Foothills Oompah Band About Us

Founded in 1996, this is our 29th 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.

Among our venues, we have played for large festivals in cities throughout South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee.  We invite you to check out our touring schedule under Upcoming Events.

The Foothills Oompah Band Members

Matthew Hanna

19th year, co-leader, clarinet and vocal. He runs our sound and is our web master. He owns Harmony Creek Studio, plays free-lance and is former principal clarinetist with the Brevard Philharmonic and was one half of 88 Keys and a Reed.

Andy Welchel

6th year, accordion and vocal. A very talented and versatile keyboardist, he’s a member of  Randomonium, Electro-Classic Orchestra, and is a talented teacher. He’s our German language vocalist and he’s doing some arrangements for us now, too.

Kevin Heuer

3rd year, drums. A much in demand show drummer, a member of Evan’s dilemma, Low Stakes and drummer of choice for The Jazz Antagonists, and drum instructor at Roper Music in Spartanburg and the Golden Strip School of Music in Greenville. We’re pleased to have him as our newest full-time member.

John Hoppe

18th 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 playing free-lance and leading his own groups including the standards group The Jazz Antagonists.

Abe Marsh

11th 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.

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 our continued performing and fun to him.


Aiken, SC Oktoberfest
Artisphere, Greenville
Chattanooga, TN Oktoberfest
Fayetteville, NC Oktoberfest
Fall for Greenville
Flour Field Kringle Holiday Village, Greenville, SC
Greer SC Oktoberfest
Hickory, NC Oktoberfest
Myrtle Beach Oktoberfest,
Newberry SC Oktoberfest
Noma Square
Rock Hill Oktoberfest
SAVI, Simpsonville, SC
The Music Foundation of Spartanburg
Spartoberfest, Spartanburg SC
UNC Asheville Oktoberfest


Companies & Clubs

Beverage Air Corporation
BMW Manufacturing Company
Carmel Country Club , Charlotte NC
Carolina Country Club of Spartanburg
Grausch Corporation, Hickory NC
Holly Tree Country Club
The Piedmont Club of Spartanburg
The Commerce Club of Greenville

The Cliffs of Glassy Country Club
The Cliffs Valley Country Club
The Cliffs at Walnut Creek
The Country Club of Spartanburg
The Poinsett Club, Greenville
River Hills Country Club, Lake Wylie
Mountain Air Country Club, Burnsville NC
Scan Source, Greenville, SC

Restaurants & Breweries

13 Stripes Breweries
Berliner Kendle Resturant Oktoberfest Blackmountain, NC
Compass Rose Brewery, Raleigh, NC
Fireforge, Greenville, SC
Gather Greenville
Haus Augsburg, Evinsville, GA
Keg & Cellar, Moore, SC
Kite Hill Brewery, Clemson, SC
Ironshield Brewery, Lawrenceville, GA
Julia’s German Stammtish, Columbia, SC
Pendleton Brewing Co
Pub Underhausen, Simpsonville, SC
Rotties Biergarten, Woodruff, SC
Rheinland Resturant Oktoberfest / Charlotte, NC
Rotties BiergartenVaughan’s Warehouse, Simpsonville, SC
Waldhorne Resturant Oktoberfest, Pineville, NC