The Freistadt Alte Kameraden Band
Since 1942 The Freistadt Alte Kameraden Band has been entertaining audiences with their authentic German style music. Having formed from a group of eight or ten friends in the Lindenwood 4H club during the Second World War, the group called themselves "The Victory Band" to demonstrate their deep feelings of patriotism.
In 1966 the band made the decision to incorporate lederhosen into their uniform, and officially changed the name of the band to The Freistadt Alte Kameraden Band after the parade march by Carl Teike, Alte Kameraden March. The flamboyant march that inspired the band in 1966, continues to be one of the most requested numbers the band plays. In 1969 the band received its first invitation to play at the Oktoberfest in Glendale, Wisconsin. an invitation has been extended every year since.
In 1973 the band made its first playing tour of Germany and Austria. Return trips have become a tradition occurring in 1978, 1983, 1988, 1995, 1999 and 2003. During the seven visits to Germany, the band has performed at the world famous Munich Oktoberfest in 1978, a well as a number of famous beer halls in Munich, and local fests in other locals in Germany. These tours have provided a most unique vacation experience for hundreds of friends and fans of the band, who have accompanied the band to Germany and gained an abundance of unforgettable memories.
In 1975 the band performed on the Mall in Washington at the Smithsonian Instituteís "Festival of American Folk Life". That same year they appeared prominently in Thames Televisionís television series "Destination America" commemorating Americaís Bicentennial. In 1981 the band played at the first "Germanfest" at Henry Maier Park on Milwaukee's lakefront, and have fulfilled an unbroken string of performances each year since. Germanfest has become the largest German ethnic festival in North America. It is held the last week-end in July. In 1984 and 1987 the band had the honor to play for President Ronald Reagan and those assembled during his visit to Milwaukee. In 1996 the band was again privileged to entertain those present when President Bill Clinton and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl made a visit to Milwaukee.
The band continues to receive recognition. In 2002 the band was inducted in the Polka Hall of Fame and in 2005 the band received recognition during the 25th annual Milwaukee Germanfest for participating in the festival for each of the 25 years.
What began in 1942 as a group of friends who loved to play the music of their National origin has evolved into a renowned musical organization called "The Freistadt Alte Kameraden Band". Many of the band members are related to each other, brothers, grandfather, father, sons, uncles, cousins. Through marriage there are brother-laws and sons-in-law. The band is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Two members Harold Pipkorn and Wilmer Wetzel, have played with the band since 1942. Harold Schoessow, Franklin Klug, Earl Hilgendorf and Don Silldorff are other long time members of what started out as the "The Victory Band". The Freistadt Alte Kameraden Band now in its seventh decade celebrates and shares the sound of traditional German music for all those that wish to listen.
Text from their website www.altekameraden.com
Alte Kameraden (Old Comrades) is the
title of a popular German military march. Armeemarschsammlung II, 150 (army
The march Alte Kameraden was composed around 1889 by the composer of military music Carl Teike in Ulm. Allegedly his superior told him, after Teike presented him the notes, "We have marches enough. Throw this one into the oven!" The march was not burned, but became one of the most popular and played German military marches. It is also internationally popular.
Text from Wikipedia
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