United Rocks! concert to benefit United Way and Hunger Awareness

For Immediate Release

Aug. 12, 2014

UNITED WAY CONTACT Mike McLaughlin, Communications Director
Phone: 785.228.5117 | Cell: 816.591.1592 | E-mail: mike.mclaughlin@unitedwaytopeka.org

Rock star visits Topeka to announce Classic Rock Christmas by December People
Band to play Christmas concert to support hunger awareness and United Way of Greater Topeka

TOPEKA, KAN. (Aug. 13, 2014) – December People – a band comprised of rock superstars – will perform A Classic Rock Christmas concert Nov. 22 at Topeka Performing Arts Center. Gary Pihl, guitarist and vocalist who regularly plays in the band Boston, came to Topeka Aug. 13 to announce and record promotions for the community benefit concert and holiday food drive.

December People takes traditional Christmas songs and plays them to the tune of classic rock songs from Santana, The Who, BOSTON, ZZ Top, Journey, AC/DC, Rush and Elton John among others. The band has sold out concerts on the east and west coasts while collecting truckloads of food for local food banks and pantries. The Topeka concert will be a benefit for United Way of Greater Topeka. Concert goers will be asked to bring food donations which will be given to Project Topeka.

The musicians in December People have sold more than 40 million albums with the others bands in which they perform: Pihl, who plays with Boston, Robert Berry of the Sammy Hagar and Greg Kihn Bands, Dave Meed of The Tubes, Mike Vanderhule of Y & T and Jack Foster, international artist.

As part of the show, the Topeka High School Drum Corps will join December People on-stage to perform Little Drummer Boy. Choirs from two Topeka High Schools will perform songs with the band. A with a seven-octave bell choir from Countryside United Methodist Church will perform between shows and join the band in a song.

The opening act will be a rock set performed by Vandelyn Kross, a band featuring Todd Pettigrove who happens to be a former United Way of Greater Topeka campaign ambassador and is an employee of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas. Pettigrove has also been tapped as the new lead singer of Shooting Star.

Tickets go on sale Aug. 22 at TPAC and through Ticket Master. For more information and to hear a sample of the band’s music, visit www.decemberpeople.com.

The Topeka show came about when Al Hammons, benefit concert promoter and Information Technology Director for United Way of Greater Topeka learned that food donations to Project Topeka were down this year. Through a past relationship with Pihl, Hammons contacted the musician who quickly agreed to play a concert in Topeka based on the band’s success with concerts in other locations.

Sponsors for the concert include Capitol Federal – Diamond Sponsor, WIBW-13, Cumulus stations V-100 and 99.3 The Eagle, Mize Houser, Stage Pro Production Services, Farm Bureau Insurance, Premier Employment Solutions, WalMart and Intrust Bank. Sponsorships remain available at all levels.


United Way brings together people, companies and nonprofits to create positive sustainable change in our community. By focusing on education, income and health, we help more children graduate and get stable jobs, help families become financially stable and improve the overall health of our community. United Way remains dedicated to Basic Needs including food, shelter, rent and utilities, health and prescription access and safety from domestic violence.

For more than 80 years United Way of Greater Topeka has been improving and changing lives. Since 1980, United Way has invested more than $105 million into the community.