About Us

Now in our 24th continuous year of performing



Founded in 1996, this is our 27th consecutive Oktoberfest Season. 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.

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 under Upcoming Events.

The Foothills Oompah Band members are:

Matt Hanna – 17th 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 and was one half of 88 Keys and a Reed.

John Hoppe – 16th 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 – 9th year, tuba and vocal. Abe has also done some of our arrangements. He is the band director at Greenville Tech Charter High School. A very versatile musician, he plays tuba, electric and string bass in settings varying from rock to jazz such as Blackwood – Jazz on the Stick - to classical.

Andy Welchel – 4th year, accordion and vocal. A very talented and versatile keyboardist, he’s a member of Sound Committee, plays with Randomonium, and elsewhere and is a talented teacher. He’s our German language vocalist and he’s doing some arrangements for us now, too

Kevin Heuer - 1st full year, drums. A much in demand show drummer, a member of Evan’s dilemma, drummer of choice for The Jazz Antagonists, and drum instructor at Roper Music in Spartanburg. He played on many gigs with us last year as our substitute drummer and we’re pleased to have him as our newest full-time member.

Our Founder and Drummer Emeritus – and Official Beer Taster - Kemp Williams started this band at the age of 73. He was the driving force on stage and as leader, promoter, and booker for most of our 27 years, turning over the leadership reins in 2016 and retiring in 2018, but he still made visits to the drum chair and microphone in 2018 and 2019. He died in July, 2022 and we dedicate this season’s music and fun to him.

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