VERSAILLES — Towne & Country Players will present the Sauerkraut German Band in concert in its Staycation series, Friday, June 30, at 7 p.m. in Fountain Square in downtown Versailles.
The Sauerkraut German Band was organized in September 1973 by seven civilian and military members of the U.S. Air Force Foreign Technology Division at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The band has since expanded to 16 musicians, including retired or active duty military and civilian personnel from Wright-Patterson and other professions. Most of the musicians are members of many Dayton-area musical organizations.
Although there is no requirement to be of German descent in order to join the band, the players’ authentic lederhosen and Tyrolean hats, suspenders, knee socks and bright ties make them appear as if they just arrived from the heart of Bavaria. They play polkas, waltzes, schottisches, marches and specialty numbers in traditional “oompah” style, along with many of the big band pieces of the 1940s and 1950s. They are a very versatile band, featuring many vocal and instrumental solos.
The band was originally named the Sourkrauts, a play on words, which emphasized the sour sounds of “oompah” music, but after 20 years of explaining why they misspelled the name, they gave in and converted to the conventional spelling of sauerkraut.
After paying for music, uniforms, travel and equipment, all the band’s remaining funds are annually donated to charities. Since its inception, the band has donated more than $96,000 to various Miami Valley and national charities.
In case of rain, this event will be in the St. Denis Church basement.