The GERMANIA ORCHESTRA, composed entirely of German-American musicians, was active in Cleveland from the late 1860s into the 1880s. The orchestra was apparently established in 1868, perhaps absorbing new members from the ST. CECILIA SOCIETY. John Underner, a piano and vocal teacher, played an important role in creating the Germania Orchestra, but it was FERDINAND PUEHRINGER, an Austrian-born impresario and composer, who made the orchestra a respected member of the musical community. Under Puehringer's management in the 1870s, the standards of the orchestra's performances were raised. It frequently accompanied local choral societies or operatic productions in a variety of locations, including the Academy of Music and Case Hall.
Though well-managed, the Germania was without a permanent conductor throughout its history. Puehringer left the Germania to form the PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA in 1881, at which time John Messer assumed control of the orchestra. Like many early musical institutions in Cleveland, the Germania Orchestra faded out of existence and no exact date of dissolution can be determined.