Accordion, Vocals, Arranger, Founder
Bernie, also known as ‘Fearless Leader’, began playing accordion WAY back when. His first teacher was his father who was known throughout the German community. Bernie continues the rich traditions and is following in his father’s footsteps. He and the band continue to play the German folk tunes and music he grew up with. The repertoire is enriched by staying up to date with new German and American releases. Schuhplatters keep his fingers limber and he plays for the Bayern Verein Newark practices. Having a dance floor filled with people enjoying a waltz or quick polka always makes him smile. Bernie’s Orchestra remains one of the most popular bands in the German-American community throughout the North East thanks to Bernie being Bernie!
Trumpet, Guitar, Bass, Arranger
Tyrone has been with Bernie’s Orchestra since 1972, the early years of the band. Along with his trumpet and guitar work, he contributes to the writing and arranging responsibilities as well.
Tyrone has played trumpet, guitar, and bass with a variety of bands throughout the Northeastern US since 1969, playing his first professional music engagement at the age of 13. Having started on the trumpet at age 7, he added guitar lessons not long after.
He has a degree in Music Composition from the Berklee College of Music, and is currently active in original music composition, production and recording as well as performing. He has written and produced commercial advertising jingles through his own music production company and others that have aired in the New York, Boston, and Philadelphia metropolitan areas.
He was heavily influenced by a very musical family and household, with his Mom playing piano, his older brother on trumpet and bass, his younger brother on clarinet and sax, and his Dad on the harmonica. (There was never a dull moment, for which he is always and forever grateful!)
He has also served as the band’s original webmaster.
Woodwinds (Tenor, Alto & Soprano Saxes, Clarinet, and Flute), Vocals, Arranger
Alan has been a member of the band since 1985. During any of our engagements he can be seen playing sax or clarinet or flute or singing. He is a talented musician! Alan also does some music arranging that helps to make our sound. He has a degree in Music and has played professionally with a variety of bands since a teenager. Currently he shares his talents with students as he gives private lessons.
Rob, the official ‘timekeeper’ of the band, has been a member of Bernie’s Orchestra since 1996. He is technically the ‘baby’ of the band. Drumming for many years, he has studied drums with the pros, and has played with notable bands such as Al Chez while he was with the David Letterman show and Jody Bonjovi, cousin to the one and only Jon Bonjovi. When not performing he teaches at Robbie Mac’s Drum Studio. A rewarding part of his daily life. He also oversees ROJO Sound Studios and Kratt Pitch Pipe Company. Rob is the proud father of 2 sons. John is in the Navy band and Robbie is a music teacher in the Medford School system. Surprise! Both boys are fantastic drummers.
Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Trombone, Vocals, Arranger
John is our resident classically trained musician. He has a master’s degree in Music and has performed with a variety of German American bands throughout his career. John plays trumpet, trombone and alpine horn and is our lead vocalist. He was a church music director for 26 years and currently teaches General Music and Chorus to elementary school students. In addition to teaching, he directs a Symphony Orchestra and a Children’s Opera. If that’s not enough, when John is not busy teaching or making music, you might just find him on the dance floor….in lederhosen, performing the thigh-slapping traditional German dance called Schuhplattler.
Woodwinds (Clarinet, Flute, Saxophone), Vocals
Norman has been a professional musician for over 40 years. He has a degree in Music Education from Temple University and has been actively teaching Music for over 40 years. He maintains membership in the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts. A longtime member of the Walt Groller Band, Norm performed on the Grammy nominated album “It’s Polkamatic”. If you have travelled to Frankenmuth, Michigan or Helen, Georgia, you just may have seen and heard Norm performing with various groups. He has performed in many eastern states and as far as Texas and Utah.
The band is happy to welcome Norm to the family!