Click on the calendar below to see current events

Bob Kroll (1939-2024)

Robert Nathaniel “Bob” Kroll was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, where he attended school and met and married his beloved Penny. They had one daughter, Julie.

Bob proudly served in the United States Marine Corps. Later, Bob founded Kroll Marketing and served as a manufacturer’s representative until his retirement.

Bob, Penny and Julie relocated to Southern California in the mid 1980s. They joined Songmakers in February 1986. Bob was a great guitarist, known especially for his extraordinary flamenco guitar prowess. He was also a talented singer. He and Penny could really light up a hoot, party or campout. For many years, Bob, Kay Conroy and Ann Howitt performed as the Desert Wind Trio and were known for their tight harmonies.

In 1998, Bob teamed up with John Donn to revive the long-running Fireside Concert Series in Newbury Park. John stepped aside after a couple of years. Bob continued to host the series five times per year for over twenty years, until he handed the reins over to Ron Bloom and Carol Schryver (AKA The MacMammals), who are doing a wonderful job of carrying on the tradition.

Bob passed away in Thousand Oaks, California on February 1, 2024 following a short illness.

Bob was predeceased by his wife Penny in 2017. He is survived by his daughter, Julie Kroll.

Efforts are underway to organize a memorial hoot in Bob’s honor. Details will be provided when they become available.

Bob Kroll and Stan Cadrenel at Kenney Grove

Music in the Mountains (Lite), March 7 – 10

Dear Songmakers and Friends,   If you’ve never been to our annual Music in the Mountains (MIM) weekend at Unitarian Church Camp de Benneville Pines in Angelus Oaks, California, you’re missing one of the most fabulous jamming weekends we’ve ever enjoyed!  The beautiful San Bernadino mountain scenery, comfortable heated cabins, and friendly staff draw music lovers from near and far every year on the 1rst weekend in November.  Sandy and I love it so much that in 2018 we started the tradition of jamming again on a March weekend with a smaller group of 14-20 and cooking our own meals: Music In The Mountains (lite)!.  We rent the deluxe Craigs cabin, which has 9 bedrooms, a full kitchen , and a great living room with a fireplace.  MIM lite 2024 will happen Thursday – Sunday, March 7-10. We eat and mostly jam in Craig’s Cabin. Those who wish to play after 10 pm are welcome to use the Coffee House, which has no coffee, but does have year round heat and a piano. The central lodge is closed in March, because it is too expensive to heat for small groups, but several other buildings are available.  Please call or email me if you have questions, but I guarantee that if you or anyone you bring loves jamming, you’ll have a great weekend! You do not have to be a Songmakers member.

Craig’s Cabin rents for $1500 for the 3 nights, so if we have at least 15 camper-jammers, each one pays only $100 total for the whole weekend, (plus our shared food costs for what you sign up to bring). We traditionally contribute collected funds over $1500 to the camp. Three nights for $100 is an incredible BARGAIN, even if you can only stay 2 of the 3 nights! Despite 20-30% inflation during the pandemic, this is the same price we paid in 2018! We have had 14 to 18 campers in Craig’s Cabin, and can accommodate about 20 total, by renting 3-bedroom Cabin 6 (4-6 campers),  which has another full kitchen, if needed.

Because of the winter  COVID   surge, we still require that everyone be fully vaccinated to attend the weekend. Please test negative within 24-hrs of coming up to camp, and bring your test or a photo of it.  If you develop ANY symptoms in March, please stay safe at home. You will also need to carry chains or “snow socks” for your car, since the CHP will not let you drive up the mountain without them from October thru March.  

IMPORTANT: Camp director Janet says that we should have someone who’s taken a CPR or first aid course, so please let me know if you can fulfill this requirement.

Respond to via email ASAP to reserve your bed, and tell us who you want to room with. Send a check made out to Songmakers for $100 per camper by February 10 to finalize your spot. If you can sleep in a top bunk or on a top mattress moved to the floor, let us know. We probably cannot have more than two people in a room, except for 3 in Room B.  Sandy will coordinate food, cooking and cleanup sign-ups online as usual.

Sandy and I were very glad to be gifted with MIM (lite) the week before COVID shut us down. Those great memories helped get us through the next 2 years, until we could do it again.  We look forward to making new memories with you March 7-10 of 2024!  Call or email me if you need more information, or want to add someone to our mailing list.

Sincerely,  Songmakers Pres Steve Berman and Hoot Liaison Sandy Lessner


  • 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 the webmaster for inclusion to the calendar. 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 and send to:
  • Joining Songmakers is not accomplished via Meetup. The list of events will continue. Songmakers membership is only $10 per year per family / household – join via

Additional event links are listed by Folknik at

A list of virtual Song Sessions:

Old Time & Celtic Music Calendars. The latest revisions on the oldtimeSF & celticSF groups. To join these groups go to & Also available via: – select “Monthly Calendar of Old Time Music” under the About menu AND here Join the CelticSF group via


Covid Guidelines 6/11/2023

The Board of Directors of Songmakers, has decided that hosts of live events are now entitled to use their judgment regarding Covid risk. Please respect any rules or restrictions stated in the event announcement by the host. If you are feeling ill, please do not attend live events.

CA Dept of Health Guidelines:

CDC recommendations: