Boerne Village Band honored by German president
On this day in 1992, Richard von Weizsaeker, the president of Germany who was in Houston on a state visit, commended the German musical tradition exemplified by the Boerne Village Band. German immigrants to Texas had a profound influence on the development of music in the state. Acclaimed as "the Oldest Continuously Organized German Band in the World outside Germany Itself," the Boerne Village Band was organized in 1860 by Karl Dienger to complement the Boerne Gesang Verein (singing club). The band practiced in barns during the difficult Civil War period. After the war it continued to practice and play at various events in and around Boerne. During World War I and World War II the band was less active but remained organized, and it has flourished since 1945. Dr. Kenneth Herbst became director of the band in 1972 and attended the luncheon at which the German leader made his remarks. For the band's 130th anniversary in 1990, Peter Fihn, a noted German composer, dedicated and presented his march, "Grüsse an Texas" ("Greetings to Texas"), to the band. In the 1990s the band continued to perform regularly at the Texas Folklife Festival, the New Braunfels Wurstfest, the Kendall County Fair, the Boerne Berges Fest, Boerne Abendkonzerte (summer evening concerts), and many other events.