Ein Prosit, Ernie!

35th Annual German Night Thursday will be a salute to event founder Ernie Broeniman

The Howard Stoll Family Pavilion in Plymouth City Park will be the site of the Plymouth Municipal Band’s 35th annual German Night, an evening of Gemutlichkeit (friendly and comfortable), as well as Ernie Broeniman Appreciation Night Thursday, July 25.

It will be Ernie Broeniman Appreciation Night in honor of the musician extraordinaire and his many achievements in the local area.

“We are most appreciative of Ernie’s talents and owe him our gratitude for the traditions carried on yet today,” Don Schleh said.

Broeniman’s achievements and contributions to the community include:

German Night, which he started in 1978 with early helpers Nancy and Charles Kaufman; Janet and Arthur Lammers; Bill, Patti and Greg Heberlein; and Don and Kelley Schleh.

The Plymouth High School Junge Kameraden, the only German-style high school band in America which Broeniman created after being inspired during a trip to Germany.

Dorf Kapelle, Broeniman’s band, playing German and Czech music in the Ernst Mosch crisp, precise, brass dominant style. The band continues to enjoy much notoriety and popularity.

Fasching (carnival), a brainchild of Broeniman and Bill and Carl Laack.

The Howard Stoll Family Pavilion, which Broeniman initiated and planned with Stoll as the benefactor. The inspiration for the pavilion’s design was a music pavilion in Innsbruck, Germany. The pavilion was dedicated to the city of Plymouth on July 4, 1985.

Pretzel Bender, which originated after a Monday night rehearsal. The band adjourned to Laack’s at Johnsonville where Broeniman, Arwin Herzog, Carl Wiehrmann, Greg Heberlein and Rick Marchini played music while the rest of the band danced. It has evolved to include hundreds of people and a parade at midnight.

Sausage Fest, which Broeniman, Bill Heberlein and Carl Laack created and organized. It includes continuous music in and around Laack’s Hall on a Sunday, starting with a religious service.

Plymouth High School Band Disney trips, which students have participated in for generations.

Plymouth Municipal Band European trips to Austria and Germany, which Broeniman organized to Innsbruck, Austria, in 1980 and Diedesfeld, Germany, in 1985 and 1990.

For a city with a strong German heritage and a musical history of over 145 years, Ernie Broeniman was a natural fit and has made many contributions to the community and local area.

The music will start at 6 p.m. Thursday featuring the Plymouth High School Junge Kameraden directed by Jason Sebranek. This band was formed in 1977 and is the only German-style high school instrumental group in America. Its membership ranges from 40 to 45 musicians.

Ernie Broeniman, originator of German Night and the Junge Kameraden, will lead his renown Dorf Kapelle starting at 7:30 pm.

The Dorf Kapelle (Village Band), features music from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. The group will celebrate 25 years of musical entertainment that began in Plymouth on German Night.

Food and refreshments served by the Plymouth High School Performing Arts Booster Club starts at 3 p.m. Leaders of the club are Jill Birenbaum, president; Cathy Pearce, vice president; Mary Laack Albright, secretary; and Keith Falk, treasurer.

The menu consists of Spanferkel (spit-roasted pig), brats, burgers, German Potato salad, Sauerkraut, cake and Culver’s custard.

The Bier Garten will be provided by Plymouth Municipal Band. Bring your lawn chairs. A free will offering will be taken.

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