Meet the North Texan who’s the longest running member of Mannheim Steamroller

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HURST — Sick of the summer heat? How about a little Christmas spirit!

Rande Ferguson is a Hurst resident, and the longest running member of the world famous Christmas group, Mannheim Steamroller. Thursday he gave a talk to the local Chamber of Commerce.

“We’re here to basically talk about an act that has been performing live for 36 years,” said Ferguson. “I have been with them since the beginning. I was there when there was nobody in the audience, and I was there when we’ve been selling out for the last 20 years.”

Rande is the live audio engineer for Mannheim Steamroller’s concerts, so it’s his job to bring their distinctive sound to life in front of an audience.

So in a world where any kid with a computer can do a remix of a Christmas carol, what is it about Mannheim that still makes them the most popular come Christmas? Ferguson gives all the credit to the group’s founder: Chip Davis.

“The arrangements of Mannheim Steamroller break all the conventional rules of music but if you don’t know the rules you don’t know how to break them,” Ferguson said. “Chip is a classically trained musician. He knows how to break them. He knows how to live by them.”

And it’s Rande’s job to break all those rules once the band starts playing on stage.

So the next time you see this world famous group spreading holiday cheer, know the guy making all those Yule Tide sounds happen isn’t from the North Pole. He’s from North Texas.

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