Each Friday takes from six to eight people to volunteer, from a half-hour to an hour each (longer for the “finger-pointer”). We have a good core of regulars but new helpers are really needed.

FOOD SUPPLY/SETUP: Keep pantry stocked with lemonade, crackers, chips, popcorn, and other dry munchies, and refrigerator drawer in stock with cheese and dips; folk club night put out food, make lemonade, and put out the "Feed the Kitty" sign and bowl for donations. Arrive by 7:00 p.m. (Melissa S. knows the instructions.)

SET UP: Arrange furniture for the singing room (move round table from living room to hall, move coffee table to living room windows to serve as a bench; add folding chairs from back hall; move shelf with free materials to top of round table in hall; place barrel near the door for sign-in sheet); put cans for money for memberships, Sing Out, CDs on table under announcements. Ask for help from anyone who is around. Arrive before 7:30.

BULLETIN BOARD: Take down and recycle outdated notices; put up new ones from Folk Club mail (Ken H. can show where it is located). Bulletin boards are marked for monthly calendars, special events, dance, announcements and the like. Arrive 7:30.

HALL HOSTS: Two volunteers split the evening so each can also sing and play. The first shift is around 8:00 p.m. to 9:15, the second shift around 9:15 to 10:30, but hosts can alternate more frequently if they like. Be sure to put the sign-up sheet clipboard on the barrel by the door, with the date, and ask everyone to sign in! More detailed instructions are at the club, but in general:

The Host may have the most important volunteer job. We often have a number of new guests, especially after special events such as a camp or the Free Folk Festival. The Host is the one who gives newcomers their first and perhaps the most lasting impression of the S.F. Folk Music Club.

Welcome everyone with the warmth and pleasure you would demonstrate toward any guests entering your home. If you don’t know the person(s) entering, find out if they have been here before. If not, after introducing yourself you get to tell them where the toilets are (second floor landing and basement); what music goes on in the different rooms (singing room circle with theme; jamming in front room and basement); where to store instrument cases (back hall), and where snacks are located (kitchen—enter singing room from there, only between songs please, and do feed the Kitty). And would they mind signing in?

Please ask all attendees if they are members of SFFMC and receive the folknik. For all non-members give them a copy of the current folknik, which tells Club activities beyond these Friday song swaps and jams and includes an application for membership, usually at the bottom of page 9. Let them know that our dues are at most $20 a year. Collect form and dues (put these in the can on the table) if they join. Other items for sale or donation have separate money cans.

Even if they have been here before, ask about membership. Being a member of SFFMC is not a requirement for coming on Friday nights but it would be nice if most of those attending are members. And 885 Clayton is one of the best places the Club has to get new members.

SINGING ROOM: The “finger pointer” gets to choose the theme for that night in the singing room and usually stays from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m. Our leader for the evening, this volunteer is responsible for keeping the song circle moving along, preferably with a minimum of chatter so that everyone can have plenty of turns. (Two people could share this job.)

The finger pointer starts out by explaining how the room works, especially for newcomers but as a reminder to all. We go around to the left, give your name and the song you want to sing or request. It is okay to pass but encourage folks to think of a song even if it is not on the theme. The person whose turn it is decides how the song is done: alone or with other voices; with or without instrumental accompaniment or breaks; what key and tempo. However you sing it is the right way on your turn! Let folks know it is fine to take a break for food and drink between songs, but be sure to wash your own dishes and avoid loud conversations in the kitchen or the front hall.

The finger pointer should encourage new folks to take a turn and remind everyone to enter and leave only between songs. And our custom is that we don’t applaud after songs—to save time and because it is not a performance. Some folks do want to try out a new song or an old one they’ve arranged, but we try to balance with plenty of sing-alongs and harmonizing together as well. The finger-pointer should be aware to give folks sitting on the floor a turn in each round and to be sure the hall hosts get their turns when they come in from duty. Whenever the finger-pointer has a turn s/he should circulate the Volunteer Task sign-up clipboard to fill in jobs (to be listed in the next folknik and on the club web page). When the finger pointer leaves after 11, remaining folks can continue going around the circle, each calling on the next person.

CLEAN-UP: When the joint is emptying out, move furniture back to original places; pick up glasses and miscellaneous lost items (picks, capos, eyeglasses, keys, jackets), do any remaining dishes. This should take about half an hour and anyone who is hanging around can help. You can supervise the work of those who are the last to leave.

If you have constraints and contingencies that make it hard to sign up in advance, think of ways to help: when you can come by you can bring food and/or pitch in with set-up and clean-up! For reminders of sign-ups and to see future needs, you can check the online version of the folknik.

FRIDAY NIGHT MENU (Melissa will maintain food supplies)

  • Lemonade
  • Brownies
  • Crackers
  • Chips
  • Bread
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Dip
  • Popcorn
  • Fruit/nuts
  • Supplies in cabinet at back of instrument case room for:

    In the refrigerator next to the stove in the very bottom left hand drawer:

    In the freezer in basement, northwest corner at top (in boxes of 3 or 4, to be thawed in microwave: Dip

    Make or buy: Popcorn

    To purchase that day: