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German Band

The Steubenville Tootlers

This is an OktoberFest style German band. All music is played in the traditional Oom-pah style. Although the The Tootlers are new to the social media scene, the band can trace its roots to the mid-80's. Forming originally as Das Band by Steve Wentsky, the band changed ownership in the mid-90's and was renamed in 2002. We have played locally in the Greenville, SC area and regionally through South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia.

To add to the festive, authentic feel, the band dresses in genuine Tyrolean lederhösen. Sing along with some of the classics: In Himmel Es Gibt Kein Bier, In Müchen Stadt Ein Hofbräuhaus, Du, Du Liest Mir Im Herzen, and Ein Prosit! And dance to the haunting (?) strains of the Chicken Dance!

The six-piece group is available all year. Keep in mind though, if you are booking for an Oktoberfest, bookings are available on a first-come-first-served basis. Please call for pricing.

Current members of the group are:

Ray Spires (Clarinet) - Ray Spires is South Carolina native. He got his degree in Woodwinds at the University of Georgia and since then has played with several Orchestras in the Tri-State area, including the Anderson Symphony, Spartanburg Philharmonic and Charlotte Philharmonic. For the last 15 years he has traveled the world, touring with the famous Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. During this time, he played sax, flute, clarinet and oboe. One of the guys even arranged a song especially for Mr. Spires, featuring him on his oboe. He has taught at several universities in SC and NC and has lead the Orange Jam Band at Clemson and his own Ray Spires Big Band. Other bands Mr. Spires has played with are The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Nelson Riddle Orchetra, Guy Lombardo Orchestra as well as stints with The Temptations, The Four Tops, Sonny and Cher and Bobbie Vinton.

John Entzi (Trumpet) - Dr. Entzi is from a musical family and received his B.M.E. degree in 1974 from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, his M.A. in 1978 from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC and his D.M.A. in 1998 in trumpet performance from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, South Carolina. He has toured and performed extensively throughout the Southeast, where he performed with Holiday on Ice, Disney on Parade, the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus, the Henry Busse Orchestra, The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, The Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, Guy Lombardo, Vaughn Monroe, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Atlantic Jazz Orchestra, When Swing Was King, Nelson Riddle Orchestra and the U.S. Air Jazz Orchestra. Dr. Entzi is currently the Lead trumpet player and co founder of the Asheville Jazz Orchestra. He is often performing with The Russ Wilson Orchestra, The Greenville Jazz Collective and the Michael Gamble Orchestra. He is an active member of numerous music Conferences and Associations as well as Music Fraternal Organizations.

Earl Sachais (Trombone) - Earl is a former music instructor and New York City hired gun for the performing ensembles such as Warren Covington and the Tommy Dorsey Band. He has backed Barbara Streisand, Sammy Davis Jr, and many others. Earl has a Bachelor's and Master's of Music Degree from the Manhattan School of Music.

Rick Neiman (Tuba and Vocals) - Rick comes from a musical family and made his debut on his parents radio show at the age of 7. Rick attended Temple University (Philadelphia), majoring in Music Education and Performance. Although his training is mainly in the Classical vein, Rick has performed with a number of touring companies, The Guy Lombardo Band and The Henry Mancini Orchestra, as well as National companies, Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus and Long Horn Rodeo bands, and has backed Bob Hope, George Burns and Wayne Newton to name a few.

Nathan Hefner (Keys and Vocals) - Nathan has been charming audiences all over the east coast for more than 20 years with his dazzling repertoire of music encompassing nearly 70 years of musical triumph. The swinging brass of the big bands as well as the intimate sounds of the post W.W.II era captivated young Hefner. His appreciation of the music led him to begin singing publicly at age 3 and playing piano at age 5. Hefner was already performing for local events and various civic organizations by the age of 11. In 1992, Hefner and three high school classmates formed Sentimental Journey. The four members parted ways and the name lay dormant until 1996 when Hefner created a new incarnation of Sentimental Journey, this time as a trio. In 1997, Sentimental Journey opened for Hefner's idol, the legendary Patti Page. That same year, the trio participated in the opening of Harrah's casino in Cherokee, NC with a three-night run. In 1998, Sentimental Journey had the privilege of kicking off the Jacksonville Jazz Festival and also had a request from Academy Award winning actress, Reese Witherspoon, to be the exclusive entertainment for her Charleston, SC wedding to Ryan Phillipe. Sentimental Journey entertained well and often until the latter months of 1999 when Hefner formally dissolved the group. Hefner's solo performing career has continued throughout. His many notable shows include performnces with The Smothers Brothers, The Lettermen ,and Concord Jazz recording artist, Dennis Rowland. Hefner, along with long time friend Catherine Eason enjoyed a headlining week at the Grand Hyatt Ballroom in NYC. In 1999, Hefner teamed up with Altlanta singing personality, Lenny Stabile in what would become one of his most successful ventures. The two artists (Stabile, 60 and Hefner, 25) created the popular "Two Of A Kind" act based upon the song written by music legends Johnny Mercer and Bobby Darin. Both singers were an immediate hit with audiences everywhere.

Justin Watts (Drums) - A native of northeastern Ohio, Justin Watt has resided in the Asheville, N.C. area for 11 years. Before his move to Asheville, he was the drummer for the world-famous Glenn Miller Orchestra for two years where he toured all over the U.S., Canada and Japan. In Asheville, he is in demand as a percussionist in a wide variety of genres as well as an educator. He teaches part time as an adjunct instructor of percussion at the University Of North Carolina Asheville, adjunct instructor of drum-set at Furman University and percussion at the Asheville Music School.

Available dates furnished by contacting the The Steubenville Tootlers, or calling 864-834-3798. Group price ranges from $1200.00 and up.

Keep in mind that this group can book any time throughout the year. However, if you want to book an Oktoberfest celebration, this includes the period from September 1 through October 31, please contact us as early as you can. We do have a lot of repeat customers who have standing reservations every year, but we will make every effort to accomodate your request.

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