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About Us

The Folk Club is an all-volunteer organization led by an elected Board of Directors.   Other members contribute to the functions of our weekly open mike nights, and our  monthly operations.


Founded in 1985, the Folk Club of Reston/Herndon has been led by exactly four presidents:  Rose Haskell, Larry Mediate, Ray Kaminsky, and Ben Hamblin -- in that sequence -- and for the first time ever, they stood together on a Tuesday night in 2015.  Thank you all for your service!


President: Ben Hamblin

In addition to being president for the last several years, Ben has also taken on the monthly Newsletter this past year and he is quite frequently our sound engineer on Tuesday nights.  Retired from federal service, Ben and his wife Gail have so far decided to stay in this area.  He admits that a large part of what keeps him here is his beloved Folk Club. 


Treasurer: Dave Hurd

Very little can keep founding member Dave Hurd from making it over the mountain to Herndon every Tuesday evening. You will find him at the first table, first seat, accompanied by his partner in crime, his wife Beth Drumheller.  Dave was honored with a Life-Time Membership Award at the Folk Club 30th Anniversary Celebration in May 2015, "For 30 Years of Enthusiastic, Inspired Leadership."  Dave currently manages the monies and our monthly concert tickets.  He is our resident MC on Concert Nights.  Dave and Beth also host the Folk Club Labor Day Camp-Out at their home, the "Double Trouble Estate."



Board Member: Sue Beffel

Sue was introduced to folk music by the Weavers at Carnegie Hall albums. A few years later she went to see Joan Baez, and Joan pushed some kid from the East Village with a squeaky voice onto the stage (they were annoyed at first, but the fellow had some catchy lyrics.) She joined the Folk Club in 1992 to reconnect with her musical roots after 20 years overseas with the State Department (where she is now an HR Program Manager). As Sue says about the Folk Club, “I really started to connect after my first camp-out at Dave Hurd’s. It has become a second family. My husband Ted Moline and I enjoy the diversity of music - folk, blues, jazz, singer-songwriter, country and so forth – and the wonderful people.”

Sue and her husband also enjoy spending time with her daughter in Baltimore and his kids in St. Petersburg and San Diego, and volunteering in the community.


Board Member: Bill Davis

Bill plays the guitar and is the founder of the Guys With Monosyllabic First Names Who Play The Guitar Society – which is so secret it never meets. He has been a Folk Clubber since the last night at the Red Caboose (sometime in 1986 or 1987) so he is very old – but a lot of the songs he sings are older, a lot of the songs he has written are older too. But singing with Pat Chen as Somos el Mar most of the time he is younger than the audience.

Somos el Mar has two CDs out and has been working on a multi disc Holiday CD for the past 4 years. Look for it sometime before the sun explodes. Bill has three CDs of his own & is always working on another.

Bill writes a lot of his own songs including some that aren’t so bad and some that are so bad. How bad is that?

Bill has been a pilot and flight instructor, IT guy, radio engineer, actor, director, theatre guy.  Think of something – I’m probably interested in it.


Board Member: TM Hanna


Board Member: Sue Schier


Board Member: Ron Goad

What can we say about Ron Goad?  Born in an elevator in Front Royal, Virginia, Ron's had his ups and downs.  Illustrious impresario, prestidigitatious percussionist, and emcee extraordinaire, Ron has been nominated for the WAMMIE award for Most Supportive of Washington Music for 4 consecutive years, winning the honor in 2008 and 2009.

Ron was introduced to the Folk Club by Todd Crowley when asked to sing The Cowardly Lion part in "If I Only Had a Brain" from The Wizard of Oz, along with Rex Wood. The trio presented a rough rendition but got lots of applause anyway, so that kept Ron coming back for more.

Prior to The Club, Ron was more accustomed to playing professionally (i.e. - in tuxedos... for real money!).  He thanks the Folk Club and Dan Grove for increasing his appreciation of nonpaying gigs.


Board Member: Bob Hampton

Bob found the Folk Club in August '02 when he happened upon old friends Fang and Harny (Chris and Ken Harnage) while eating dinner at the Tortilla Factory on the night of their Showcase performance.  After visiting on Tuesday evenings for a month or so, he decided this was a fun place to hang out, and joined The Club.  For several years, Bob served as the editor of the monthly newsletter and also maintained the website for The Club.  He is now taking a well-deserved break.

Bob performs occasionally at Tuesday night open mikes on one of his collection of guitars.  He has worked in the computer field for the past 30 years, and is currently Director of IT for a local technology firm.  When not playing his guitar at home in the evening, he enjoys bicycling; watching movies, the Science Channel and the Boston Red Sox;  and playing the occasional round of golf.


Board Member: Bill Farrar


Board member: Jim Clark

Jim's mother decided to start Jim's musical journey at age 8 with piano lessons (though his piano teacher told his mom to save her money...).  Notwithstanding, by his mid-teens Jim had become proficient enough to join a pop/jazz septet in high school.

By age 24, after starting law school at Oxford, he decided he needed a hobby, so he bought a banjo and started learning clawhammer technique. After graduation, however, the demands of his new career moved music to the sidelines.  Then in 2001 he decided it was time to kick-start his musical hobby once again, so he took lessons on Celtic guitar, and started attending a local regular Irish session, before discovering and joining the Songwriter's Association of Washington (later serving on the board).

In 2005, having recently joined forces with Jim Johnson as the Harley String Band, he discovered and became attached to the Folk Club at our old, familiar Tortilla Factory haunt.  It was here that he penned his now (locally) famous song about the Folk Club, "They Say it Cost a Dollar", a part-homage/part-lampoon of our good-natured get-togethers, and a few of our more notable (or notorious) regulars.

In May of 2011, Jim assumed the mantle of booking agent from our long-time Folk Club friend and major music fan, Chris "Fang" Kramer-Harnage.


Folk Club Website and Facebook Page: Cheryl Hennessy

Cheryl was a member and frequent attendee in the late 90s, before moving out of the area.  Over the next decade she had fond memories of the music and good times, and after moving back to the Reston/Herndon area in 2010, she was happy to see that the club was not only still in existence, but thriving!  A big fan of live music, she is still so far just a listener, but hopefully one day will find the time to learn to play that guitar that's been sitting in the corner for 25 years.

You can see from the photo why she's so busy these days.  Grandkids Skylar and Jackson call her "Mom" and are regulars at Folk Club.  Jackson recently made his debut onstage and is learning to play the ukelele and guitar, thanks to a few special folk club family members.   Cheryl often tells people that "It takes a village to raise a child... and The Folk Club is our village."




Monthly functions:

Publicity:  Dave Litwack: Publicity.TheFolkClub@yahoo.com


Info: Sue Schier: (703) 435-2402


Bookings: Steve Potter:  TheFolkClub@yahoo.com

Newsletter Editor: Ben Hamblin: Newsletter@restonherndonfolkclub.com


Membership in the Folk Club is open to all.  The cost is a nominal $15/year, which includes $1 discount on the recommended donation for each monthly concert, up to 2 donations per show (see Concerts below).  Folk Club members are also eligible for the monthly showcase drawings (see Showcase below).  Contact club treasurer Dave Hurd (DAHurdSr@cs.com) about becoming a member.


Open Mike
Most Tuesday nights, the Folk Club is an open mike format with a sign-up board. There are ten performer slots and each performer has 12 minutes, which included set-up time. A $1 donation is suggested to all audience members, to help defray operating costs and use of the room.


If any month contains 5 Tuesdays, the 5th Tuesday is a special, un-amplified, purely acoustic night.  It's anb opportunity to get back to the roots of folk music.  Since we first tried it, it has become immensely popular, so come on out and give it a listen.

On one Tuesday of the month, the Folk Club hosts a concert featuring a National or Internationally recognized artist.

Getting tickets to Folk Club Concert Events
1. Come to The Folk Club on Tuesday and buy them directly. OR
2. Contact Dave Hurd at dahurdsr@cs.com or 540-722-0146 to learn if tickets are available. THEN
3. Make out a check to "The Folk Club" in the amount of the tickets you want.
4. Mail it to:       David Hurd
                        110 Devil's Backbone Overlook
                        Stephenson, VA 22656
5. If you enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope (SASE) the tickets will be returned to you, otherwise they will be held for you at the door.   
You may request that tickets be reserved in your name and a list will be maintained, however, we do not guarantee a seat unless the ticket is paid for (the concert may sell out before you arrive).


On the second Tuesday of the month, we feature a “Showcase” of a Folk Club member in a 25-minute performance.  On these evenings, there is a drawing for the next month's showcase performer.  Members are eligible to put their name in the hat if it they have not performed a showcase in the past 6 months.



The Folk Club publishes a monthly newsletter and Folk Club members are encouraged to submit performance calendars, classified advertisements, articles, reviews, artwork and other music related items to Ben Hamblin (Newsletter@restonherndonfolkclub.com). Information should be received one week before the last day of the month in which you want it published. Items will be published on the basis of music related interest, timeliness, and space available.


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© The Folk Club of Reston/Herndon, 2005
Created by Armen Karimian