About Us

Now in our 24th continuous year of performing



Founded in 1996, this is our 25rd consecutive year. (We don’t count 2020!)

The band’s emphasis is equally on music and fun, so we are billed as a German Festival Band. We love to involve our audiences with sing-a-longs, Chicken Dancing, and yodeling assistance. Among our venues, we have played at every Spartoberfest, and Old Town Rock Hill Oktoberfest since their inception and we have played at every Hickory Oktoberfest since the band’s inception. We invite you to check out our touring schedule at www.foothillsoompahband.com

The Foothills Oompah Band members are:

Matt Hanna – 15th year, co-leader, clarinet and vocal. He runs our sound and is our web master. He owns Harmony Creek Recording Studio and is former principal clarinetist with the Brevard Philharmonic. He is one half of 88 Keys and a Reed.

John Hoppe – 14th year, co-leader, trumpet and vocal. He books the band and is the music director and emcee. He has a Music Degree in Performance, spent many years as a radio announcer, and is a busy and versatile working musician leading his own groups including the standards group The Jazz Antagonists.

Abe Marsh – 7th year, tuba and vocal. Abe has also done some of our arrangements. He is the band director at Greenville Tech Charter High School for which he was named Teacher of the Year in 2018. A very versatile musician, he plays tuba, electric and string bass in settings varying from rock to jazz to classical.

Andy Welchel – 2nd year, accordion and vocal. A very talented and versatile keyboardist, he’s a member of Sound Committee, plays with Randomonium, has played for Glow Theatre shows and with John’s group The Jazz Antagonists and elsewhere. He’s Music Director at Triune Mercy Center.

Brandon Gallagher – 1st year, drums. Brandon has degrees in Arts Management and Percussion from The College of Charleston. He works at Pecknel and teaches private lessons. Brandon drums for many groups including Daddy’s Beamer, Italo and the Passions, Apricot Blush, The Trevor Hewitt Band, and (our favorite band name) Prozac Dreams.

***In 2018 Kemp Williams – 25th year, founder, drums, and the band’s official beer taster retired as an active member of The Foothills Oompah Band. He has been named our Drummer Emeritus and we expect him to continue making frequent visits to the drum chair and microphone as he did at the 2018 and 2019 Hickory Oktoberfests and our entire Aldersgate Retirement Oktoberfest performance in 2019. As of August, 2021, he is 99 years young.

The Foothills Oompah Band dedicate this – and EVERY - season to our founder, bandmate, and friend Kemp Williams and his lovely wife Mary who has also been a vital part of our success and fun.***

Rheinland Resturant Oktoberfest / Charlotte, NC
Berliner Kendle Resturant Oktoberfest Blackmountain, NC
Waldhorne Resturant Oktoberfest, Pineville, NC
Julia's German Stammtish, Columbia, SC

Spartanburg International Festival
BMW Manufacturing Company
Spartanburg Spring Fling
Grausch Corporation, Hickory NC
Hickory, NC Oktoberfest
Beverage Air Corporation
Hickory, NC International Fest
The Piedmont Club of Spartanburg
Myrtle Beach Oktoberfest, Helen, GA
The Commerce Club of Greenville
Newberry SC Oktoberfest
The Cliffs of Glassy Country Club
Greer SC, Oktoberfest
The Cliffs Valley Country Club
German American C of C of SC Bierfest
The Cliffs at Walnut Creek
UNC Asheville Oktoberfest
The Country Club of Spartanburg
Fall for Greenville
Carolina Country Club of Spartanburg
Artisphere, Greenville
Holly Tree Country Club
Fayetteville, NC Oktoberfest
Mountain Air Country Club, Burnsville NC
The Music Foundation of Spartanburg
Carmel Country Club , Charlotte NC
Oktoberfest Music
The Poinsett Club, Greenville
Chattanooga, TN Oktoberfest