Alfred always wanted to play music. As a little boy he would ask his mom and dad for every instrument he saw at the stores. When he was almost 4, his dad bought him a toy piano. Like Schroeder in Peanuts, he started learning all the bedtime songs his mom sang to him. One day a friend of the family heard Alfred playing, and was so astounded: “Mensch! Er kann doch virklich spielen!” (Man! He can really play!).
So at 7 years, Alfred’s dad bought him a 12 bass little accordion and he took lessons through the Ontario Conservatory of Music with Mr. Mike Bergauer. Two years later his dad decided that Alfred should learn the German songs of his heritage, so Alfred continued to take accordion lessons from Peter Quiring, who with his wife also taught German School. A few years later when Mr. Quiring couldn’t teach him any further (“If you want to learn more, you will need to go somewhere else to get your grades”), Alfred did 2 more years through the Royal Conservatory with William “Bill” Boettinger.
During this time (11 to 15 years), Alfred was also the accompanying accordionist for the Concordia Club Volkstanz Gruppe (Folkdance Group), playing at many of the German clubs in Kitchener, over Ontario, and even in the US.
At 16 years, Alf answered a newspaper ad looking for an accordion player and a drummer for a new Dance Band. This became a 4 piece band called Sound Scene, with everyone 21 or older, except for Alf. The musical repertoire was “Top 10”, “Oldies” & some “Standards” songs. The big crowd draw was the last set of the evening, completely filled with Roy Orbison tunes.
In 1973, Alf was asked if he could help a band with an Oktoberfest job, The Esquires needed an accordion player. His current band didn’t play during Oktoberfest, so this worked out great. Alf played with The Esquires for some of their other Oktoberfest jobs as well, and later in 1975 when Sound Scene disbanded, Alf joined The Esquires and played with this versatile band all over Ontario for many years. They did Oktoberfest in Kitchener’s Market Square for 20 years for the Kitchener Oktoberfest Lions Club.
In 2002 The Esquires decided to retire. Alf then filled in with some other bands, and also performed for KW Oktoberfest Inc. promoting Oktoberfest at Keg Tappings and other events.
Late in 2008 Alf and Hansi (they had performed together on occasion with The Esquires) agreed that this was the perfect time for them to start a new German-style band, and they called it Twin City Alpine Echo. After performing for a couple of promotional functions they realized that they needed to find a drummer. They asked Murray, who was the drummer for The Esquires with Alf, to join their new band. And on May 9, 2009, they gigged their first job together. Playing every Oktoberfest at the Concordia Club Schenke, they have won multiple KW Oktoberfest Awards (as listed in the About page).
Soon afterwards, 2 other versatile musicians joined the band part time: Fred on Guitar & Banjo, and Jim on Trumpet, Flugelhorn & Bass.
“Thank you for dancing to our music!”