This Bavarian Orchestra was former in East Brookfield in 1968 by reedman and arranger Raoul “Doc” LeBeau and accordianist Richard “Dick” Meyers. LeBeau had exteensive radio and big band experience dating from the early 40s while Meyers grew up in Germany during the 1930s where he studied music. Other founding members were Doc’s sons Dennis (trumpets) and Bob (reeds), Peter McNeaney (trumpets) Mark Goodwin (valve trombone)Dr. Warren Trow (trombone) Mark Lammi (tuba) and Brian Beers (drums). Mc Neaney remains the only original member still playing with the band. This group was soon performing at German Clubs and festivals throughout New England. The band played annually to huge crowds at the Sterling Airport and the Spencer Town Hall.
In 1973, the band toured Germany for one month, receiving keys to most cities which they visited on tour. Most of the band members were still teenagers and received national press and prestige while in Germany due to the circumstance of American youth playing German music. The band was able to purchase over a dozen real German music scores-unavailble in the U.S. at the time.
Returning to America, the band became more appealing and in demand due to its extensive performing and globetrotting prestige. The LeBeau brothers attended Westfield State College and recruited more members to enlarge the band. This included reed players Rick Page, Tony Grossi, Peter Carne, and Ted Wirt, trumpeters Peter Petkatis, Jeff Todd, and Peter Grimaldi, trombonists Mike Heffernan, Ken Longstreeth, and Stephen Glover.
In 1990- to keep up with the demand- a second band was formed-The Scheister Meisters which became the house band at Agawam’s Riverside Park (now Six Flags) for the Oktoberfest Season. The Meisters typically appeared as a smaller 5-6 peice group with a slightly different “indoor” repetoire more suitable for restaurants and smaller beer halls. As time progressed both Hofbrauhause and the Meisters developed independent libraries due to the different venues of performance. However in 2006 both groups combined forces. It is now possible to provide dance and sing-a-long polkas, landlers, waltzes, and marches showcasing 1 to 12 musician who are commited to the Bavarian/Oktoberfest iidiom:
Cuckoo Clock Tweeter-piccolo
Maria Deitrich sax and vocal
Admiral Sitzmark-tenor horn