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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 1: Events
This series contains includes materials from festivals, concerts, parties, and other events participated in or attended by members of the Houston Saengerbund. Materials from these events include programs, fliers, invitations, planning documents, and other memorabilia. Many of the materials in this series contain information in both English and German.
Box 1
Folder 1: Saengerfest Promotional Materials, 1911-1931
Folder 2: Celebration Honoring Choir Direction C.C. Lieb, May 1920
Folder 3: Variety Concert, March 1951
Folder 4: Fest Concert, June 1951
Folder 5: Centennial Celebration of 1st Cong Festival in Texas, October 1953
Folder 6: Deutsches Theater, April 1954
Folder 7: Comfort, Texas Centennial Celebration, August 1954
Folder 8: Centennial Observance of the Battle of Nueces, August 1962
Folder 9: Beethoven Men's Choir 100th Anniversary, February 1967
Folder 10: Harris County Historical Society Event, February 1972
Folder 11: Texas Saengerfest, March 1977
Folder 12: Texas Saengerfest, May 1979
Folder 13: Houstoner Karnevalerein, 1981
Folder 14: Texas Saengerfest, May 1981
Folder 15: Bernhard Barthel presents Traumland der Operette, October 1981
Folder 16: Volks Wurstfest, August 1982
Folder 17: German-Texas Heritage Society Annual Meeting, September 1982
Folder 18: Austin Saengerrunde presents Oktoberfest, October 1982
Folder 19: University of Houston German Department Awards Program, April 1983
Folder 20: Texas Saengerfest, May 1983
Folder 21: Annual German-Texan Heritage Society Meeting, September 1983
Folder 22: Texas Saengerfest, May 1985
Folder 23: Texas Saengerfest, May 1987
Folder 24: Texas Saengerfest, April 1988-May 1988
Folder 25: Texas Saengerfest, May 1989
Folder 26: German Gulf Coast Association German Fest, 1990
Folder 27: Oktoberfest, October 1991
Folder 28: Texas German Society, 1992-1993
Folder 29: Stammtisch der Schlaraffen Annual Meeting, March 1992
Folder 30: German Choral Concert, April 1992
Folder 32: German Class, September 1992
Folder 33: Oktoberfest Season Opening Celebration, September 1992
Folder 34-35: German Gulf Coast Association German Fest, October 1992
Folder 36: Columbus Day Parade, October 1992
Folder 37: Texanna Deutsche Octoberfest Programs, October 1992
Folder 38: Texanna Deutsche Octoberfest Fliers, October 1992
Folder 39: Texanna Deutsche Octoberfest Legal File, October 1992
Folder 40: Texanna Deutsche Octoberfest Ads, October 1992
Folder 41: Texanna Deutsche Octoberfest German School Teachers, October 1992
Folder 42: Texanna Deutsche Octoberfest Names of Churches, October 1992
Folder 43-47: Texanna Deutsche Octoberfest, October 1992
Folder 48: Texas Saengerfest, May 1993
Folder 49: German Gulf Coast Association German Fest, October 1993
Folder 50: Texas Saengerfest, May 1994
Box 2
Folder 1: Texas Saengerfest, May 1995
Folder 2: Texas Saengerfest, June 1996
Folder 3: Texas Saengerfest, May 1997
Folder 4: Texas Saengerfest, May 1998
Folder 5: Texas Saengerfest, May 1999
Folder 6: Texas Saengerfest, May 2000
Folder 7: Houston Early Music Concerts, 2000-2001
Folder 8: Texas Saengerfest, May 2001
Folder 9: Houston Early Music Concerts, 2001-2002
Folder 10: Texas Saengerfest, May 2002
Folder 11: Houston Early Music Concerts, 2002-2003
Folder 12: Texas Saengerfest, May 2003
Folder 13: Texas Saengerfest, May 2004
Folder 14: Texas Saengerfest, May 2005
Folder 15: Texas Saengerfest, May 2006
Folder 16: Texas Saengerfest, May 2007
Folder 17: Spring Concert, April 2008
Folder 18: Texas Saengerfest, May 2008
Folder 19: Houston Saengerbund 125th Anniversary, October 2008
Folder 20: North American Saengerfest, April 2010
Folder 21: Texas Saengerfest, May 2011
Folder 22: Texas Saengerfest, May 2012
Folder 23: Texas Saengerfest, May 2013
Folder 24: North American Saengerfest, June 2013
Folder 25: Houston- Leipzig Sister City Association, undated
Folder 26: Untitled Skit Photos, undated
Folder 27: Saegerbund Caroling, undated
Folder 28: Program Draft for Unknown Event, undated

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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