The Freistadt Alte Kameraden Band began entertaining audiences in 1942. The local 4H club offered several young men an opportunity to play at a talent show and soon the "Victory Band" was formed. The group, while cherishing its German heritage, wanted everyone to know that the tiny community of Freistadt was filled with patriotic Americans. Many, if not all, proudly traced their immigration to America to 1839 when the small Wisconsin (USA) community was formed.
The band played for weddings and other local events until 1966 when a friend of the band suggested that lederhosen become the standard uniform of the band. The name change occurred as a result of playing Carl Teike's "Alte Kameraden March" and that tune became one of the most requested in the bands seven decades of performing.
Tradition surrounds the band, from events played to the band membership. The band has played some events for many years, some approaching the fifty year mark! The membership still includes original members as well as children, grandchildren, uncles, nephews and cousins of original members. Members of the band that aren't related are certainly rare, but becoming a member of band itself makes you a member of a family! The music, fellowship and gemütlichkeit quickly draws everyone in together.
The "AK" as it's known by its followers has recorded more than 15 albums, performed for sitting American presidents, German chancellors and at the Munich Oktoberfest. It has been featured in television documentaries, both in America and Germany and has led more than 7 tours to Germany with fans and families.
Alte Kameraden has entertained audiences around the globe with traditional German marches and polkas, top Oktoberfest songs and still includes the American patriotic melodies that were played by the "Victory Band". Each member of the band is passionate about continuing the traditions and history of "The Freistadt Alte Kameraden Band" for as long as audiences gather to listen!