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DANK Chapter Milwaukee: Immersed in Milwau-kee Maifest, Maitanz, and Kommers


By DANK Chapter Milwaukee member Jane Nacker

DANK Chapter Milwaukee was immersed in May activities and planning for a Kommers singing competition.

The DANK Milwaukee Folk Dancers were invited to participate in Maifest for the official grand opening of the Estabrook Beer Garden in Milwaukee. Hans Weissgerber III, who is a DANK Chapter Milwaukee lifetime member and is operator of the Beer Garden, coordinated the Maifest with the Milwaukee County Parks.

A troop of the DANK dancers directed by Doris Müller, were asked to be on a live television promotion on Milwaukee Fox 6 news on April 30. The following link showed two videos of the dance promotion, if it is still available online:

DANK Chapter Milwaukee Vice-President, William Bessa, thanks Hans Weissgerber III for inviting DANK Milwaukee to be a part of the Milwaukee Maifest. The DANK dancers then performed during band breaks at Maifest on May 1. Appropriate for a Maifest, the DANK dancers’ trademark Bändertanz was performed around a maypole or Maibaum. Dances were well received by the audience, including when 20 audience members came forward to learn the Spinradl zu Drei dance with the DANK dancers.

Estabrook Park is located along the beautiful Milwaukee River with a riverwalk and biking paths. It fosters a festive, family atmosphere that allows bicyclists, people with dogs, kids flying kites, and disc golf players to enjoy the outdoors in a picnic and German Biergarten setting. The weather cooperated for a fabulous four day event. DANK Chapter Milwaukee is grateful to Hans Weissgerber III for his generosity and hospitality.

On May 9, the Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend, DANK Chapter Milwaukee held its annual fundraising event with a Mai Tanz at the Schwabenhof in Menomonee Falls, WI. The Steve Meisner polka band provided dance music. Bavarian style pretzels, along with homemade sandwiches and cakes were prepared for sale by DANK members. Gift baskets, including a Packer theme and a gardening theme, were raffle prizes. Most importantly, over 20 door prizes were given to the mothers in attendance in honor of Mother’s Day. The goal of the annual fund-raising event is to raise monies to donate to German Language education programs. Past recipients of funds included local German schools and program support for German language teachers in Wisconsin.

The following month, the DANK Chapter Milwaukee Chor will host the annual Kommers German Chor singing competition on Saturday, June 20, 2015 at Hart Park, Wauwatosa, WI. The competitors are the eight southeast Wisconsin German choruses of the Wisconsin Sängerbezirk. DANK Chor president Jill Shearer and an industrious committee have planned a two day event that will be filled with singing, friendship, love of song, and German language. The second day of the event is Father’s Day; all chorus singers and their güsts are invited to participate in the Sunday morning Mass from 10:30 am to 11:30 am. Following the Mass at noon the combined choruses’ concert of German songs.

A surprise awaits a chor that will have won the traveling Wisconsin Sängerbezirk trophy as a result of the competition the day before. The presentation of other awards will take place. The winning chorus will sing a choral selection alone for the audience. Father’s Day celebration is open to the public and it provides an opportunity to hear German songs sung at its best. The choruses who traveled to Milwaukee are invited to stay for the Father’s Day celebration at the Schwabenhof, where they will perform additional songs, including having the winning chorus sing a selection.

With summer arriving, DANK Chapter Milwaukee will hold its annual picnic on Sunday, June 28 at Sacred Heart Parish in Milwaukee. This is a time to celebrate our members and volunteers from throughout the year. And, after that, it’s time for Milwaukee’s German Fest in July.

DANK Chapter Milwaukee is on Facebook! See photos and chapter news. “Like” us at

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