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Eine wundervolle "Erlebnisreise mit Musik"

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DANK Chapter Milwaukee Choir Heading for Pittsburgh

By Brigita Roth, member DANK Chapter Milwaukee, 2nd vice president

After much inclement weather, May 26th, 2016 was blessed with sunshine as 13 choir singers and one guest clad in their corn-flower blue polo shirts-the DANK logo artistically em- broidered- boarded the Badger bus heading for Pittsburgh. Everyone was elated in anticipation to arrive in this grand city to participate in the North American 62. Song Festival (NASB) from May 26-29, 2016.

Great joy appeared on the faces of all singers (after 9-1/2 hr drive) as we approached the city beautifully nestled in the foothills of the Alleghany mountains and 2 rivers flowing into one.

Good weather awaited us also. The drive was tiresome but wonderful. Since the bus was a 49 seater,we shared the bus with other members of the Wisconsin district.

DANK members and singers in their corn-flower blue polo-shirts traveling to Pitts-burgh.

Ever since 1890, the coming together of choirs from the members of the North American Singing Association became a tradition-that every 3 years the singers from the many districts come together in song and friendship to celebrate the continuation of the German song and affirmation to the German tradition.

Today we have 67 choir-members from eight districts.

This year the Pittsburgh district was the host as it was in 1858, 1896, and 1967. Presently Mr. Gary Luther from the Wisconsin district is the NASB president. The theme this year was: Grüß Gott mit hellem Klang- heil deutsches Wort und Sang. About 800 singers participated.

Upon arrival and settling in our hotels, also receiving our registration packets, the singers were bussed by the local yellow school busses to the Bloomfield Liedertafel for supper. Because of the long day, everyone was tired and decided to drive back to the hotels for a good-nights rest.

The next morning after breakfast choirs started to practice on Friday morning at the Wyndham Hotel Grand ballroom to enhance and improve the songs for that evenings “Welcoming concert.”

Old friends and singers met and new friendships were made.

The “welcoming concert” started at 7pm with the singing of the traditional “welcome song”: the “Sängergruß”, text by Müller von der Werra, music by Albert Methfessel, followed by the national anthems of the USA, Germany and Switzerland. The musical selections started with the host district choirs, followed by all subsequent districts. Our Wisconsin district was directed by Mr. Frederick Strassburger from the Concordia Gesangverein Sheboygan. Every district sang three songs; ours was “Heute wollen wir das Ränzlein schnüren,” “Abendlied”and “Das Karwendellied”. Experiencing all the beautiful songs, a feeling of nostalgia swept over the ballroom, as many singers and directors reminisced the past performances of years gone by.

Saturday morning arrived quickly as again the yellow school busses picked up the singers for the “general probe” at the A.J. Palumbo center for the main concert that afternoon at 4 pm on May 28th, 2016.

The concert started with singing the traditional ‘”Sängergruß”, followed by all 3 national anthems, the welcoming speech given by the president of the Pittsburgh district, Mr. Nicholas Lipnichan. The parade of flags followed: (our DANK flag was proudly carried by our choir president and DANK member Jill Shearer.) President Gary Luther gave his welcoming remarks wishing us all to be strong in our faith to continue singing thus upholding the German-American traditions. All songs sounded wonderful however Schuberts ”Die Nacht” sung by the men’s choir touched everyone’s heart and received much applause.

…The concert ended on a patriotic theme singing “God of our Fathers”, and the “Battle Hymn of the Republic”, reminding us all not to forget the past but to remember all those who fought for our freedom.

After the main concert, again, the yellow school busses brought us to Wyndham hotel’s

Grand ballroom where 97 tables were set to enjoy the banquet meal and camaraderie.

To end the 62. National “Sängerfest”, the D’Lustigen Isartaller presented some folk dancing and played for listening enjoyment. Thereafter one could be entertained at the Bloomfield

Liedertafel Haus and /or the Teutonia Männerchor Haus for more “gemütlichkeit”.

Early Sunday morning, after we all singers had checked out of the hotels, the yellow busses for the last time brought us to the Teutonia Männerchor Haus for a delicious brunch and farewell greetings. Thereafter it was time to board our 3 Badger busses heading for Wisconsin.

It is being said that Pittsburgh is a marriage between stone and water, so emphasized for the city is nestled between the Alleghany mountains, the 2 rivers -the Allegheny, the Mononghelia and meet in the city to form the Ohio river.

Just to mention, Pittsburgh has given us many a notable statesman and affluent citizens whose philanthropic donations have influenced society, economy, knowledge and well-being: Andrew W. Mellon (art collector), Andrew Carnegie (the Carnegie Hall in New York, iron, metal industry) and A.J. Palumbo (land-owner).

Happiness abounded, as the announcement was made that the 63. National Sänger fest (NASB) will take place in 2019, PEORIA, Illinois, hosted by the Illinois Sängerbezirk !

“So ein Tag,so wunderschön wie Heute…”

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