The DMV was founded in 1967 as the Deutsche Musikschule – auf Englisch the German Music School – by Stefan Bell and other members of Branch 1 of the Alliance of Transylvanian Saxons at the Westside Sachsenheim. Open to everyone and supported by the dedication of Saxon families and countless volunteers, the Musikschule provided private lessons to students of all ages and gave them the opportunity to play with multiple performing groups under the organization’s music director, Herbert Kusber.
1968 - 1979
The organization enjoyed a rich history of cultural events, travel and education – many of which happened during this time. When Peter Glatt – who also directed the Cleveland Donauschwäbische Blaskappele at one point – joined the Musikschule as the music director the focus moved away from classical repertoire to dance music. During the 1970s they performed at Milwaukee Fest, had several appearances on Polka Varieties, performed on the stairs of the Capital Building in DC and had their first European tour in 1977 organized by Rudi Mueller.
1980 - 1989
The Musikschule had provided excellent music instruction to hundreds of children in the Cleveland area, but times were changing. The performing groups began to dwindle and the membership to continue just wasn’t there. It was time for a change. With help from Paul Psota the Musikschule was renamed the Deutscher Musik Verein – auf Englisch the German Music Society – with a stronger focus on performing and entertaining. The DMV continued to support young musicians by giving them the opportunity to play with a band of high caliber musicians where they could expand their music skills.
1990 - 1999
In the 1990s the DMV saw a great resurgence. Fred Ziwich came onboard as Herr Direktor and new members joined the band – many of which are still with us today. The DMV began to expand it’s repertoire and became a mainstay in the Cleveland German community as a top-notch performing organization. A new band was emerging by the end of the 90s. As the band continued to grow it was time for the next big step, planning their first trip back to Europe in over 20 years.
2000 and beyond
In 2000 and 2007 the DMV toured Germany and Austria, including performing at the Hofbräuhaus in Munich both times and receiving acclaim for their performances and sharing gemutlichkeit with their sister organizations abroad. During this time the DMV produced a CD, performed at the opening of Hofbräuhaus Cleveland and was featured on multiple episodes of the Mollie B Polka TV show which aired nationally. In 2013, the DMV moved its rehearsal location to the Donauschwaben German-American Cultural Center – aka Lenau Park – in Olmsted Township. 2015 will go down as one of our busiest performance years with 29 performances which included monthly performances at the new Hofbräuhaus Cleveland. As we start 2016 we are preparing for our Annual Jägerfest in April, our 50th Anniversary celebration in 2017, to release a new CD and working out the details for our fourth European tour in 2017.
From 1967 to 2013 the DMV called the Sachsenheim our home at 7001 Denison Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio. We loved it there but needed to make the move from the Sachsenheim as part of the continued growth the DMV is having. If you are in the area we recommend you stop in and say hi to Grumpy and Moe – it’s hard to beat Grumpy’s food and Moe’s smiling face. Checkout their Taco Tuesday, it truly is one of the best in Cleveland! Check them out on Facebook, www.facebook.com/sachsenheim.hall. You can also find out more about the history of the Sachsenheim at www.clevelandhistorical.org/items/show/671#.Vo2D6U2FOUk.