The Houston Saengerbund, founded in 1883, is the oldest musical association in the city. The purpose of the Society is to cultivate the furtherance of song and music, to preserve the German language, to promote the Society's life and to convey good German customs and morals. The Houston Saengerbund has a Maennerchor (men's choir), Damenchor (women's choir), and Gemischter Chor (mixed choir). We welcome all who enjoy singing and celebrating German culture.
An event 135 years in the making! The Houston Saengerbund was founded on October 6, 1883 -- and we are marking the occasion with a gala banquet at the BraeBurn Country Club! The entertainment for the evening will focus on the contributions made by 20th century German and Austrian immigrants to the US (including some first-generation German-Americans) who excelled in music. Click here for more information and to make your reservations!
The Houston Saengerbund proudly announces its 4th Annual Saengerbund Awards German Vocal Competition, in which singers will compete for $8500 in prize money. Click here for more information or to enter.
The Houston Saengerbund proudly announces its German Language and Music Scholarship Competition for eligible Class of 2019 high school seniors; $5,000 in music and $5,000 in oration awards will be presented at the Finals event on March 30, 2019. Click here for more information or to apply.
Listen to all your favorite selections from the Houston Saengerbund's recent events:
Singing practice is held (almost) every Tuesday from mid-August to mid-May at 7:30 pm at the First Evangelical Lutheran Church at 1311 Holman St. Click here for directions.
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.Click here to read more.
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. Click here to read more.
Spring has sprung, old and young
come and hear, much good cheer.
Come and hear the Houston Saengerbund choir’s musical welcome of the new year and the season of spring. At the same time, the concert is a reflection on last year's three major events, the Super Bowl, Hurricane Harvey, and the Astros win of the World Series, all in form of music. Let yourself be surprised.
Following the concert there will be a reception featuring a Maibowle. Click on the image above to see the entire press release!
Singers and interested members hit the road to bring German music and fun to audiences at various pubs in Houston. We sang Wer weiss, Ein Likörchen für das Frauenchörchen, Gaudeamus Igitur and In München steht ein Hofbräuhaus. And to top it off, tenors Angel and Duke sang O Sole Mio.
We started out at the Holman Draft House, where we not only were met by a surprised and interest crowd but also by Erwin. Who is Erwin, you ask? He is the mascot from the German Bundesliga soccer team Schalke 04. The Schalke fan club from New York was in town, joined us and brought Schalke scarves for all the singers. We are now on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook with Erwin singing with us.
After saying good bye to Erwin, folks at the Flying Saucer were already waiting for us. Over the years, we have become regulars since our first pub crawl. One of our members, Mario, even has a plate with his name screwed to the ceiling. Go check it out and learn what you have to do to get a plate in your name. (Hint, you have to like beer.)
Our last pub was the Heights Biergarten. We all had a lot of fun as did the audience. We had singalong sheets in each pub and encouraged the audience to sing with us. After a long night of singing, our singers were rewarded with Bretzeln, cheese and sausage. Go Houston Saengerbund!
And the winners are...
...eight marvelous singers from all over the country as well as South Korea and Puerto Rico. They gave a stunning performance at last night’s 3rd Annual Saengerbund Awards Liederabend Finals Concert.
Music by Franz Schubert, Johann Strauss, Johannes Brahms, Carl Maria von Weber, Franz Lehar, Gustav Mahler and many other German composers was performed. The singers were accompanied by Rick Rowley, lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin.
Congratulations to all recipients of the Saengerbund Awards:
1st Prize: Ricardo Rivera
2nd Prize: Geoffrey Hahn
3rd Prize: Emily Helenbrook
4th Prize: Christian Mark Gibbs
5th Prize: Catherine Goode
6th Prize: Sunyeop Hwang
7th Prize: Hanna Lee
8th Prize: Jena Carpenter
Special thanks go to Mary Kay Buehler, Chair of the Saengerbund Awards, and all of the Houston Saengerbund members who organized, helped in many ways, and underwrote the event. They all contributed to the success of the Finals Concert.
Click here to see the press release!
Stay in the spirit of the season with your favorite selections from our 2017 Weihnachtskonzert! If you would like to purchase a DVD of last month's concert, click here to submit your order (deadline is Jan. 31, 2018).
It is time to light the sugar cone for the Feuerzangenbowle! Breathe in the magic of a traditional German Christmas celebration, Tuesday, December 5, at 7:30 pm at First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1311 Holman Street in Midtown. Click here to read more.
The Maennerchor will be giving a Veterans Day concert at the Battleship Texas on Saturday, November 11th starting at 12:00 noon. We hope to have a good crowd... so come on out and enjoy the concert! For other activities planned at the Battleship, visit their website.
The Houston Saengerbund's first Movie Night of 2017 will be on Friday,
October 13 at 7:00 PM at Jake's Sports Bar, 2944 Chimney Rock Rd, Houston.
We will be showing Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others),
winner of the 2006 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film,
in German with English subtitles.
Jake's has plenty of good food; come early for socializing and order dinner or just a snack and a beer to enjoy during the movie. Reservations are required! Click here to let us know you're coming (there's no charge for this event, but we have to let Jake's know how many to expect).
Where do you go for an authentic Oktoberfest in Houston? To Christ The King Lutheran Church, where the Houston Brass Band and the Houston Saengerbund hosted a joint Oktoberfest for the 7th year.
Both groups entertained the audience with German music and song. Houston Brass Band under the direction of Bob Walp put the audience in the right mood. The singers of the Houston Saengerbund as well as many visitors were dressed for the occasion with Dirndls and Lederhosen, and set the scene for a great afternoon of celebrating a traditional Oktoberfest.
When the Houston Saengerbund took the stage, they captured the audience with their show of singing, dancing the Schuhplattler, solos and choreography. Many visitors recognized the music and sang along, particularly when given cues for the song Hoch auf dem gelben Wagen when we sang "... aber der Wagen der rollt."
No Oktoberfest would be complete without the three "b's" - beer, brats and bretzeln. The Houston Saengerbund sponsored the beer and brats and thanks to many helpers, among them the Luther League, visitors and performers alike enjoyed the delicious German foods of the season.
The Houston Saengerbund proudly announces its 3rd Annual Saengerbund Awards
German Vocal Competition, in which singers will compete for $7500 in prize money.
Click here for more information or to enter.
On Saturday, June 24th, 2017, the Saengerbund Kickers will host the Saengerbund Alumni Game (a friendly game between current and former Saengerbund players) at the Gosling Sports Fields, 4055 Marsico Pl, The Woodlands (2 miles west of I-45, right off Gosling Rd) beginning at 5 pm.
The complex has over 1,000 parking spaces, restrooms, a concession stand, pavilion, picnic tables and a playground, so come out and bring your whole family! Please let us know that you are planning to attend (there's no charge for this event; this is just to make sure there will be enough food and cold beer after the game)!
Be our guest! Be our guest! The Houston Saengerbund invites you to a festival of songs for springtime! This concert and reception is free to the public. The Date: Tuesday evening, April 25. The place: First Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1311 Holman Avenue, corner Caroline and Holman. Time: 7:30 pm.
The celebratory noise resounds in both English and German. Come hear the men and women of our combined choral groups perform Robert Schumann’s rousing Gypsy Life - “Zigeunerleben,” Woodie Guthrie’s familiar “This Land is Your Land,” and Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America.” The beautiful “Das Kufsteiner Lied” that makes one see the mountains of the Tirol, and hear the horns from distant mountain passes.
In 2014, the Houston Saengerbund created a program to enlist the participation of young music students in Houston. Their presence in the choirs has enabled the Maennerchor and the Damenchor to continue their choral traditions. Several of our former students have gone on to perform with the Metropolitan Opera, the Santa Fe Opera, the Houston Opera Studio, and companies in Germany and France. Others pursue graduate work at the Juilliard School and other conservatories.
A gleeful reception will follow the concert featuring Maibowle - a glorious mixture of champagne, wine, mint - and small cakes…..straight out of Alice in Wonderland’s Tea Party. Or maybe it is the tea set from Beauty and the Beast. We think Miss Potts would sing:
“You’ll be there, as our guest
Sakes alive, we shall be blessed!”
In German, we say a “Fruelingskonzert.”
“Wine will be poured, thank the Lord.”
Say “Prost!” you won’t be bored!
The cakes and wine and song will effervesce!
“Hol-la ri, ho-la-rei.” A German Yippee-Ki-Yay!
Bitte, lieber Freunde, be our guest!
The Houston Saengerbund had two reasons to celebrate on April 1. This year is the 134th year for the Maennerchor and the 79th year for the Damenchor.
The members celebrated with a dinner at Tony Mandola's Restaurant. President Ted Hirtz gave welcoming remarks followed by the membership certificate awards and singer's pins ceremony presented by Elmy Biermanns. Click here to read more.
The Houston Saengerbund is proud to present the eight prize winners of Saturday's German Vocal 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! Click here to read more.
Before going into the winter break, the Saengerbund gathered for the annual Christmas party. With the help of many members the room was nicely decorated and many brought appetizers, sides and desserts to compliment the catered main course. Mary Koenig lead a group of singers to sing the delightful song The Maidens and the Shepherds. To the amusement of all Elmy Biermanns told the story of the Christmas pickle, falsely believed by many to come from Germany. More caroling of Christmas music rounded out the evening with a singalong. Erich Wolz treated us to a good Feuerzangenbowle, a popular hot drink in Germany.
The first German Christmas Concert of the Houston Saengerbund was a huge success. The audience filled the church to the last seat and enjoyed Christmas music in German, English and Latin. Music by Bach, Brahms, Gruber, Haendel and Vivaldi was among the selection. At the end of the concert, the audience joined the Saengerbund in a sing-along of O Tannenbaum, Frosty der Schneemann, Winter Wonderland and others, sung in both German and English. Following the concert was a reception with German cookies and Stollen. The Feuerzangenbowle received the most attention. Everyone watched the rum soaked sugar cone being set aflame and the caramelized sugar dripping into hot red wine. Who would not want to try a glass?
The Houston Saengerbund joined several groups for the celebration of the 2016 Leipzig in Houston Festival by participating in the September 27 Glorious Sounds of Leipzig concert. Featured works were by Felix Mendelssohn, Johann Hermann Schein, Max Reger, and of course J.S. Bach. The Gemischter Chor sang Verleih uns Frieden, the Damenchor sang Abendlied and the Maennerchor sang Tuerkisches Schenkenlied.
Back on March 7, Preservation Houston donated the restored original city flag to the City of Houston Public Library; in honor of the occasion, the men of the Houston Saengerbund sang the exhumed city song. A month later, the men recorded the song at the KUHF studios on the campus of the University of Houston, as part of a Houston Matters segment on the history of the flag and the song. Well, the segment finally aired on August 16. You can listen to the segment here.
The Houston Saengerbund proudly announces its 2nd Annual Saengerbund Awards
German Vocal Competition, in which singers will compete for $7500 in prize money.
Click here for more information.
...and apply for (or renew your) membership in the Houston Saengerbund!