Timekeeping in the former East Germany

Ruhla Blasorchester / Ruhla Watch Factory Brass Orchestra

Ruhla Watch Factory Brass Orchestra -Title

Ruhla Watch Factory Brass Orchestra

VEB Uhrenwerke Ruhla Blasorchester Record SleeveThe VEB Uhrenwerke Ruhla had its 125th anniversary as a watchmaker (formerly Gebüder Thiel GmbH) and 35th anniversary as a state enterprise in 1987. To mark this occasion an LP record was released of the factory’s Brass Band. The text below is a translation* of the record sleeve:

Ruhla Watch Works 125 Years




1987 marks the watchmaker’s 125th anniversary and at the same time it’s 35th anniversary as a state enterprise. For nearly four decades the orchestra can be counted as a valuable attribute of the VEB Ruhla Watch Works.

The history of success of this orchestra is long – year after year its members expand the number of national and international awards.

There are few ensembles of this genre with such excellent qualities as these dedicated amateur musicians. Certainly, the successful combination of watch making and brass are suited in their common love of precision, lightness and touch. The Ruhla workers dominate both fields. The ensemble was formed from modest beginnings with only 12 wind musicians but now includes over 60 members.

VEB Ruhla Blasorchester - Band MembersThis distinguished Collective is defined by soft sounds across all instruments and discipline as a body of musicians precisely and carefully conducted by an experienced conductor.

Today (1987) the orchestra is made up of third generation musicians.

There is no shortage of talented individuals. In 1969, established orchestra members together with Ruhla schools formed a pioneering band. In 1971, the first twelve school children were included in the Senior Concert Band. The award of six gold models at the Workers Festival of the GDR confirms the continuous development of the orchestra. Today, many children and young people are inspired by their enthusiasm for this form of musical recreation.

The trade press’ assessment of the orchestra states “Even the technically most difficult passages are performed with expression and perfectly in rhythm.”VEB Ruhla Blasorchester - Band Members

The excellence of the orchestra has long since been recognised abroad. The orchestra had the honour of representing the GDR at the Fifth International Wind Music Festival, “Ostrava ‘81”: the orchestra won a bronze medal for world’s best amateur band. What would be the point of all that practice without public appreciation? Such appreciation is still the artist’s reward.

VEB Ruhla Blasorchester - Band MemberMany social, cultural and musical events were marked by the Ruhla band; at home, at the holiday centres in the Thuringian Forest or at Sunday matinée concerts. At lunchtime concerts are held in various parts of the watch factory or for the nearby border guards and more remote rural communities. Versatility is the key, with a wealth of ideas for the programme that offers something for everyone. In addition to this, there are major social events which for many years have been one of the highlights. These highlights include for example; attending the World Festival of Youth and Students in Berlin, participation in the GDR State Broadcaster’s “Festival of Brass Bands”, the Workers Festival of the GDR as well as the State Enterprises’ festivals and successful performances in the international Brass Band Competitions, recordings and broadcasts. Through the Intervision programme “Ruhla greets Moscow” the Ruhla ensemble became known in the city of Moscow.

We hope you enjoy this small anniversary disc. The colourful mix of Thuringian and international titles is just a small selection from the diverse repertoire of the tuneful Ruhla Brass Band.

*Translation by Sekondtime (https://ostalgieruhla.wordpress.com)

Listen to: In Frühling (Marsch) VEB Ruhla Blasorchester (1987).mp3


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