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DANK Chapter Milwaukee Sings and Dances into Summer

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The DANK Milwaukee Folk Dancers, directed by Doris Mueller, were invited to perform at the Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee on May 27 for the Ducks Unlimited national convention. The dancers joined other ethnic performers to give the visitors a taste of Milwaukee’s multiple cultural activities. It was the first time on “the big screens” for many of the DANK dancers.

The following month, the Milwaukee DANK Chor hosted the Wisconsin Sängerbezirk (WSB) 2015 Kommers and Sängerfest on June 20 and 21. This was the culmination of many months of preparation led by Milwaukee DANK Chor President Jill Shearer and a planning committee consisting of Chor members Ursula Günther, Helen Gyarmaty, B Roth, and Sally Shearer. The annual German choir singing competition was held at Hart Park, Wauwatosa, WI. The performers were the eight southeast Wisconsin German choruses of the WSB: Gesangverein Concordia Sheboygan, Madison Männerchor, MGV Harmonia Kenosha, Milwaukee DANK Chor, Milwaukee Damenchor, Milwaukee Liederkranz, Milwaukee Liedertafel, and the Schwaben Männerchor.

WSB Vice President Guenther Ruch presided over the event, for President Gary Luther who was unable to attend. WSB Second Vice President Victoria Ohde (also DANK Milwaukee Chapter Treasurer) announced each of the performing choruses. The winner of the Kommers trophy this year was the Madison Männerchor. Milwaukee DANK Chor President Jill Shearer stated that, “The Milwaukee DANK Chor is very pleased with its fourth place win.” The Milwaukee DANK Chor was directed by Dr. James Norden.

Approximately 275 singers and guests were in attendance on competition day, enjoying a day of camaraderie and singing, a lunch and buffet dinner, and dance music to the Kenny Brandt band in the evening. The park setting offered outdoor relaxation and observation of sporting events also taking place at the venue. DANK Chapter Milwaukee appreciated the help of members and volunteers, including students from Brookfield East and Brookfield Central high schools that received monetary donations from DANK Milwaukee in support of their German education programs.

DANK Milwaukee Kommers/Sängerfest planning committee: (L to R) Sally Shearer, Ursula Günther, Helen Gyarmaty, Milwaukee DANK Chor President Jill Shearer. Seated: B.Roth.

The Kommers/Sängerfest program continued on Sunday, June 21 which was Father’s Day. The choruses were invited to the Father’s Day celebration at the Schwabenhof, Menomonee Falls, WI, where the Madison Männerchor was presented with the trophy and the WSB Massed Choir performed several songs, under the direction of Dr. James Norden. This was a pleasing finish to a memorable two day Kommers/Sängerfest event celebrating German culture.

The following week, DANK Chapter Milwaukee held its annual picnic on Sunday, June 28 at Sacred Heart Parish in Milwaukee. Members and volunteers from throughout the year were treated to a picnic lunch, music, and fun activities.

DANK Milwaukee’s activities continued as preparations were made for Milwaukee’s German Fest. The 35th anniversary of German Fest will take place July 24-26 on Milwaukee’s beautiful lakefront. DANK Chapter Milwaukee Folk Dancers and Chor will perform and a DANK Milwaukee display will be in the Culture tent. DANK National will have a booth on the grounds. DANK members will be volunteering in many areas of the Fest, including, but not limited to, the Konditorei (cake and tortes), German pizza booth, and information booth. Visit www.germanfest.com for more details.

DANK Chapter Milwaukee is on Facebook! See photos and chapter news. “Like” us at www.facebook.com/dankmilwaukee.

Jane Nacker

DANK Chapter

Milwaukee member

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