolfmusicfestival.com/

Additional event links are listed by Folknik at  https://www.sffmc.org/community-folk-calendar/.

A list of virtual Song Sessions: https://www.bostonsongsessions.org/virtual-sessions.

Open mics http://micnights.com/

Ventura Freeway Corridor Acoustic House Concert Locations: http//www.acousticmusic101.com

Paul Blakelock provides a list of upcoming music events for the Conejo Valley and surrounding areas. This one site shows the events ordered by date, with the closest ones at the top. It focuses on free events, and a few of the major paid events and festivals. http://conejo.rocks.

Old Time & Celtic Music Calendars. David Brown updated 4/16/22 – See https://sites.google.com/site/davbrown2/celtic. There is a lot of live music happening. Join https://groups.io/g/celticSF/ if you wish to have the calendar delivered to your mailbox. To keep up with Celtic music happenings in the Bay Area, Also join https://groups.io/g/oldtimesf &/or https://groups.io/g/celticsf. Also available via: https://www.berkeleyoldtimemusic.org/ – select “Monthly Calendar of Old Time Music” under the About menu https://sites.google.com/site/davbrown2/celtic

Camarillo Cafe Concerts DARK until further notice.

Fireside Concerts DARK until further notice.

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Songmakers 2023 Kenney Grove Camp Out Dates
 
Mark your calendars for the 2023 camping season!  The Songmakers Board took a long look at holidays and other major events and hope that these dates work for most of you.  Looking forward to continuing our camping tradition!  
 
Thu March 23-Sun March 26 (Spring Break)
Thu April 20-Sun April 23 (Spring Fling)
Thu June 1 – Sun June 4 (Summer Camp)
Thu Oct 6-Sun Oct 9, 2023 (Fall Fest)
 
To make reservations up to 1 year in advance, go to https://www.venturaparks.org , click on Camping & RV at the top, Select Kenney Grove Park and find your site. 
 
Let us know you’re coming via the Events pages on the Songmakers Camping News & Discussion  Group on Facebook and/or by emailing Sally Charette at KenneyGrove@songmakers.org
 
Reminder of the remaining Kenney Grove camp outs for 2022:
June 9-12, 2022 – Summer Camp

October 13-16, 2022 – Fall Out

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Notices:

Songmakers President, Steve Berman, shares that there is a Paramount Ranch rebuilding fund and donations can be made via https://www.samofund.org/donate.

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EChord Notes:

    • No longer sending the EChord to non-members except for new prospective members. After a short courtesy send of the EChord and as we continue to open up more face-to-face events, it will be necessary to be a Songmakers member (only $10 per year per family / household) – join via http://songmakers.info/MbrshpForm/MbrshpForm.html. Joining Songmakers is not accomplished via Meetup. The list here will remain albeit may not list all Songmakers Calendar events.
    • SPAM blockers often create a problem in that they reject / move to SPAM folders EChord emails. Currently it appears that @me @mac @icloud.com have decided to block EChords to their customers. The only fix suggestions are to select a new provider and possibly to add to your email address book all of these:  <songmakersinc@gmail.com>, <Calendar@songmakers.org> (not used currently), <EChord@songmakers.org> (not used currently). If your membership has expired, you may no longer be on distribution.
    • For quick, ZOOM SETUP FOR MUSIC PERFORMANCE, see the step by step procedures below provided by Joel Amromin. and Steve BermanAlan Ferentz notes: Zoom good info on the  Hi-Fidelity for music option at: https://blog.zoom.us/high-fidelity-music-mode-professional-audio-on-zoom/

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ZOOM SETUP FOR MUSIC PERFORMANCE

(provided by Joel Amromin – 04/20/2021)

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Because Zoom is “tuned” for spoken word, it is less than perfect for music without some configurations. Here are procedures for configuring Zoom for music. These procedures depend on using “original sound,” which bypasses the Zoom processing for spoken word, such as noise suppression. You want it pure.

Notes: Specific functions, labels, and locations will vary depending on what operating system and hardware you use. These instructions are based on Apple devices but should be the same or similar on other devices. The procedures get shorter for simpler devices because they have less capability. Zoom is not very good when it comes to consistent interfaces across platforms, so there are separate procedures below for various devices. Fortunately, you can now use the same procedure for smartphones and tablets. 

For performing music, Zoom works best on a workstation or laptop with a hardwired (Ethernet) connection to a network. Wireless local connections, such as Bluetooth or WiFi are less effective and may have audio dropouts and/or video freezes depending on signal quality. Cellular connection is the poorest. Close any other applications you don’t need during the meeting.

If Zoom asks for a password when entering a meeting, it wants your personal account password. If it asks for a passcode, it wants the passcode for the meeting.

If you don’t already have it, download and register the Zoom client for meetings from your app provider (e.g., Apple Store) or https://zoom.us/download. You must be on version 5.0.0 or later. You should frequently check for updates in the main Zoom menu. These instructions are based on the software as of April 20, 2021. They assume you have downloaded the Zoom client, kept it up to date, and registered for a free basic Zoom account. The client version at the time of this writing is 5.6.3 on workstations and 5.6.1 on mobile devices.

  1. Start the Zoom client. (Not necessary, but recommended, for tablets and smartphones.)
  2. Follow one of these two procedures. 
  3. For a workstation or laptop (should be about the same for Mac or Windows):
  4. Join the meeting. If asked, log on with video. Click the up arrow next to the picture of a microphone, usually at the bottom of the screen. If you’ve previously set up steps b. through h and haven’t changed your audio equipment setup, skip ahead to step i.
  5. Click Audio Settings. The Audio Setting window appears. 
  6. Turn off (uncheck) Automatically adjust microphone volume and set the Input Volume slider at around 90%. If people complain about your volume or based on a sound check conducted by the host, you may have to adjust it up or down, which you can do during the meeting.
  7. Under “Music and Professional Audio,” make sure Show in-meeting option to Turn on Original Sound from microphone and Echo cancellation are on (checked). 
  8. High-fidelity music mode uses extra bandwidth. For most of us, it should be off. 
  9. At the bottom of the window, click Advanced.
  10. Set Echo Cancellation to Auto; then click Back.
  11. Close the Settings window. The settings you have made are retained after you leave Zoom, so you only need to do it once.
  12. Back in the meeting, on versions prior to 5.6.3, click “Turn on Original Sound,” which is usually at the top of the meeting window. When set correctly, it will say “Turn off Original Sound.” The button shows the action it will take, not the current state—which is confusing. On 5.6.3 (Released 4/19/21) and above, the button will show the current state by saying “Original sound: off” or “Original sound: on.” Click the button to switch it.
    Note: You can turn Original Sound on permanently by clicking the little down arrow next to the Original Sound and selecting your microphone or other sound source. This device will then always be set for original sound when you enter a meeting.

For a tablet or smartphone, such as iPad or iPhone (should be the about same on other tablets or smartphones). The locations of the described items will vary between devices.

  1. If you’ve previously done steps b and c or are not using the Zoom client app, skip to step d.
  2. Click the Settings icon, which looks like a little gear; then click Meetings. The Meeting Settings window appears. 
  3. Scroll the window down until you see Use Original Sound. Turn that on (checked); then exit the Meeting Settings. This setting will remain after you leave Zoom, so you only need to do it once.
  4. Join the meeting. If asked, log on with video. Click the three dots labeled “More.” Click Enable Original Sound. You’ll need to do this for each meeting.
  5. If the host conducts a sound check, you may be asked to adjust your microphone volume or other audio settings.
  6. When performing, you should be close to the microphone to avoid dropouts and background noise.

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On Zoom – Pres Sez… (10/04/2020)

(Editors Note: If there is conflict in the info between this and the updated 4/20/2021 above, I’d start with the 4/20  instructions.)

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Zoom free accounts have a 40-minute duration. Contact Steve to coordinate longer sessions. First download and register the free Zoom Client for Meetings at: https://zoom.us/download

You can find many sources of instruction about hosting Zoom music sessions. The u-tube videos I found helpful can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50NoWIiYECA&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR2ho1mnFsfs4aiYw5LrVFpCGoaX4c-L35E24EFafZQpMJA0uy0L8h4vf2w and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkG7yOTRIAk&t=566s

Tips:

Have as little as possible running on your system while hosting, maybe just Zoom, your email and whatever text files you might want to screen-share with lyrics and chords of songs you plan to play. Use a hardwired (Ethernet) connection to your router. You can put speedtest.net in a browser and check your download and upload speed through Ethernet vs Wi-Fi, and with different applications running. My download speed more than doubled with Ethernet and little else running.

Use an external microphone and speakers if available. Built in computer audio input/output should work (that is all I had for my first month of hosting), but not as well.

Before anyone enters the meeting, use the following steps to optimize your Zoom for Music:

  1. When you see your face upon starting the meeting, click up arrow to the right of the microphone (audio) icon in the lower left of your screen, and go down to Audio Setting
  2. Test sound to be sure it passes. I was advised that you should then turn off both “automatically adjust volume”, and use the sliders to set them high, which you can continue to adjust throughout the meeting. However, I have not experimented with this yet in a meeting so you may want to do so.
  3. Click advanced at the bottom right and check the REALLY important parameters for music: Check “Show in-meeting option to Enable Original Sound” at top. Make sure original sound is enabled during the meeting. DISABLE suppression of the 2 forms of background noise. Leave echo suppression on auto. Your music quality will thank you 🙂

I think these are good tips even when you are not hosting, if they can be applied, to make your individual audio optimal.

After starting a session, you can assign anyone who joins to be the host instead of you. This can help if they have a better system than you do, especially audio input/output devices, speed/bandwidth. However, experiment, and pass on your own wisdom to your fellow Songmakers via me, TJ at the weekly EChord, and/or website posts that comprise the new Bard Chord.

I hope to see you soon on my Zoom channel, 637717652. I’ll host the Virtual Agoura Hills Song Circle from 7-10:15 pm each Sunday until we can play in the same room again. May that day come soon. You may be required to provide the password, 008615, because hackers disrupting Zoom meetings have recently mandated increased security. The invitation is above in the listings.

The famous Chinese curse “may you live in interesting times” seems particularly appropriate now. Stay home, stay safe, keep playing music, and we’ll get through these “interesting times” together. Remember to give thanks for all our blessings every single day! They didn’t have the internet in the 1918 pandemic! Songmakers will always be high on my gratitude list!

Sincerely,

Steve