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Houston Saengerbund Records


Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Finding Aid/Inventory


Administrative Records

Board of Directors and Committees


Financial Records

Legal Documents



Contact us about this collection

Houston Saengerbund Records, 1874-2013 | University of Houston Libraries

By Stacey Lavender

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Collection Overview

Title: Houston Saengerbund Records, 1874-2013View associated digital content.

Predominant Dates:1874-2013

ID: 08/1989-001

Primary Creator: Houston Saengerbund

Extent: 11.0 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 00/00/1989. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Choral Societies - Texas - Houston, German Americans - Texas - Houston, Houston Saengerbund

Forms of Material: Correspondence, Minutes, Records (documents), Scores

Languages: English, German

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection contains event programs, letters, songbooks, newsletters, ledgers, treasury reports, legal case files, and many other materials relating to the activities and administration of the Houston Saengerbund from the years 1874 to 2013. The collection is divided into eight series: Events, Administrative Records, Board of Directors and Committees, Correspondence, Financial Records, Legal Documents, Songbooks, and Publications. Many of the records from the 1950s and earlier are in German, and a scattering of later records as well. Folders within each series or subseries are arranged as close to chronologically as possible.

Related Materials: Houston Saengerbund Records digital collection (http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/saeng)

[Schauenburgs allgemeines deutsches Kommersbuch] (http://library.uh.edu/record=b7454194~S11)

Sammlung von Volksgesängen für den gemischten Chor (http://library.uh.edu/record=b7454196~S11)

Roots in the Rhineland : America's German heritage in three hundred years of immigration, 1683-1983 (http://library.uh.edu/record=b7452974~S11)

Biographical Note

The Houston Saengerbund (Singing Society) was founded on Oct. 6, 1883, as an organization through which German immigrants in Houston could join with their countrymen to sing songs in the German language. The Houston Saengerbund was one of a number of all-male singing organizations which formed in the German communities of Texas during the last half of the 19th century. These local groups were united under Der Deutsch-Texanische Saengerbund (the German-Texan Singers' League, or DTSB), a regional organization that held biennial meetings and Saengerfeste (Singing Festivals) in various Texas cities.

The Houston Saengerbund swelled to over one thousand members before World War One, and in 1913 Houston played host to a particularly elaborate DTSB Saengerfest which featured a full orchestra and world-class opera singers. But during the war years membership fell as Germans became reluctant to draw attention to their nationality.

After the war, membership increased and the group flourished. The Saengerbund bought their first in a series of clubhouses, and introduced new activities such as dancing, children's plays, and beach excursions. The club officially began admitting women as members in 1937 with the formation of the Ladies Auxiliary and the Damenchor (Women's Chorus).

With the onset of World War II, the Saengerbund members changed the name of the group to "The Houston Singing Society," quit their primary activity of singing German songs, and began keeping minutes in English due to their concern about arousing anti-German sentiment. After the war, the club members restored both their singing and their name, but membership declined, partly owing to a drop in German immigration.

The Houston Saengerbund is still in existence more than one hundred years after its founding, and the Saengerbund and Damenchor continue to perform at the Saengerfeste of the DTSB, the International Festival, Lights in the Heights, and other public events.

Subject/Index Terms

Choral Societies - Texas - Houston
German Americans - Texas - Houston
Houston Saengerbund

Administrative Information

Repository: University of Houston Libraries

Accruals: Additional materials were acquired in 2013 from the Board of Directors of the Houston Saengerbund, as part of ongoing donations.

Access Restrictions: Open for research.

Use Restrictions:

Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, locating copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian.

Reproduction decisions will be made by Special Collections staff on a case-by-case basis. Patrons are responsible for obtaining permission to publish from copyright holders.

Acquisition Source: Rodney Koenig, member of the Houston Saengerbund

Acquisition Method: Donated

Related Materials:

Houston Saengerbund Records digital collection (http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/saeng)

[Schauenburgs allgemeines deutsches Kommersbuch] http://library.uh.edu/record=b7454194~S11

Sammlung von Volksgesängen für den gemischten Chor http://library.uh.edu/record=b7454196~S11

Roots in the Rhineland : America's German heritage in three hundred years of immigration, 1683-1983 http://library.uh.edu/record=b7452974~S11

Preferred Citation: Houston Saengerbund Records. Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries.

Processing Information: Processed by Julie Grob, 1996. Re-processed by Stacey Lavender, 2014.

Finding Aid Revision History: Tue Jul 22 14:50:47 CDT 2003 urn:taro:uh.sc.00007 converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (20030505).

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Events],
[Series 2: Administrative Records],
[Series 3: Board of Directors and Committees],
[Series 4: Correspondence],
[Series 5: Financial Records],
[Series 6: Legal Documents],
[Series 7: Songbooks],
[Series 8: Publications],

Series 6: Legal Documents
This series contains legal documents relating to court cases involving the Houston Saengerbund. The series is broken down into subseries, with each subseries corresponding to a particular court case.
Sub-Series 1: Ray E. Dittmar and Warner Abel, et al., (all members of Houston Saengerbund, Inc.) vs. Der Bier Garten, Inc.
Box 7
Folder 17: Case File, 1977-1983
Folder 18: Affidavit of Thomas M. Melo, November 18, 1982
Folder 19: Dittmar's Grievance, November 1982-December 1982
Sub-Series 2: Der Bier Garten, Inc. vs. The Houston Saengerbund
Box 7
Folder 20: Case File, 1979-1981
Folder 21: Case File, 1982-1983
Folder 22: Case File, July 1992-October 1992
Folder 23: Case File, January 1993-March 1993
Sub-Series 3: Romero Foods, Inc. vs. The Houston Saengerbund
Box 7
Folder 24: Case Notes, approximately 2002-2004
Folder 25: Case File, 2002
Folder 26: Case File, February 2003-October 2003
Folder 27: Case File, November 2003-December 2003
Box 8
Folder 1: Case File, January 2004-July 2004
Folder 2: Numbered Case Documents 00001-00040, May 10, 2004
Folder 3: Numbered Case Documents 00101-00175, May 10, 2004
Folder 4: Numbered Case Documents 00176-00263, May 10, 2004
Folder 5: Numbered Case Documents 00266-00374, May 10, 2004
Folder 6: Numbered Case Documents 00375-00451, May 10, 2004
Folder 7: Numbered Case Documents 00452-00481, May 10, 2004
Folder 8: Numbered Case Documents 00482-00591, May 10, 2004
Folder 9: Numbered Case Documents 00001-00074, May 13, 2004
Folder 10: Numbered Case Documents 00075-00149, May 13, 2004
Folder 11: Numbered Case Documents 00150-00204, May 13, 2004
Folder 12: Numbered Case Documents 00205-00283, May 13, 2004
Folder 13: Numbered Case Documents 00284-00361, May 13, 2004
Folder 14: Numbered Case Documents 00362-00425, May 13, 2004
Folder 15: Numbered Case Documents 00426-00495, May 13, 2004
Folder 16: Case File, August 2004
Folder 17-19: Case File, September 2004
Folder 20: Deposition Notices and Snippets, October 2004
Folder 21: Romero Exhibits, approximately 2004
Folder 22-25: Rodney Koenig Deposition, January 12, 2005
Box 9
Folder 1: Case File, February 2005-March 2005
Folder 2: Case File, April 2005-May 2005
Folder 3: Closing Documents and Seller's Statement, April 2005, May 2005
Folder 4-8: Settlement Documents, April 2005
Folder 9: Case File, June 2005-October 2005
Folder 10: Margaret Wright Deposition, September 28, 2005
Folder 11: Numbered Case Files 00001, 00005-00049, undated
Folder 12: Tomas Romero Background, undated
Folder 13: Houston Saengerbund photos—not used, undated
Sub-Series 4: Michael Martin and Robert Fuldauer vs. Houston Saengerbund, George Wiessner, Helmut Merz, Michael Butler
Box 9
Folder 14: Negotiations, May 2002-June 2002
Folder 15: Numbered Case Documents 00166-00264, May 10, 2004
Folder 16: Numbered Case Documents 00299-00591, May 10, 2004
Sub-Series 5: Southwestern Bell Yellow Pages, Inc. vs. The Houston Saengerbund
Box 9
Folder 17: Numbered Cases Documents 00001, 00181-00194, June 18, 2004
Folder 18: Case File, November 2006-December 2007
Sub-Series 6: Michael M. Butler, Intervenor vs. The Houston Saengerbund
Box 9
Folder 19: Case File, May 2006-December 2006
Folder 20: Trial Notes, December 2006
Folder 21-22: Reporter's Record, December 7, 2006
Folder 23: Reporter's Record, December 8, 2006
Folder 24: Final Judgement, January 3, 2007

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Events],
[Series 2: Administrative Records],
[Series 3: Board of Directors and Committees],
[Series 4: Correspondence],
[Series 5: Financial Records],
[Series 6: Legal Documents],
[Series 7: Songbooks],
[Series 8: Publications],

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