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Band History

Founder Bill Van Allen (trombone player) was a lover of all things Bavarian and decided it was high time Alaska had their own polka band. In 1962 Bill pulled together musicians to form Die Anchorage Krausenspieler Blaskapelle and in time collected music from trips to Bavaria along with lederhosen, stockings, hats, music stands with "fronts", stand lights... the whole nine yards!  In time the band became known, especially at Oktoberfest season. Private parties started booking the band for things like anniversaries, weddings, corporate events, summer celebrations, birthday parties, etc. In 198? the Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage and Alaska Rail Road brought the band on board for the first Ski Train. It was a huge success and has continued pretty much every year since. With usually two trips a year the train heads to GrandView Glacier and/or Curry Alaska depending on weather and avalanche conditions. The band starts the morning out with a romping polka wake-up call as they travel the length of the train serenading sleepy skiers. After an afternoon of skiing in the Alaskan wilderness, on the trip back home the band is set up in the polka car, jammed packed with happy skiers, playing some more great polka music. In 200? Bill Van Allen passed away, playing in that great polka band in the sky.

Over forty eight years old, the band, now with the shortened name "Alaska Blaskapell" has lived on. Many of the original members still playing. (See the members page)