2019 Scholarship Program

The Houston Saengerbund, founded in 1883, is the oldest musical association in the city and features a Maennerchor (men’s choir), a Damenchor (women’s choir), and a Gemischter Chor (mixed choir).

The purpose of the Society is to cultivate the furtherance of German song and music, to preserve the German language, to promote the Society's life, and to convey good German customs and morals.

To further these ends, the Houston Saengerbund announces a new German Music and Language Scholarship Competition to provide scholarship funding to eligible high school seniors. There are two categories: Singing and Language.

Who is eligible?

Applicants must be all of the following:

  • US Citizen or permanent legal resident
  • Member of 2019 graduating class (public or private high school or home school)
  • In the application process to a college or university

What is the process?

  • Applicant completes and submits electronic entry form, recording and other necessary items to scholarship@houstonsaengerbund.org by the application deadline
  • Entries will be screened by selection committees and the highest ranked applicants will be invited to perform for the competition Semi-Final round on Saturday morning, March 30, 2019
  • Following the Semi-Final round, the top 7 contestants in each category (singing and language) will advance to the Final round, held at 7 PM Saturday evening, March 30, 2019, and open to the public. All participants in the Final round of the competition will receive a scholarship award, ranging in amount from $400 to $1,500.

Where is the venue?

First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1311 Holman Street, Houston

The application deadline has been extended to Feb. 24, 2019 FOR THE LANGUAGE AWARDS ONLY!

General Rules/Requirements

Applicants must:

  1. provide proof of senior status by the application deadline in the form of an official school transcript displaying courses completed, grades, GPA and class rank.
  2. provide proof of application to a college or university.
  3. provide an introductory paragraph (in English or German for singers, in German for German language scholarship applicants), not to exceed 100 words, regarding their personal interest in German music or the German language.
  4. provide a letter of recommendation from a teacher or choir director.
  5. submit a model release along with an application.
  6. submit electronically a scan of either
    • (singers only) their German language Class 1 vocal solo (chosen from the UIL Texas Prescribed Music List) in their preferred performance key, or
    • (language applicants only) a typed transcript of their original competition German language essay (between 400-600 words).
  7. fully complete and submit electronically their application (including all the above mentioned required documentation) to scholarship@houstonsaengerbund.org by the application deadline.
  8. upload an audition recording of their memorized song or essay to YouTube by 11:59 pm by the application deadline.
  9. appear in formal attire (ie. formal choir performance uniform or similar), if selected for the Finals event on March 30, 2019.

All scholarship winners will invite the Houston Saengerbund to send representatives to their school’s college award event for official presentation of their scholarship.

Guidelines For Audition Recording

  • Dress appropriately as though for a live audition (ie. no jeans or excessive jewelry).
  • Use a fixed point of view for the camera. Shoot straight on, not moving the camera.
  • Be sure the image is clear so the panel can see the applicant’s face.
  • Ensure recording equipment has the ability to capture good sound quality; check for good balance between voice and piano.
  • Make a test recording of the first few phrases, then watch and listen to it on playback. Check the following important things:
    • Sound: Be sure the acoustics in the room are suitable for a recording. Singers should practice in the space to ensure the balance between piano and voice is appropriate.
    • Lighting: Be sure the space is well lit, but not too bright, so that judges can see the applicant’s face clearly. (Too little light and the judges cannot see well. Too much light overexposes so that the judges cannot see facial expressions.)
    • Framing: The camera should be placed at a distance that correctly frames the applicant’s face and body. The camera is too far away if judges can see the entire performance area, but not clearly see the applicant’s facial expressions. If judges can only see the singer’s face and shoulders, the camera is too close.