New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 5, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas
Accordionist Ed Kadlececk fires up his instrument — and his vocals — during a Tuesday-night performance in Das Kleine Zelt (The Little Tent) at Wurstfest. Kadlececk & The Fun Bunch, based in Clifton, perform polkas, waltzes and variety music. Accordions are a staple of polka music and Wurstfest.
Accordions bellow the ‘oompah’ in Wurstfest
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By Linda C. Jacobson
As soon as you enter the gates at Wurstfest, you hear that distinctive melody floating through the air oompahpah, oompahpah.
Making your way to Das Grosse Zelt (The Big Tent), you can’t help but bob your head, sway your hips, or do a little dance as the music grabs your mind and body.
You don’t have to be German or know how to waltz. Oompah music is for everyone, for every age. And at the core of it all is one instrument — the accordion.
Pearly Sowell, a local musician with national acclaim, started playing the accordion some 68 years ago, at the tender age of 9. Her interest was first sparked during a stay at her uncle’s farm one summer.
“After the work was done, he got out his button box accordion and played it,” she recalls. “I was just fascinated by it.”
Sowell's parents ordered her an accordion from a mail-order catalog and she soon mastered the
instrument. Three years later, her accordion was ruined when her brother left her prized possession in his car with the windows down on a rainy night.
She stopped playing for a period only to pick
it up much later — at
the age of 52 — and take it to a new level, which led to her forming her own band.
“I started the Oma and the Oompahs 23 years ago,” she said.
See OOMPAH. Page 3A
DID YOU KNOW?
M The term ‘accordion' comes from the German word 'akkord,' which means harmony or to be in tune with.
■ Modern accordions have their roots in Italy and were first brought to the United States by immigrants in the early 20th century.
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Some days are meant for wurst. Others are meant for sailing. When they overlap, you make the most of it. Page 1B
SPORTS ONE DOWN
The New Braunfels and Canyon volleyball teams stay alive in over-the-net playoff action Tuesday night. Page SA
ESD tax approved; Kempert loses seat
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852.
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‘I couldn’t be more proud’
Despite loss, director lauds
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By Dylan Jimdnez
Local high school bands came back to New Braunfels with pride Tuesday but without a win at the £003 UIL state competition.
"We did not make finals, but the kids did an awesome job,” said Walt Sparkman, Canyon High School band director.
His band ranked 20 of 22 bands competing at the Aiamodome Tuesday.
“The kids marched and played beautifully,” Sparkman said. “I couldn’t be more proud.”
This year was Canyon’s first year to qualify for state competition.
New Braunfels I Ugh School also made the cut and traveled to.state, but fell short of the top seven ranking that would have put them in the finals.
Representatives from NBHS could not reached for comment.
Richland. Birdville, Sherman, Friendswood, Roma, Cordially, and Brenham high schools qualified for the finals.
The CHS and NBHS bands were two of five regional bands to qualify for the area contest after the Region 12 Marching Contest in San Antonio last month.
They advanced again from among 12 Central/South Texas area schools that competed in Cougar Stadium last week. • The two bands have been cheering each other on during each of the competitions.
The 4A bands won t compete again at the state level until 2005.
After the finalists were announcement Tuesday ni^iL the CHS band stayed to watch the finals and cheer for the other bands.
Sparkman said the behavior of the band members was refreshing.
"They really cheered for New Braunfels High School,” he said.
The bands' composure and performance proved they belonged among the best in the state, he said.
“They’re fired up to even be here,” Sparkman said. “They made a dream of mine come true today.”
By Dylan Jimdnez and Ron Maloney
New Braunfels Independent School District voters elected Paul Fisher, Ed Clark and Randy Rust in Tuesday s trustee election, and Canyon Lake voters approved a new sales tax.
Current at-large trustee Deborah Kempert was voted out.
“I think the citizens said they need to see things change, and people need to be held accountable for tax dollars being spent," said Clark, who received 37 percent of votes for the at-large seat.
Voters chose Fisher, a local businessman, over Krista Baas, daughter of incumbent District I trustee John Haas, who had said she would like to continue her father's accomplishments.
" This year NBISD officials had to tighten the belt when it lost $1.5 million in state funding.
“I want to make sure out teachers get the supplies they need to teach our children,”
Clark wants to consider centralizing fund-raising dis-trictwide to counter lost state funds.
Rust came away with 43 percent of votes cast and said he wanted to address budget issues immediately.
"I want to get in and look at the budget,” Rust said.
111' District I Sect
■ Krista Haas
B Randy Rust
■ Bd Clark
■ Daborah Rampart
BSD Salsa Tax
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Canyon High School band keyboardist Rafael Veraza watches the drum major Tuesday during the band's performance at the state UIL com
petition at the Aiamodome. At top. members of the New Braunfels High School band perform. NBHS ranked 10th and Canyon placed 20th.
Vol. 152, No. 305 14 pages, 2 sections