Our Storied History
The year 1938 saw something that German-Americans in San Francisco had always wanted- their own band. The founding members wished to bring their traditions, as well as music, here yet be part of events that were affiliated to other German organizations so as not to forget their homeland.
Even though many Germans, or those of Germanic descent, were now in the US in war-time, with tensions running high, the DMV was able to contribute to the war effort by playing benefit concerts and at dances for the Red Cross and USO.
After the war, the DMV also had an affiliated dramatic section that produced several plays and even an operetta, ‘Im Weiss’n Roessl’ (The White House Inn). The dramatic section has not weathered as well as the band and alas was disbanded.
In 1948, at a 10-year celebration to recognize the first decade of the DMV, the then president William Fleissner, put into words the spirit by which the band still endures,
Harmony and comradeship shall be the guiding stars of the Deutscher Musik Verein in the future as they have been in the past, thus assuring our society of many more successful anniversaries to come
—President William Fleissner, 1948
At almost 70 years old, these words are just as fresh now as then.
Since its inception so many years ago, the Deutscher Musik Verein (DMV) German Music Society has continued to provide cultural links for those with German/Austrian/Swiss heritage and to showcase music from countries and times that have perhaps faded into memory. Not only does the band provide a cultural contribution to the Bay Area but provides a social outlet to its members; a time to forge new bonds. There have been times when father and son have played at the same time. The DMV also boasts longevity of members with one member’s service dating back to 1944!
The repertoire of pieces ranges from traditional German, classical, jazz and film pieces to contemporary American composers such as Sousa and newly arranged pieces- no stone left unturned!
Talking of a wide variety, the DMV has one of the greatest age ranges in bands in the Bay Area; from high-school students to WWII vets; the melding of ages brings experience and youthful enthusiasm, which is inspirational to all members. Everyone is represented and that’s what a community band is about, and it is a non-profit, volunteer organization. Musicians in the DMV have always had the same aim - play, enjoy and keep music live; raise a smile and get toes tapping.