Top Stories

Camp New Harmony

Tues., December 28, 2010 - Sun., January 2, 2011

Welcome to Camp New Harmony: SFFMC’s New Year’s celebration for Club members and their families. This year we will sing, dance and jam for five days in the quiet rolling hills in between Santa Rosa and Calistoga. Register in advance for all or any part of camp and be assured of meals in the dining room. Please read the information below carefully. For photos and more information check the Club home page,

Activities: Harmony is a self-made music camp for our Club members of all ages and experience levels. There is no hired staff for leading activities. Any camper can sign up to teach or lead a workshop, no experience necessary, and this is a great place to learn to teach.

We organize beginning workshops in guitar, fiddle, voice and dance before camp. If you can lead a beginning workshop or have an instrument you could loan to a beginners class (especially a guitar or fiddle), please include this information on your registration form or contact Katie (510-548-4727, The camp will appreciate all your help!

Though some workshops are pre-planned, many of the workshop times and areas are available for sign-up at camp. Anyone can attend any workshop that is given, and beginners are especially urged to try anything they think they might like. Activities with children in mind are welcomed and encouraged.

Each evening there is a concert and a different themed dance in the dance hall. The concerts are planned entirely at camp, so prepare something special to show off or be inspired once you get here, all performers are welcome. For a list of workshops and evening dances offered at past camps, check our Web site.

Registration Priority

While Camp New Harmony did not sell out last year, it was close, and we anticipate similar attendance this year. We will continue to use priority criteria for registration in case registration goes up and to promote fairness in housing assignments.

First priority

Current members of SFFMC as of September 1, provided their applications to Camp New Harmony are postmarked by September 15, 2010. These will all be considered together.

Second priority

Current members of SFFMC as of September 1, provided their applications to Camp New Harmony are postmarked between September 16 and October 15, 2010. These will be processed in the order received.

Third priority

Members joining or rejoining after September 1 whose applications to Camp New Harmony are postmarked by October 15, 2010. Their applications will be held until after all first and second priority applications have been processed. If space is still available, these will be processed in the order received.

Fourth priority

All current members, regardless of the date they joined/rejoined the Club, whose applications to Camp New Harmony are postmarked between October 16 and December 1, 2010. If space still remains, these will be processed in the order received.

Housing & Parking

Our lease requires that all housing be pre-assigned. The camp is terraced into the hillside amidst many fruit trees and small paved roads, encompasses approximately 10 acres and comprises over 70 living units. Each living unit has its own bathroom and sleeps anywhere from 2 to 10 people. Most units are vehicle accessible but parking is limited—all campers are strongly encouraged to carpool. A very limited number of single units are available for an extra fee. Please clearly indicate your housing preferences on your registration form. Housing is assigned based on need and on when your registration is received—the earlier you register, the more likely you will get your preferred housing arrangements. Camping and RVs are not allowed. Please call Katie if you have any questions about housing options. (Teens & Young Adults: if you want to stay in a dorm together, please indicate this on your registration form!)

Camper Chores

All campers age 6 and up do chores at camp. This is part of your camp fee and is how we keep our camp costs low. Upon arrival at camp you’ll sign up for an hour or two of chores. Chores include after-camp clean up, parking duty, moving tables and chairs in the dining room and dance hall, minding the sales table, helping in the crafts room, etc.

Camperships and the Campership Fund

The Club offers fee reductions known as “camperships.” to those who would not otherwise be able to attend camp. Everyone is eligible for these funds, but the supply is limited. The funds will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis on the honor system. We encourage you to register early if asking for a campership. To apply, register for the days you wish, calculate the fees, then calculate a discount up to 50%. Write this in the appropriate spot on the registration form. Subtract and send a check for the reduced fee. We will notify you promptly if the fund has been used up.

Tax-deductible donations to the Campership Fund are welcome and appreciated! You may add your donation to your camp fee. If you have any questions call or e-mail Katie: 510-548-4727,

People with Children

We now have lots of family and infant-friendly housing! We will provide interested families a list of other families attending camp. We know camp is expensive for families. We encourage you to register early and take a campership, if you need one to come to camp. If you have any questions call or e-mail Katie!

People with Disabilities

If you require special housing because of a disability, please indicate this on your registration form and call or e-mail Katie to discuss housing options.


Contact the registrar, Katie Riemer: 510-548-4727 (before 9:00 pm please) OR e-mail (include “Harmony” in subject line). More info on the Club home page,

El Cerrito Folk Festival

The second annual El Cerrito Free Folk Festival returns to Windrush School on Saturday October 9, from noon until 10:00 pm. It will once again be co-sponsored by the SFFMC, the El Cerrito Arts and Culture commission, and Windrush School, which is donating the space.

We will have two concert stages, plus a third one for family performances. Some of the performers confirmed for the show include Patrick Landeza, Larry Hanks, Emily Bonn and the Vivants, Courtney Janes, Euphonia, Misner and Smith, and the Bolos with many more to be announced. There will be many workshops and plenty of room for jamming.

Located just a short walk from the El Cerrito Del Norte BART station, on several acres of beautiful grounds, Windrush School has one historic building, and one new completely green building. Both are wheelchair accessible.

As always, this festival is completely run by volunteers, so we will need all the help we can get. Check out the web site at

Faith’s 95th Birthday Party

Remember, you’re invited to Faith’s Birthday Party Concert at the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, on Sept. 11 at 8:00 pm. Tickets and info at the Freight Web site: The far-ranging entertainment offers a little bit of something for just about anyone. Faith performs songs with Peter Kessler and many other guests from Faith’s long and illustrious career will make an appearance. Happy Birthday, dear Faith!

Children’s Music Network

Mark your calendars for the Children’s Music Network National Conference at The Presentation Center in Los Gatos, the weekend of October 8-10.

This multi-generational event attracts people from all over North America, who come together to foster cooperation, cultural diversity, self-esteem, and empowerment through music for young people. Join musicians, songwriters, performers, educators, recreation leaders, choral directors, puppeteers, parents and kids who are involved in singing, teaching, recording, promoting, distributing, and enjoying children’s music.

The keynote speaker will be singer, songwriter, educator and humorist Peter Alsop. Uncle Ruthie Buell, songwriter, radio host and special education innovator will be honored with a musical tribute and the Magic Penny Award. Round-robin concert. Workshops on musical skills, teaching tips, performance polishing and song swaps, and always, everywhere, spontaneous outbursts of heartfelt, irresistible singing.

Info: or the Children’s Music Network, P.O. Box 1341, Evanston, IL 60204; 847-733-8003,

Recycle Your Used Guitar Strings

This succesful program has distributed strings to Cuba, Cambodia, Central & South America, & Africa. Save your complete sets—in original packaging—and send them to: (new address) Darryl Purpose, P O Box 234, Nederland, CO 80466. info: or

Sing It In Yiddish

Mark Levy teaches Eastern European Jewish folk songs from both northern and southern dialects. Classes include sheet music, recordings and live demonstration of children’s, love, work, and holiday songs from the vast repertoire kept alive by our ancestors and handed down to us.

Classes are Mondays, Nov. 1, 8, 15, & 22, 7:00-9:00 pm in Berkeley (location to be announced). Cost will depend on how many people register. (Spring classes ran $20-25/session with all four sessions required.) info: Mark Levy: (831) 338-7283,

Sea Music at Maritime Park

All concerts begin at 8:00 pm, aboard the 1886 sailing ship Balclutha, berthed at Hyde Street Pier. Tickets: $14 general, $12 members. Season ticket: all three concerts, $36. info: 415-775-2665,

Sept. 25: The Barbary Ghosts/Salty Walt and The Rattlin’ Ratlines.

A new generation of sea music performers take the stage in a rare double bill appearance.

Oct. 30: Lee Murdock.

Accompanying himself on guitar, Lee Murdock is one of the nation’s leading performers of traditional and self-penned Great Lakes maritime songs.

Nov. 20: Jimmy Crowley & Mairtin De Cogain

From Co. Cork, Ireland, Jimmy and Mairtin sing rare songs of Irish seafaring traditions and emigration.