Many of these
items are also covered in the "Connections Band Concert
Covenant" that you can find here. If you have questions about that
document, you may find the answer
How Did Connections Band Start?
We started at a “clergy retreat” of the North Texas
Conference of the United Methodist Church, when several of
the founding members gathered in a hotel room and played
Dan Fogelberg songs until the early morning hours. Band
leaders Rusty King and Eric Folkerth found they had finally
met someone else who knew as many Fogelberg songs as each
of them did on their own! (OK...Rusty knows a few more...)
From that organic “song circle” experience, the crazy-idea
to do a “Dan Fogelberg Tribute Show” was born. Months of
rehearsal culminated in more than 250 people coming to that
first show in May of 2006. The audience and band alike left
the concert saying that it a had been “a magical night.”
So after it was done, we said to ourselves: “Why stop
there?! We may be on to something...”
Thus, Connections was born as a working band.
The other tribute shows were created, and we started
raising some serious funds for worthy causes, while having
a blast playing music we love.
How Big is the Band and
Who Are The Leaders?
We have a core group of United Methodist clergy that we
consider the “founding members.” These are the folks who
gathered at the clergy retreats for several years in a row,
while the band-idea brewed in our souls. The core leaders
are: Frank Rahm, Paul Escamilla, Ann Willet, John Fleming. Brian McPherson has become a core member more recently.
Rusty King is the musical director, and he and Eric
Folkerth are co-band leaders.
As of this writing, more than 35 musicians have played at
least one Connections Band show, and our core band is
around 10-15 strong. This represents more than twelve
different United Methodist congregations, as well as other
churches, in the North Texas area.
A complete list of band member names can be found
What Shows Do You
Our set show...um...sets, are as follows:
“A Tribute to Dan Fogelberg”
“Eagles/Chicago Tribute Show”
“James Taylor/Carole King Tribute Show”
"A Tribute to the Doobie Brothers/Elton."
"Superhits of the 70s"
"A Tribute to Billy Joel and Stevie Wonder"
Because each show requires different musicians, we try to
cluster our performances in groups as much as possible.
Why UMCOR and “Imagine No Malaria?”
These are popular missional causes of the United Methodist
Church. We feel strongly about supporting our “connectional
causes” and find that these are appealing options. We do
not raise money for local church buildings or pet projects.
Why a “Love
We have found that audiences find it inspiring that this
rather large group of musicians gets together to rehearse
and perform these shows. The fact that we are “working for
free” tends to inspire them to give generously at shows. It
also allows us to tell the story of these great agencies
from the stage.
We do not believe our audiences would give nearly as
generously, or turn out as well, if we charged an
admission. Plus, there’s just something about trusting the
crowd to give from their hearts, as they enjoy music that
they love, too.
How Much Have Your
To date, we have raised more than $170,000 for these worthy
missional causes. Please check here for a continually updated tally of the
funds raised by Connections.
How Much Does it Cost
to Host Connections Band?
Our only required payment is for our sound engineer, and we
do require that he be used. (Details about this are in the
“Concert Covenant.” ) Most churches/venues spend some funds
on publicity, refreshments, and set up. We also require a
church/venue to provide a meal for our band before the
What’s the Space
We ask that you host our shows in rooms that can
comfortably seat 250 persons. Most of our shows have been
“coffeehouse style,” where the audience sits around tables,
allowing for refreshments.
How Far Out Do You Book
We book out at least six months in advance. And note this!
It can take some time --perhaps even several weeks-- to
confirm a date, since there are so many band members to
Do You Provide Your Own
Yes, we have our own instruments and sound equipment, and
we like them.
What Can’t You Use Our
We have a big band. Even the best sound guy in the world
can’t get to know us quickly enough. Also, our engineer has
a new, state-of-the-art digital system that we’re
especially fond of. Finally, he just plains knows us.
Because of the number of lead singers and solos from more
than 15 musicians (usually), it just won’t sound good if
your tech person runs the sound...no offense.