About Appalachian Freunde Polka Band


The Appalachian Freunde Polka Band (AF Polka Band) is an Oktoberfest band formed in 2023 that celebrates German music heritage. AF Polka Band was started in 2023 by Diane and Mike Fields and Adam Bennett, and together they have decades of polka music and Oktoberfest experience. AF Polka Band shows present polka music with traditional favorites alongside Oktoberfest party tunes and American rock pieces, guaranteed to satisfy the polka fans and let others build a newfound love for the genre. Whether playing for large festivals or small events, Appalachian Freunde Polka Band members strive to entertain and connect with audiences of all ages.

Diane Fields

Diane Fields, Keys & Vocal

Originally hailing from Toledo, Ohio, I embarked on a journey from the Buckeye State to the sunny shores of Florida, only to find myself halfway back to North Carolina eventually.

My love affair with the piano began at the tender age of three, when I would eagerly stretch my tiny fingers toward the ivory keys whenever a piano came into view. I even attempted to yodel before I could speak, around 18 months!

My musical journey started when I learned to read sheet music and began playing piano on a cardboard cutout in my first-grade class. It wasn't until I turned nine that I received my very own piano. I took six piano lessons to get started, but from there on, I was self-taught. At age 12, an organ came into my life, complete with six free lessons, which I followed up with more self-teaching.

High school saw me wielding a glockenspiel in the marching band for a solid three years. But my musical talents extended beyond the school gates; I sang in choirs throughout my school years and continued lending my voice to youth and adult choirs in church settings. Additionally, I played handbells and chimes in my church back in Florida.

My journey took a professional turn when I reached the age of 21. I played solo gigs and collaborated with numerous other talented musicians. Over the years, I dabbled in various musical genres, including polka, country, ballroom, rock, pop, and disco, and even performed at weddings in various locations, from Michigan and Ohio to Florida and North Carolina. I spent 17 years in a musical duo with my husband in Florida, delivering enchanting ballroom and classic rock performances at trailer parks and private clubs.

My involvement in music didn't stop there. I also participated in four different praise bands, both in Florida and North Carolina and even took the initiative to start and lead two of them.

After exploring diverse musical styles, I've ultimately chosen to follow my heart and pursue my passion: playing polkas and waltzes, occasionally spicing things up with a few other tunes.

mikeMike Fields, Percussion & Audio

Hailing originally from Ohio, Mike's musical journey has been a vibrant and eclectic one. He initially stepped into the world of music as a bass guitarist in a top 40's wedding band. However, his musical odyssey took an exciting turn when he joined a German band and decided to try his hand (or rather, his hands) at playing the drums.

Not one to limit himself, Mike's musical talents extended to the realm of vocals. He lent his voice to four different praise bands at various churches, showcasing his versatility. Beyond performing, Mike also proved adept at managing sound systems, ensuring the auditory experience was top-notch.

In addition to his instrumental and vocal contributions, Mike added the enchanting sounds of handbells and chimes to the ambiance of Florida and North Carolina churches. Nevertheless, the drums truly make his heart beat with passion. Recently, he even embarked on a journey with cowbells, expanding his musical horizons further.

Mike hails from a gifted family where musicality runs deep. Four of his five siblings share his love for music, spanning genres from classical Bach to rock.

What sets Mike apart is his unwavering love for playing music in all its forms. For 17 years, he and his wife formed a dynamic duo that entertained audiences in Florida. Their repertoire was as diverse as enchanting, encompassing ballroom melodies and classic rock, performed at trailer parks and exclusive private clubs. Mike's love for music knows no bounds, making him a true musical virtuoso.

Adam Bennett PolkaAdam Bennett, Clarinet & Vocals, Manager

Adam's musical journey began in Asheville, North Carolina. At age six, he embarked on his musical odyssey with the violin. As he progressed through his formative years, he expanded his repertoire by training on the piano during his elementary school years. In middle school, he ventured into the world of the clarinet, a journey that continued throughout his high school and college years.

Throughout his academic journey, from Enka High School to Appalachian State University, Adam remained deeply engaged in music. He dedicated his time and talent to various musical endeavors, including marching bands, concert bands, and ensembles.

But his passion for music extended beyond the classroom. Adam found great joy in contributing to church musical groups, whether for traditional or contemporary worship services and special cantatas. In 2009, a unique opportunity arose when his church assembled a group to perform at its Oktoberfest celebration. Little did they know that this would mark the birth of the Mountain Top Polka Band, a musical venture that Adam would cherish for the next 13 years. In this ensemble, he not only showcased his vocal prowess but also demonstrated his skill on the clarinet and other instruments. Their performances spanned across the Southeastern United States, spreading the infectious joy of polka music far and wide.

In addition to his musical pursuits, Adam also finds fulfillment in his commitment to physical fitness. He is an avid enthusiast of strength training, fitness regimens, and performance training. He has earned the title of a certified personal trainer (CPT) with the NCSF certification.

Beyond his personal interests, Adam is dedicated to digital marketing. He heads a thriving agency based in Asheville, known as Cube Creative Design. Collaborating with a team of talented marketing professionals, he leverages his expertise to create impactful digital marketing strategies for his clients.

For Adam, playing polka music serves as a delightful musical escape from the demands of his day job. As he joins the ranks of the Appalachian Freunde Polka Band, he eagerly anticipates the opportunity to continue sharing the vibrant and celebratory spirit of the polka genre with audiences across the Southeastern United States.