A couple weeks, on the way home from watching the Mighty Oregon Ducks play football, I got to go to the Mt. Angel Oktoberfest. If you don’t know about it, its definitely the biggest Oktoberfest in Oregon, and basically takes over the whole town of Mt. Angel for a weekend. In addition to getting my fill of Schnitzel and Hofbrau, I also got the opportunity to hear some great music, as well as play some music.
The coolest band we heard was Salzburger Echo. They played all of the Oktoberfest classics and some interesting traditional instruments. There was some sort of xylophone, some awesome cowbell hand bells, and Most notably, they busted out alpenhorns. The coolest part of the performance was after they played the alpenhorns, they invited people on the stage for an impromptu alpenhorn competition. I ran up to the stage for my chance to play the awesome instrument.
My competition was a mix of kids and old military band people. We each got to blow a couple notes, and then had to play part of the Blue Danube for the first round. I quickly realized I had some stiff competition. One guy was formerly in an Air Force band, and another bragged that he had been in DCI for a long time. After the first round the two guys and kid got picked to go to the next round. But before they moved on, my family and some really awesome loud people in the front started a “Kyle” chant! Awesomeness occurred as I moved into the final round. William Tell.
Using awesome double tonguing power, I whipped out my best William Tell. They had everyone cheer for their favorite performer, and when they called my name, I flashed an Oregon “O” to the crowd and secured a victory! My prize, a free CD of alpenhorn music. The real prize was getting to play such a cool instrument, and this awesome story.
Anyways, I wasn’t just posting to brag, I had a point to all of this. The whole experience reminded me of how much I miss playing with the Donauschwabishe Blaskappelle back in Cleveland. I’ve been tinkering around with the idea of finding a similar group here in Portland, or seeing if some people would be interested in starting a German Brass band. It’s fun for all ages, from young players who need more practice to old players who like to drink beer while they are playing. Any takers?