Honored Guests


Guests of Honor: Pair O’Dice

Picture of Eva and Rafael Van Daele-Hunt (Pair O'Dice) sitting in front of some beautiful garden flowers.

Pair o’ Dice are Eva and Rafael Van Daele-Hunt, fanatical roleplayers and long-time filkers who live in Southern Germany. They have been a couple since 1998 and have loved to sing together from day one, although it took them years to officially form a band. They were Guests of Honor at the 2018 ‘Frühlingsfest der Filksmusik’ (DFDF).

Eva, a classically-trained soprano, is their songwriter. She won a Pegasus “Best Writer/Composer” Award in 2019; her song ‘Die Puppen’/’The Dolls’ might have also held a record for the most unsuccessful nomination (eight times) before it won in 2023.
She plays twelve-string guitar, recorder and piano, but will pretend to play any instrument she comes across that is not nailed down. Rafael, a Canadian-born bass, plays classical and flamenco guitar and fakes his way through bass, violin and percussion when the need arises. Their repertoire consists mostly of tragic, eerie or romantic ballads. Lately, however, Eva has revealed a funnier streak in the lyrics she writes for ‘Barbership’, filk’s own barbershop quartet, which pairs Eva & Rafael with their friends Steve Macdonald (tenor) and Katy Dröge-Macdonald (alto).

In their mundane lives, they make a living as a software manager (Rafael) and a criminal judge (Eva), but they try to think about that as little as possible. They have a teenage kid who loves to dance, act and sing, and over the years has become a filker in their own right.


Toastmaster: Franklin Gunkelmann

Picture of Franklin Gunkelmann (wearing a t-shirt with a round anime rainbow unicorn eating a cookie)Muggle name: Frank Gunkelmann, 58, German

(ttto Bezos I)

Has two kids and has a wife
Born in 1965
Franklin Gunkelmann

Nerd and Knight, likes Scifi Flicks
Filks since 1986
Franklin Gunkelmann

Come on, Franklin, you can do it
Steer the con, put your voice into it
Tell us why, show us how
Look at where you came from,
look at you now.


Honored Listener: Xap Esler

Picture of Xap Esler at a windy coast; the hair is blown in her face.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, (OK, a few years ago in Illinois) a fellow Callahanian invited xap to her first SF con. While wondering its dim halls late-night she literally stumbled across her first filk circle & was immediately hooked.

She finally managed to make it to OVFF for the first time in 2009, and has only missed two since. Along the way she’s attended MANY circles and concerts, at cons, homes, and online. She’s aided & abetted with music program-planning, tech crews, and the occasional Interfilk table, and has been called “cleric to bards” due to her stashes of teas, ginger, and other care-taking supplies.

Most of all, xap loves enjoying and supporting her filk friends, family, & community.
Just remember – it’s not her fault! 😉



Interfilk Guest: Heather Preston

Picture of Heather Preston on a porch framed by lovely tree branches and flowers.
is an astronomer and planetarium director with a music habit. She got into filk in her late teens but then experienced “filkus interruptus.” With occasional forays to cons when she was working at Space Telescope Science Institute and later in the Seattle area, she was only able to maintain a tenuous connection to this wonderful music (a bit more luck with Irish Trad).

Covid and the move to Zoom cons fixed that – one of the few good side effects of everyone zooming for a while was getting to know and/or reconnect with wonderful, fun, interesting, talented, passionate filkers worldwide. Now, with a grown son, she has a little more time to indulge her urge to filk. Any book, video, song or person might inspire her — so if you find her gazing at you musingly… beware!
Or then again, she could just be off in astro-nerd-land, it happens…




Special Guest/New Voices Guest: (not selected yet)