July Meeting Recap

Hey songwriters,

Thanks are owed to Brian Junker ( for hosting the June Circle meeting, and to David Hipchen ( for hosting the open stages while I was taking a much-needed vacation. Both did a great job.

I didn’t do so great — I got the July assignment wrong in last week’s meeting announcement. Nevertheless, an intimate group including two new members discussed ways for songwriters to stretch beyond their typical boundaries, and Paul & Joan Eisert (, played a very good featured set.

August songwriting assignment

How tight are your choruses? Do they adequately separate your verses, break an established pattern, hold the listener’s attention, advance the story? At the Aug. 1 meeting (7 p.m. at Bloomfield Bridge Tavern, 412-682-8611), the suggested assignment will be to write a song — or play one of your existing songs — and explain your intentions for the chorus and choices made to achieve those goals. For more, open the Monthly Assignments page on this site.

Album project

The next deadline is July 15, when participants are required to have contacted producer Mike Hickman (512-785-2132, to set up a first session date. The first-session deadline advances the project and prevents a scheduling logjam. If you haven’t called Mike yet, please do it now.

Playing out

Ronni Weiss ( and guitarist Tom Boyce play 7-9 p.m. Fri., July 14 at Regent Square’s Ease Modern Comfort Cuisine (412-871-3440, 1100 S Braddock Ave, Pittsburgh [Regent Square], PA 15218).

– An old friend of the Songwriters Circle and Calliope Songwriters Open Stage, Derek Gabrish ( will play Club Cafe 7 p.m. Sat. June 15 with part of his new band, October Rose (,

– The 10th annual Polish Hill Arts Festival will include a set by Bob Cook ( The festival runs noon – 9 p.m. at the Polish Hill Civic Association

3060 Brereton St, Pittsburgh [Polish Hill], Pennsylvania 15219.

– Songs written separately by Circle members David Michael King ( and Gil Bigenho will be showcased at this year’s Hot Metal Musicals, a presentation of musical theater songs written by Pittsburgh regional songwriters, 7:15 p.m. Mon. July 17 at Cabaret Theater, Theater Square, 655 Penn Ave., Downtown (


– The Regatta at Lake Arthur, Aug. 5-6 at Moraine State Park in Butler County, will feature a Battle of the Bands in front of a crowd numbering in the thousands. To be considered, submit  audio/video clips to by July 14. Winners posted July 17 (

– Organizers of Walk and Roll Pittsburgh for GBS (Guillain-Barre Syndrome), a benefit for the neurological disease, is looking for performers for their Sat., Sept. 16 event at a South Park pavilion. For details and to get on the list contact Joan Eisert (

– Pittsburgh Songwriters Circle has been invited back to play at Venture Outdoors’ annual TriAnglers end-of-season celebration 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Wed. Sept. 27. Members perform with amplification on the North Shore wharf at the juncture of PNC Park and the Clemente Bridge at the close of VO’s Wednesday lunchtime fishing program. To get on the list email

See you soon,,

– John