And a benefit concert set for March 28 should give the series a welcome boost.
"A couple of music groups have stepped forward and offered to help with a benefit," said Moll, founder and coordinator of the series held each summer in the lovely setting of Garden Club Park along the Rogue River in downtown Rockford.
Perfect Shelter, a band which performed last year at Praise in the Park, and the classic rock style Carpenter's Cross will play at the March 28 benefit at Rockford Reformed Church.
A free-will offering for the praise series will be received.
THE PRAISE HAS GROWN
Moll, a retired educator and former Rockford City Council member, has been the sole underwriter for the series, which features Christian/gospel music by area church ensembles and several other artists. Since its beginning in 2012, audiences have ballooned to an average of 270 persons each Sunday night during last year – that's more than 4,800 for the entire summer. Read our report on the 2014 series.
There are costs associated with the program, but Moll has so far hesitated to "pass the hat" during the concerts.
"I really don't want to take away the "free" aspect for people to simply come, enjoy the music and then leave," he said of the series, which begins on Sun. June 7.
The local band Carpenter's Cross is a newcomer to Praise in the Park (they will play there for the first time on Sun. Sept. 6). But drummer Dan Mish said from everything they've heard, it's a marvelous opportunity for people to experience some uplifting music.
"We applied to play last year, but the schedule was already full," he said.
Newer to the band's mix is lead singer Kyleigh Pierre.
"She's got a real powerful voice and can sing 'bigger' than any of us," Mish said.
Perfect Shelter consists of several area worship leaders.
Mish said the two bands are working on a couple of songs to perform together at the benefit.
Meanwhile, this summer's Praise in the Park schedule is complete with church music ensembles as well as several bands. Many northern Kent County churches have been part of the series for several years, including Bella Vista Church, Rockford United Methodist, Bridgeway Community, River Rock, Rockford Baptist, and Grace Fellowship. Perfect Shelter performs Aug. 9, singer-songwriter Marty Miller is up on July 19. See Complete Schedule
Moll said he is considering a "donation box" or some other non-intrusive way to receive donations during the Sunday events. He's already arranged with some merchants near the venue to offer discounts to audience members via coupons.
"I really see this as an outreach opportunity to share the music with all the people who simply stop and listen," he said of their location alongside the White Pine Trail.
What: Local Christian bands Perfect Shelter and Carpenter's Cross perform in a benefit for the "Praise in the Park" summer series in Rockford.
When: 7 p.m. Sat. March 28
Where: Rockford Reformed Church, 4890 11 Mile Rd. NE Rockford
No tickets required, free will offering will be received.
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