Jon Koenig -Akkordeon
JJon remembers poking around with an accordion at a young age, but was formally trained in classical piano and organ, with occasional forays into renaissance wind instruments. When the time came to hang up the pedal shoes for good, he decided to pick up the accordion. Now retired, he enjoys getting together with a small group of friends, or with Ein Prosit German Band, or with Grand Rapids Accordion Ensemble.
Depending on the venue, you might hear Irish folk tunes, German drinking songs, or accompaniments to the cowbells. In all cases, he now demonstrates "thinking outside the Bachs."
Sandy Beck - Akkordeon/Kuhglocken/Cowbells
Sandy is an all-around percussionist who started her music career on piano at age 8. This early training established the foundation which allowed her to be conscripted into the concert band in sixth grade. She continued all manner of percussion.
After joining Ein Prosit German Band as the percussionist, 'someone' had the bright idea that a cowbell feature was needed. Cowbells were located and ordered from Austria and a new talent was forged. She is most comfortably in the back of the band or orchestra, but will come out front as the "Mistress of Moo" when asked.
After realizing life is short, an accordion was ordered from Weltmeister in Germany and she now performs on Accordion with Akkordeon and Friends, Ein Prosit German Band and the Grand Rapids Accordion Ensemble!
Bill Holt - Akkordeon
Bill plays a Weltmeister akkordeon also. Weltmeisters are manufacturered in Klingenthal, Germany, a centre of music, and a small town in the Saxon Vogtland region, directly bordering on Bohemia.
Judy Koenig - Voice, Alphorn
Judy is a recreational musician. Playing trumpet, flugelhorn, alto horn and euphonium, she is a member of the West Michigan Concert Winds, Ein Prosit German Band, Alphorngruppe Alpentraum and Akkordeon and Friends. Judy works for Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp as a Scholarship Representative.
Judy has a lovely alto voice and sings folk tunes in the traditional German language as well. She'll keep you entertained with vignettes about the origins of the folk songs. She joins in on alphorn and plays a beautiful Stocker horn. This horn is one of the last made by the Alphornbau Joseph Stocker, Switzerland.
Allen Beck - Wagner Tuba, Alphorn
Allen has played French Horn for over 60 years. Along the way, he has picked up some related instruments which are used in other types of Ensembles. The Alto Horn is used in Brass Band and German Band. The Alphorn is used as a solo instrument and for Alphorn Ensembles. This brings us to the Wagner Tuba which he plays with Akkordeon and Friends. This instrument was invented when composer Richard Wagner was looking for an orchestral Brass sound that did not exist at the time. Wagner wanted an instrument that could produce the noble and somber Valhalla motif in Das Rheingold like a Trombone, but with a less incisive tone like that of a Horn. The instrument is normally played by Horn players since it uses the same mouthpiece and covers essentially the same range. It has the flexibility to cover most Tuba parts or to put in an occasional counter melody.
Jonathan (JP) - Tuba, Alphorn
JP will make up something here
Julie - Alto horn, Alphorn
Julie will take a short break while she has a baby!