May 5-6, 2018
Congratulations to the Houston Saengerbund Damenchor and Fest Director Vicky Hemme for hosting the 72nd Deutsch Texanische Saengerfest on May 6. They continued a tradition that started in 1853, 165 years ago, when the first Saengerfest was held in New Braunfels. At the same time, the Damenchor celebrated its 80th anniversary.
Herzliche Glückwünsche dem Houston Sängerbund Damenchor mit Festdirigentin Vicky Hemme als Gastgeber des 72. Deutsch Texanischen Sängerfestes am 6. Mai. Der Damenchor führte die Tradition des Sängerfestes fort, die 1853, also vor 165 Jahren, in New Braunfels begonnen hat. Ein weiterer Grund zum Feiern ist das 80 jährige Bestehen des Damenchores.
For master of ceremonies Elmy Biermanns it was a pleasure to welcome the guest of honor, Deputy General Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bernd Reindl. He greeted all singers and guests and emphasized the importance of preserving German language and music.
Mit besonderer Freude hiess Zeremonienmeisterin Elmy Biermanns den Ehrengast, Vizegeneralkonsul der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bernd Reindl willkommen. Er begrüsste alle Sänger/innen und Gäste und betonte, wie wichtig die Pflege und Erhaltung der deutschen Sprache und Musik ist.
A total of 14 choirs sang in this year's Saengerfest. The Houston Saengerbund Gemischter Chor under the direction of Mary Kay Buehler lead into the program as the guest choir of the concert with Ein bunter Strauss von Liedern aus unserem Repertoire, a medley of music from our repertoire.
Each choir sang its individual song by a German composer. The Houston Saengerbund Damenchor presented Liebst du um Schönheit by Clara Schumann, directed by Vicky Hemme and accompanied by Dr. Lisa McCarroll. The Houston Saengerbund Maennerchor sang Staendchen by Franz Schubert, directed by Mary Kay Buehler and accompanied by Dr. Krume Andreevski.
The big finale sung by all was Mein kleiner gruener Kaktus, a lively song about a little green cactus. At the end of the concert, Elmy Biermanns asked all Saengerfest committee members to come forward. She thanked Burl Holloway and his entire committee of incredibly talented and dedicated members for working so hard to make this Saengerfest possible. They were Burl Holloway, Fest Director Vicky Hemme and Houston Saengerbund Maennerchor and Gemischter Chor Director Mary Kay Buehler, Rodney Thorin, Erich Wolz, Rodney Koenig, Eva Holloway, Gabi Keibl, Helga Braun, Sidney McGinty, Christa Molloy and Elmy Biermanns.
April 22, 2018
The Houston Saengerbund has been coming to Bellville for a long time; the question is just how long. The folks at the Fruehling Saengerfest have seen us come back year after year and our long time members remember coming to Bellville for at least 40 years. That would get us back to 1978.
Some research with the help of Laura Schumann of the Bluebonnet Chapter of the Texas German Society shed some light on the early years.
In 1960, that was 58 years ago, Concordia celebrated it’s 100th anniversary and the Houston Saengerbund under Director Karl Amelang sang Stiefel und Batzen. Director Amelang also directed the Maenner Massenchor with Das ist der Tag des Herrn, Der Lindenbaum and Freiheit die ich meine.
Further research took us to 1935 (83 years ago). On May 26, 1935 Concordia held it’s 75th anniversary. The program reads, "Automobiles by the hundreds were coming from all directions." To help celebrate and perform were Schoenau Helvetia, Bleiberville Liederlust, Sealy Choral Club, Houston Liederkranz, Schulenburg Liederkranz, Galveston Concordia, Austin Saengerrunde, Taylor Maennerchor and the Houston Saengerbund. Our Director was T.A. Dieckert and we sang Ewig liebe Heimat.
We kept looking further back in time and found Concordia’s 50th anniversary, the Golden Jubilee in 1910 (that was 108 years ago). The program reads, "The hall was packed to overflowing with singers and guests." The choirs on the program were Bellville Liederkranz, Schulenberg Liederkranz, Welcome Maennerchor, Lone Star Maennerchor, Schoenau Helvetia, Brenham Vorwaerts, Spring Branch Liedertafel and the Houston Saengerbund. We presented to the president of Piney Concordia, Mr. Robert Schulz, a silver loving cup bearing the inscription, Der Piney Concordia zum 50. Jubilaeum gewidmet vom Houston Saengerbund, Mai 1910.
Today the Houston Saengerbund continues the tradition of coming to the Bellville Fruehling Saengerfest and we hope to continue for many more years to come.
January 21, 2017
The Houston Saengerbund is proud to present the eight prize winners of Saturday's German Singing Competition:
Clara Osowski - 1st
Ben Schaefer - 2nd
Joanna Latini - 3rd
Julie Ann Moore - 4th
Joseph Leppek - 5th
Duke Kim - 6th
Chelsey Geeting - 7th
Mark Thomas - 8th
All of the semi-finalists (indeed, all of the entrants) were excellent; it was a real challenge to choose the best eight!
The evening's repertoire consisted of music by Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Richard Strauss, Joseph Marx, Brahms, Mahler, Lehar, Humperdinck and Johann Strauss. Each singer presented two songs in German. Among them were Und gestern hat er mir Rosen gebracht, Klänge der Heimat, Der Soldat, Papagena, Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schön and Dein ist mein ganzes Herz. All singers were accompanied by Thomas Jaber, Professor of Music at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music and music director of the Rice University Chorale.
During the intermission the audience members were able to vote for their favorite singer.
While the judges deliberated, intermission entertainment was provided by Michelle Girardot, Raphaella Medina and Johnny Brown, some of last year's prize winners; they were accompanied by Houston Saengerbund's pianist Mary Box.
The prizes were awarded at the conclusion of the concert with the top prize going to Clara Osowski. There was a tie in the vote of the audience favorite with both Duke Kim and Chelsey Geeting winning the award.
In the picture from left to right, bottom row are Joseph Leppek, Ben Schaefer, Duke Kim and top row Joanna Latini, pianist Thomas Jaber, Chelsey Geeting, Mark Thomas, Clara Osowski and Julie Ann Moore.
Congratulations to all singers and to Mary Kay Buehler, organizer of the competition. Thank you to the preliminaries/semifinals judges Elmy Biermanns, Vicky Hemme, Mark Diamond, Kade Smith, Dr. Giles Brightwell and Dr. Andrea Jaber, semifinals/finals accompanist Thomas Jaber, and finals judges Alex Rosen, Rick Erickson, Cheryl Parrish and Diane Zola.
Above all, thank you to the many Houston Saengerbund members who volunteered their time to make this concert a success. Finally, special thanks to Ashley McGinty, owner and photographer at griot-photo.com, who donated her services in honor and memory of her grandfather Richard E. McGinty.
April 26, 2016
The Houston Saengerbund held an impromptu concert on April 26. The Fruehlingsfest program included lively music to celebrate spring (Fruehling) in Houston. The Damenchor performed Musik erfuellt die Welt, Das Karwendellied and Lieder, die von Herzen kommen, among others. Some of the Maennerchor songs were Tuerkisches Schenkenlied and Doktor Eisenbart. Both choirs joined for the wonderful song Aus der Jugendzeit by Robert Radecke. Maybe this will be the beginning of a yearly Fruehlings Konzert at the Saengerbund!
On March 7, Preservation Houston donated the original city flag to the City of Houston Public Library. In honor of the occasion, the men of the Houston Saengerbund, the city's oldest musical society, sang the exhumed city song. They sang it seriously with great precision and gusto, just as it should be for this historically important event.
The Houston Chronicle's Lisa Gray blogged about the event here.
January 23, 2016
Thomas Glass - 1st
Johnny Brown - 2nd
Sydney Anderson - 3rd
Raphaella Medina - 4th
Michelle Girardot - 5th
Laura Lisk - 6th
Cairee Mayfield - 7th
Michael Kessler - 8th
November 19, 2015
The Houston Saengerbund was invited to sing for the Leipzig Sister City Association. Both the Maennerchor and Damenchor sang before the Leipzig Sister City Association November meeting held at the American Red Cross.Click here to view photo album from the event.
Noember 13, 2015
The Maennerchor continued their tradition of singing at local Pubs. This round
they enjoyed singing with patrons at McElroy's, Third Floor, Flying Saucer and
Brewery Tap.Click here to view photo album from the
October 18, 2015
On September 24 the Maennerchor sang at Karbach Brewery, October 18 they were
joined by the Damenchor. Both events were well attended and provided great
audiences who sang along and danced to the great Oktoberfest music provided by
our singers. The Karbach Biergarten was a diverse mixture of runners, craft beer
enthusasts, families and a few dogs all enjoying Gemütlichkeit. Click here to view photo album from the event.
October 17, 2015
Both choirs sang at the First Evangelical Lutheran Church (FELC) Oktoberfest. This was the first Maennerchor and Damenchor performance at FELC since returning as tenants this summer. The midday performance at a historical church with mixed architecture of the Houston Community College as a backdrop was an appropriate setting for music organization celebrating 132 years in Houston.Click here to view photo album from the event.
October 4, 2015
The Houston Saengerbund shared the stage with the Houston Brass Band at Christ the King Lutheran Church. The band played a verity of Polkas, marches and drinking songs while the choirs performed traditional songs including some Bierhalle favorites. Music filled the courtyard even after the sun had set.Click here to view photo album from the event.
September 24, 2015
The Maennerchor sang for the Stanford University Law Alumni at Karbach Brewery.Click here to view photo album from the event.
June 27, 2015
The Maennerchor went out with a big bang, a performance at the prestigious
Round Top Festival Hill at their all German concert, the Round Top Summer Music
Festival. They received many compliments but none more important than the one
from James Dick, founder of the Round Top Festival Institute.Click here to view photo album from the event.
June 23, 2015
The Damenchor and Maennerchor sang at the Hallmark Retirement Community and brought much joy to the residents. ‘Ich ging durch einen grassgruenen Wald’, ‘Hoch auf dem gelben Wagen’ was sung by the ladies and ‘Aus der Traube in die Tonne’, ‘Oh Isis und Osiris’, ‘Dorfball’, ‘Ich weiss ein Fass’ and ‘Vive L’Amour’ was sung by the men. ‘Abschied vom Wald’ was sung by all.Click here to view photo album from the event.
May 3, 2015
The 69th Texas State Saengerfest was hosted by the Houston Liederkranz during the first weekend in May. At Sunday’s concert the Houston Saengerbund Damenchor received numerous compliments for their performance of ‘Fruehlingsahnung’ and the Maennerchor received a standing ovation after singing ‘Vive L’Amour’. Thanks to the Meistersingers both choirs had significantly improved their singing and the result of that was very obvious at the Saengerfest.Click here to view photo album from the event.
April 26, 2015
Fifty singers of the Saengerbund Damenchor and Maennerchor sang among several other groups. The Bellville Lions Club and the Bluebonnet Chapter of the Texas German Society always host a lovely event that includes BBQ, beer, vendors and plenty of gemütlichkeit.Click here to view photo album from the event.
April 10, 2015
The April pub crawl was the best pub crawl we had so far. Audiences at the Stag’s Head, Third Floor, The Flying Saucer and the Brewery Tab were quite impressed with the Maennerchor singing. We met folks who liked what they heard and saw and distributed our flyer for them to take home. The communications director at the Brewery Tab was so excited that he joined the Saengerbund immediately.Click here to view photo album from the event.
March 22, 2015
Vicky Hemme, the Damenchor director, organized a new event called Kaffeekonzert. Several groups such as the Liederkranz, Saengerbund Maennerchor, Saengerbund Damenchor, Shanty Chor and Deutsche Samstagsschule came together to enjoy an afternoon of singing in March while having coffee and cake. Click here to view photo album from the event.
February 21, 2015
The Houston Saengerbund Damenchor sang at the Printing Museum Houston for the closing ceremony of the Exhibition 'Postcards from the Trenches' - How Germans and Americans Visualize the Great War. Exhibit Curator Irene Guenther invited the Houston Saengerbund to sing. One song in particular touched many in the audience - Weisst du wieviel Sternlein stehen? (Do you know how many stars are in the sky?), a lullaby from the early 1830's. Special guest speaker of the evening was German Consul General Ricarda Redeker.
May 4-5, 2013
We hope you had a wonderful time at the 67th State Saengerfest at South Shore Harbour Resort in League City, Texas.
Event photos can be found here.
The following winning compositions represent new and original choral compositions in the tradition of Mendelssohn, Schubert, Schumann and others of the German Classic Lied. Winners were selected from among numerous compositions submitted by composers throughout the United States and will receive cash prizes of $1000 each.
Mixed Choir: Rebecca Oswald, "Die Alster"
Men's Choir: R. Michael Daugherty, "Fischerweise"
Women's Choir: Carlie Hunter Burdett, "Mutterliebe"
The Houston Saengerbund will premiere these along with the massed choirs of the Deutsch-Texanischer Sängerbund in May 2013.
Download the complete Press Release