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HomeSong Circles
Virtual Song Circles

For more than a decade, PFS has hosted second Saturday song circles, 
where all were invited. They were hosted by a different household each month, and were a fun space where folks like you could come, meet people, play, sing, or just listen. They usually started with a pot luck dinner, and then we'd go around the circle twice, with everyone getting to lead a song. Some people stayed for a third rotation, and a fourth, and...

But then there was a pandemic.

Now we've moved online, and the song circles are weekly instead of monthly, and they are great online, just as they were in person.

When? Where?

We open up a "room" on Zoom at 5:30 PM Pacific time every Saturday evening. We start singing at 6:00 PM and we keep it going until the last person leaves. Feel free to come in anytime, and stay as long as you like. We run it kind of like a physical song circle. Everyone who wants to can sing once, and then we’ll do another round, and just keep going around as long as you like. Of course, it is totally fine to just listen.

Here's the link: That's all you need if you are coming in on a computer, tablet or browser of any sort. If you are dialing in, you'll need more information, available below. Keep scrolling...

What you need

If you want to see and be seen, hear and be heard, you'll need a computer with a microphone and camera, plus a reasonably stable connection to the internet. Some people have good equipment, others not so much. Don't worry. It's all good. If you are coming in by phone, great! See the phone information, elsewhere on this page.

Who can come? 

Pretty much anyone. This is not just for PFS folks at all. Most of the participants are from the Pacific Northwest, but we are honored to have singers come from other states and other countries.

We use the Zoom platform for meetings and assume you are at least kinda sorta familiar with it. If not, there are dozens of videos on YouTube, and dozens of internet sites, that will take you through what you need to get started. Mostly all you have to do is click here (that's the same link as appears elsewhere on the page) and then say yes to everything. 

When you do that, you will be placed in a virtual "waiting room". Please just be patient and we will let you in. If we don't know you, we might send you a message asking who you are. Sorry about the inconvenience; we do this to protect everyone from unwanted disrupters.

We come on early and someone will be happy to help with any technical questions. Please sit with your face well lit, without a lot of light behind you, so folks can see you. Oh - and please mute yourself whenever you aren't singing.

Sing close to your mic. If you aren't sure how you sound, just ask. Pease turn on "Original sound" when you are singing (there should be a button in the upper left hand corner of your laptop screen).

When you come in, we'll give you a number, and we run through the numbers everyone singing one song in turn, or passing if they like. We like to do the first round without too much chatter between songs so everyone can sing at least once, even people on the East Coast and in Europe. After the first round, there is usually more conversation.

We often record the sessions. We will not use any recording of you without your permission. If you don't want to be recorded while you are singing, just say so and we will pause the recording. If you would like to record yourself on your own computer, you can do that. Ask the host who will give you permission.
Here's a song that one of our song circle musicians wrote during the song circle on Oct 10, 2020.  Enjoy!!

Counting Down the Calories 

(Parody of “Rolling Down to Old Maui”) 



It's a damn tough life, with a fork and a knife, we shelterers undergo.

And I won't give a damn, when the COVID’s done, ripped pants I’ll have to sew.

I’ll go gymward bound, with some extra pounds, with a belt that’s taut not free.

‘Cause I don't give a damn, when I drink my rum, pounding down the calories.



               Counting down the calories, me boys, counting down the calories.

               We'll go gymward bound, with some extra pounds, counting down the calories


Once more I fail to conceal my tail, through the ice cream, gin, and pain.

Them coconut mounds, I’m guzzling down, I soon shall see again. 

Seven lonesome months I've passed away, watching reruns on TV. 

I'm still homebound, with some extra pounds, pounding down the calories 



My barefoot toes walk to and fro, while I’m still stuck here at home.

With my risky lungs my job is gone, so I ain't got far to roam.

With human voices carried away, what care I for that sound?

A bitter ale is calling me. Why not? I’m still homebound!



How soft the cream drips from the cone, now the sherbert starts to melt.

That tropical ice does still entice, so I’ve loosened up my belt.

Even now my belly bulge peeks out, hoping some fine day to see

My iron will running down the treadmill counting down the calories!

Here's what a Virtual Song Circle is Like

Below are some excerpts from a VSC on July 11, 2020.
Connecting by Phone

Need to connect by phone? Read on below...
Warning: connecting by phone may use up a lot of your monthly data plan. But if you have no limits, some people regularly connect by phone and are valued participants! You will need the following.

Meeting ID: 871 7655 3766

One tap mobile
+16699006833,,87176553766# US (San Jose)
+12532158782,,87176553766# US (Tacoma)

Dial by your location
+1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
+1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
+1 929 436 2866 US (New York)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

Find your local number:


  • When your turn around the circle comes, you may perform a song, lead a song, request someone else sing a song, or pass.
  • Please introduce yourself, even if you think everyone knows you, and say where you are from, even if you think everyone knows where you are from.
  • We usually go around two or three times, in a mostly orderly fashion - but at some point in the evening, the orderly circle transforms into a small group of people just singing and chatting. You can stay as long as you like, and sing as much as you like.
  • There is never a need to rush through a song but - please  keep the circle moving along.
  • Please don't worry about how "good" you are. You are unlikely to be either the "best" or the "worst", and no one cares. Really. It just some folks singing songs. 
  • People sometimes choose songs out of the "blue book" (Rise Up Singing) or the "red book" (Rise Again). If you use these, let others know what page your selection is on.
  • Sometime people paste the lyrics of the song they are singing in the chat, especially if it is an obscure song or one they have written. Some participants appreciate this a lot, while others just like to listen. It's up to you. 
  • You will quickly see that anything goes: Child Ballads, Sea Shanties, 60's Folk, Beatles, Showtunes, TV jingles, poems, spirituals, instrumental solos, Tuvan Throat Singing. If you have a song that you'd like to sing, go ahead! (it's not clear whether we've ever had a Tuvan Throat Singer, but if we do, people will love it!)

Song Circle Hosts

Subject to change - check back before the event


Host Round One

Host Round Two Plus


November 7

Jonathan Berman

Paul Rippey

Dave Mongeau

November 14

Delores Day

Bev Praver

Ginger Hopper


Dave Mongeau

Paul Rippey

Holly Hoffnung

November 28

Jon Dickman

Holly Hoffnung

Ginger Hopper

December 5

Delores Day

Jonathan Berman

Holly Hoffnung

December 12

Paul Rippey

Bev Praver

Jonathan Berman

December 19

Jon Dickman

Dave Mongeau

Ginger Hopper

December 26

Jinx Kuehn

or Jon Dickman

Bev Praver

Dave Mongeau

The Virtual Song Circle Team is always looking for new people who would like to host the events. It's fun and not too much work. Would you like to find out more? Drop a line to Holly Hoffnung.


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