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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 2: Administrative Records
This series contains a wide variety of administrative records from the Houston Saengerbund and has been arranged in the following subseries: Records Ledgers; Organizational History and Background; Charter, Bylaws and Resolutions; Policies and Procedures; Member and Group Lists; Membership in Other German Organizations; Ladies Auxiliary; Facilities; Travel and Event Planning.
Sub-Series 1: Records Ledgers
This subseries is comprised of five bound records ledgers, each containing an assortment of administrative records, including meeting minutes, membership lists, resolutions, and annual reports. Much of the material within these ledgers is in German.
Box 10
Folder 13: Records Ledger, 1905-1914View associated digital content.
Folder 14: Records Ledger, 1919-1926View associated digital content.
Folder 15: Records Ledger, 1905-1910View associated digital content.
Folder 16: Records Ledger, 1935-1937View associated digital content.
Folder 17: Records Ledger, 1874-1936View associated digital content.
Sub-Series 2: Organizational History and Background
Box 2
Folder 29: Membership Card, 1952
Folder 30: W.P. Noack Eulogy, September 1975
Folder 31: Houston Saengerbund Logos, 1983, undated
Folder 32: History of Houston Saengerbund, approximately 1990
Folder 33: Rodney C. Koenig Biograpy, December 2006
Folder 34: Miscellaneous Handwritten Notes, undated
Folder 35: Paper with Houston Saengerbund Letterhead, undated
Folder 36: Various Writings by Rodney Koenig, undated
Folder 37: Singer Bio for Heidi Barthel, undated
Folder 38: Music Director Job Description, undated
Sub-Series 3: Charters, Bylaws, and Resolutions
Box 2
Folder 39: Houston Saengerbund Charter, 1934
Folder 40: Bylaws and Constitution of the Houston Saengerbund, 1934, 1974, 1998
Folder 41: Amendment Changing the Name to Houston Singing Society, 1942
Folder 42: Proposed Change to Bylaws, October 1950
Folder 43: Amendment Changing the Name back to Houston Saengerbund, 1952
Folder 44: Corporate Resolutions, 1960, 1971
Folder 45: Non-profit Corporation Report to the State of Texas, 1963, 1983
Folder 46: Corporate Resolutions to Govern Handling of Account, November 1970
Folder 47: Various Amendments, undated
Sub-Series 4: Policies and Procedures
Box 2
Folder 48: Leave of Absence Policy, December 1979
Folder 49: Memorandum on Event Planning, 1983
Folder 50: Guidelines and Rules for Singing Members of Houston Saengerbund, undated
Folder 51: Rules for Competition, undated
Folder 52: Club Rental Policy, undated
Folder 53: Board and Administrator Responsabilities, undated
Folder 54: Responsabilities of Committees, undated
Folder 55: Memorandum—Tax Exemption, undated
Folder 56: Memorandum—Entertainment Committee, undated
Sub-Series 5: Member and Group Lists
Box 2
Folder 57: Event Attendee Lists, 1968, undated
Folder 58: Membership List, 1976
Folder 59: Lists of Active Singers, 1982-1983
Folder 60: Membership Lists, approximately 1983-2013
Folder 61: Officers List, 2012
Sub-Series 6: Membership in Other German Organizations
Box 2
Folder 62: Deutsche Texanischer Saenger Bund Bylaws, 1982
Folder 63: Austin Sangerrunde Officers, June 1982
Folder 64: Members and meeting agendas for German Gulf Coast Association, 1990-1992
Folder 65-66: North American Singers Association Membership, 2000s
Folder 67: Chorgemeinschaft-Texas Request for Membership, undated
Folder 68: Certificate from America's First Boys' Ranch: Cal Farley's Home and Future for Boys, undated
Sub-Series 7: Ladies Auxiliary
Box 3
Folder 1: Bylaws of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Houston Saengerbund, 1980, 1987
Folder 2: Ladies Auxiliary Report, approximately May 1982
Folder 3: Ladies Auxiliary Annual Report, 1985
Sub-Series 8: Facilities
Box 3
Folder 4: Houston Floor Company Proposal, March 1955
Folder 5: Land Purchase Contract, March 1963
Folder 6: Equipment Inventory, January 1975
Folder 7: Equipment Inventory, 1977
Folder 8: Injury at Feagan Street Property, December 1977
Sub-Series 9: Travel and Event Planning
Box 3
Folder 9: Summer Germany Trip, 1981
Folder 10: Evaulation of Potential Event Location1983
Folder 11: Report on 102nd Anniversary Party, October 1985
Folder 12: Group Travel Brochures, 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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