BERNIE'S ORCHESTRA History
CELEBRATING OUR 50TH YEAR!
Bernie's Orchestra was officially formed in 1967 with 3 young musicians who wanted to perform German-American dance music. As the times have changed, so has the band, which has gone from the 3 original musicians to a talented and diversified 5-piece ensemble. On occasion, the band performs with 6 or more musicians. The melodious sounds we create are a combination of accordion, percussion, guitar, trumpet, trombone, saxophone (soprano, alto, and tenor), clarinet, flute, baritone horn, and alpine horn. And, oh yes, don't forget the vocals!
Since the beginning, the band has performed for virtually every type of affair imaginable, from club and restaurant dates, to weddings, to shows, from performing for royalty at the United Nations and Met-Life building in New York City, to supplying music for German Schuhplattler dance groups, choral groups, solo vocalists, for live radio, and for various dancers and performers.
Some of our most memorable highlights include entertaining the German yachtsmen participating in the Tall Ships 'Operation Sail' for the nation's bicentennial celebration, in 1976, in Staten Island, NY. The band was honored to be invited to represent the nationwide German-American community in Washington, D.C. for the Smithsonian Institute's Festival of American Folk Life in 1983. We have been featured at the former Garden State Arts Center , and at the present-day PNC Bank Arts Center many times over the years. We were featured on the main stage of the Garden State Arts Center at the very first annual German Heritage Day celebration! We have entertained for well-known German festivals in PA, NY, Delaware, Connecticut, Hunter Mountain, NY, Vernon Valley, NJ, and Scheutzen Park, NJ. We've had the pleasure of performing at festivals and events from Chicago, to Lake George, to Washington, D.C., and back again! We have even had the privilege of performing at the Grand Reception Center of the United Nations in New York City.
In addition to performing, we've recorded several albums. In 1979, 'Wunschkonzert', our first album was produced, followed by 'Blowin' the House Down' four years later. Our latest 3rd and 4th albums, available on CD, were completed in the last several years.
Out of all the events we've performed for over the years, however, we simply cannot and will not forget the many appreciative audiences who support the many local clubs, churches, social and civic organizations, both large and small, festivals and celebrations all throughout the metropolitan area, that not only gave us our start, but continue to be the mainstay of our business year after year. Through our music, we have made what we consider to be many life-long friends and acquaintances through these organizations. Without their continued support and the support of our audiences and families, we simply could not have come this far, or continued for as long as we have. Without local organizations, there would be no history to speak of on these pages. Our sincere and heartfelt thanks to you all!
Please see the Bernie's Orchestra Archives for pictures and highlights from events over the course of our history, from the 'early' years, right up to the present day!