Musikkapella: Playing in a German Band

Authored by:
Olivia L.

Olivia L.

I am a music lover. From singing to playing or even just listening to music, I love it all. So, I made sure to become involved in the local band in my small German town. So without further adue, this is the Musikkapella for Westheim!

Our group is mostly made up of adults with a few others roughly my own age. We practice about once a week or more if we have a performance coming up. So far, I have performed with this group for a catholic ceremony in which the priest sprinkled water on the gravestones in the cemetary to begin the month of November, which is the month to remember the dead. We also played on November 11 (Saint Martin's Tag) in a parade through the town while the kids sang along. I was also blessed to be a part of the mourning day festivity in which there was a speech and we remembered the lives lost in WWI. I felt honored to be a part of all of these wonderful German traditions!

Because of the many different events, we play a variety of songs, but the most popular within the group comes from the Egerlaender Blastmusik genre, German folk music. Soon, we will be playing in the Boermischer Abend where we will be able to perform nothing but the songs in this particular genre! Not only that, but other bands also come to this event so it is an opportunity to be able to watch and listen to other German bands around the area. (Yay!) Since we focus mainly on this genre, the band isn't set up in the way I was used to seeing them. In fact, it's essential to use instruments that I had only ever seen online (For example: Tenorhorns and Flugelhorns). My band is relatively small so we have 1 flute, 4 clarinets, 5 trumpets, 2 Flugelhorns, 3 Tenorhorns,  1 tuba, 2 tenor saxophones, and 1 drum set. It's not common for Egerlaender bands to have baritons, trombones or alto saxophones (which is why I'm playing the tenor saxophone apposed to my preferred alto).

This band really helped make me feel like I was a part of the community during the time I was struggling with the language barrier. Don't get me wrong, there is still tons I need to learn, but it smoothed over the tradition by haven given me an outlet to do something I knew I was good at. Now that I can fully express myself, I am able to ask questions about these traditions and learn abundantly more than I would've thought! I have absolutely loved the parades that I've watched here in Germany, but it's nothing compared to being in one yourself!


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