This is an event involving hundreds of singers from a dozen different German choruses, who come together once every three years for a grand Singing Festival (Sängerfest). Join us as we continue a great tradition that dates back to 1850! Sponsored by the Nordöstlicher Sängerbund (German Northeastern Singer’s association), the umbrella organization for German choruses in the Mid-Atlantic area ranging from Long Island, NY in the North and through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland to Washington, DC in the South. The music will be a mixture of classical pieces by Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, etc, as well as German folk songs, and there will be some songs in English, too – the Battle Hymn of the Republic will be one of the final, combined chorus pieces.
This year the event is hosted by the Cannstatter Volksfest Verein in Philadelphia. The 12 participating choruses plan to each offer individual presentations, and then for a Grand Finale will combine together to form a chorus of 200 people. After the concert, accordion music by Don Bitterlich will be provided for dancing. The Cannstatter has a full-service bar, offering beer and wine, as well as mixed drinks.
In the past, a Sängerfest was a very serious competition, in which groups vied with each other for substantial prizes. Today, it’s done just for the joy of singing and for the camaraderie of the event, as well as the enjoyment of the audience. In Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, there are large statues to Schubert and Verdi that were awarded to Philadelphia German choruses who won some of the competitions. The Museum Without Walls Audio has a very nice narrative and background story behind these statues, which you can hear by dialing 215-399-9000 and entering 205 for the Site number. There is also a very interesting write-up in Wikipedia about the tradition of the Sängerfest.
Tickets are $10 at the door. Call Mark Fairchild at 215-486-3440 to reserve tickets in advance.