Canton Folk Song Society

Updated January 5, 2017

The Canton Folk Song Society is a small group of folk-style musicians who get together at the McKinley Presidential Library & Museum in Canton, Ohio once a month to enjoy sharing music with each other and with the museum's patrons. A calendar which should be kept up to date yearly for the Canton Folk Song Society is available below or in a larger format at:  Canton Folk Song Society Google Calendar  for your convenience.





Scheduled Meetings for 2017:

Regular Meetings Are Now Scheduled in the Schoolhouse Off to the Right of the Train Exhibit in the Second Floor Street of Shops Area

Occasionally the Schoolhouse May Be Unavailable and Then Meetings Will Be in the Square of the Street of Shops

Saturday, January 7, 2017 from 1-3 PM

Saturday, January 28, 2017 from 1-3 PM

Canton Folk Song Society Playing for McKinley Birthday Celebration

In the Square of the Street of Shops

Saturday, February 11, 2017 from 1-3 PM


Saturday, March 18, 2017 from 11:00 AM - 3:30 PM

Winter Folk Song Fest

Nineteenth Annual Festival Put on by Canton Folk Song Society

In the Auditorium of the McKinley Presidential Library & Museum

Performances by Several Local Groups, Clubs, and Individuals

Followed by Jam Session for Everyone with Instruments and Voices

Saturday, April 8, 2017 from 1-3 PM

Saturday, May 13, 2017 from 1-3 PM

Saturday, June 10, 2017 from 1-3 PM

Saturday, July 1, 2017 from 1-3 PM

Saturday, August 5, 2017 from 1-3 PM

Saturday, September 9, 2017 from 1-3 PM

Saturday, October 21, 2017 from 1-3 PM

Saturday, November 11, 2017 from 1-3 PM

Saturday, December 9, 2017 from 1-3 PM


View Canton Folk Song Society Photo Pages



It will become clear in this section that it's often a good idea to check here, to contact Bill by e-mail or phone (234-564-3852), to check with another member, or to call the McKinley Presidential Library & Museum (330-455-7043) before coming out for a meeting -- especially if you are coming from a distance.

Meetings are generally held on the second Saturday of the month from 1-3 PM at the McKinley Presidential Library & Museum, 800 McKinley Monument Drive, NW, Canton, Ohio 44708. Meetings are generally held in the Wörschler House in the Street of Shops or in the School Room on the second floor of the museum according to the schedule shown above. However, the actual meeting date for an upcoming month is very occasionally changed the previous month by the members present so that it will best meet their schedules and the museum's schedule (and hopefully also changed in the schedule shown above). Meetings have been on every Saturday of the month and on some Sundays. There have also been different times for the meetings depending on the needs of the members and of the museum. Regular meetings are now scheduled in the schoolhouse off to the right of the train exhibit in the second floor Street of Shops area. Previously, meetings had been in the Wörschler House, in various locations along the Street of Shops, by the model train layouts, in the main room on the second floor, in the garden area of the patio, and on the lawn outside the museum. They can always tell you at the front desk exactly where we are scheduled for a given day.

The meetings of the club are generally run as informal song circles with individual members each taking a turn to choose a song. Choices are usually taken from a source available to several other members which allows others to join in the performance. However, members sometimes choose to perform songs for the rest of the group – whether old favorites or songs that they are just in the process of learning. Singers and acoustic folk-style instruments of all sorts are welcome. Instruments which have been played at Canton Folk Song Society include (but are not limited to): guitars (6 & 12 strings, steel, banjo-guitar, tenor), dulcimers (hammered and mountain), autoharps, harps, flutes, whistles, recorders, fife, harmonicas, concertina, bowed psalteries, banjos, mandolins, octave mandolins, ukuleles, fiddles, cello, upright bass, jug, washtub bass, marimbula, percussion (bodhran, spoons, tambourines, bells, chimes, and more), and more.


Membership in the Canton Folk Song Society is open to anyone who enjoys folk-style music and agrees to work with the other members for the mutual enjoyment of all. There is no membership fee or charge. Come to a meeting and join along in the music if you would like to be a member. There are members who just choose to sing along on a few choruses; members who are trying to learn to play an instrument who play so quietly that almost nobody else can ever hear them; members who usually play and sing only for their own enjoyment; members who gave up performing publicly years ago, but have decided that this is something they can enjoy doing; and members who currently perform professionally. Members have enjoyed doing songs by contemporary singer/songwriters, folk favorites from the fifties and sixties (and earlier and later), traditional ballads, celtic music, world music, children's songs, humorous songs, the blues, popular songs, country songs, seasonal music, music fitted to various themes, and more.

Purpose & Methods

The Canton Folk Song Society is a club open to anyone who enjoys folk-style music and agrees to work with other members for the mutual enjoyment of all. The primary purposes of the club are to share in the enjoyment of folk-style music, to share friendships with others who have similar interests, to help others to become familiar with this type of music and the instruments involved with it, and to help our members follow their own goals in relationship to the music. These purposes may be accomplished by having regular meetings or activities to play and sing; by finding ways to communicate to let members and others know about the activities of the society, its members, and other organizations or individuals with similar purposes; by sponsoring concerts, programs, shows, festivals, conferences, seminars, workshops, lectures, classes, meetings, displays, or publications; and by working with or supporting other organizations in similar or related activities.


In addition to the regular monthly meetings, members of the Canton Folk Song Society have also done public performances as the Canton Folk Song Society. Several performances have been for the McKinley Museum as a way of showing our appreciation for the meeting place. We have regularly performed for such events as McKinley's Birthday Celebration, the Museum Christmas Party, and other special events at the Museum. We also have performed for the Clubs Open Stage many times since 1995 at Dulci-More Festivals in Lisbon and Franklin Square, Ohio. Some other public performances have been at coffee houses and parks for special events in the Canton and North Canton area including some things for other arts organizations or non-profit organizations and some businesses..


The Canton Folk Song Society first got together in January, 1994 at the Public Library in North Canton in a downstairs meeting room, organized by Len Crossman. The club met at the library and in the local park for several months. Members wanted a more public place to meet after a while with a better atmosphere and better acoustics. The move was made to Trivium Coffee Cafe in Belden Village for some time. During this period, Len moved from the area, and the leadership of the club was taken over by Christina Kambrick. When Trivium needed the space we were taking up, Christina was able to find meeting places including another Belden Village restaurant and our present home at the McKinley Presidential Library & Museum in Canton where we started meeting in November 1994. Christina remains as the leader of the Canton Folk Song Society. There are no other official positions, but Bill Schilling keeps this information available for folks, having been involved since the first meeting of the club. Some members of the club did take one meeting of the group to the Grand Opening of the new offices of Autoharp Quarterly magazine in Chester, West Virginia, where the club was mentioned and heard in the background performing on WELO radio. Many members of the Canton Folk Song Society are also members of Dulci-More: Folk & Traditional Musicians. Thus, much of the music done at the meetings comes from the Dulci-More Songbook and is done with the whole group playing or singing along. Many other choices come from Rise Up Singing, the Group Singing Songbook by Sing Out! Corporation. Sometimes members choose to perform a song rather than having everyone join along on the song. New members of all ages are always welcome whether they choose to play and/or sing along on just the easiest songs, or whether they choose to perform for the rest of the members.


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Contact Information

Bill Schilling

984 Homewood Avenue

Salem, Ohio 44460-3816