40th Saengerfest – Basic Overview

Successful Saengerfest Thanks to MGV Lyra

Edelweiss Musikanten with Lyra Choir
Edelweiss Musikanten with the MGV Lyra

Surrey, BC – Eight different choirs spent the last 3 years preparing for the 40th Saengerfest, which was held in the Chandos Pattison Auditorium in Surrey on Friday, June 5th, 2015. MGV Lyra was the host choir, and out of their 50+ members, they chose Horst Zimmermann to be the Chairman of the Nord Pazifischer Saengerbund Festival Committee. He then recruited 9 others to help him organize the festival: Rudy Milz, Wolfgang Araszewski, Willi Ternes, Bernd Hirsekorn, Dieter Momeyer (MC), Jochen Petersen, Manfred Frank, Joseph Mens. Horst also recruited me to attend the events and help with digital marketing, as well as prepare a talk on how to use the Internet to attract younger members.

Beatrice Schreiber, Paul ButenHorst also invited VIP’s Consul B. Dierkes-LeifeldBeatrice & Horst & Beatrice Schreiber, President of the German Canadian Business Association. Beatrice also brought friend, artist Paul Buten, along with his wife. Beatrice recently received an “Order of Merit” from the Federal German Government “awarded for achievements that served the rebuilding of the country in the fields of political, socio-economic and intellectual activity” and who says: “My primary objective is to preserve and maintain the local German Cultural heritage and economic associations.”

Edelweiss Musikanten
The Edelweiss Musikanten warmed up the crowd

Beatrice and her guests were very happy to be able to attend the Saengerfest and were amazed at the variety of songs that were offered by the different choirs.  They were also impressed of the energy demonstrated, especially considering the age of some singers.  For example, there were some people who have been singing with their choirs for 50 years already, and Frank Posch who was acknowledged for being involved with the Saengerfest for 75 years!  As there is apparently no special pin for this achievement available., Mr. Posch was given a bottle of wine and a special certificate instead.

Horst Zimmermann awards flowers and wineTowards the end, all of the Conductors, Accompanists and Presidents were invited to come on stage, where the ladies received a bouquet of flowers and the gentlemen a bottle of wine.  All were smiling as they left the auditorium to attend the “Afterglow” Party in the Sheraton Hotel in Guildford, where beer, pizza and accordion music awaited them.  Some of the choir members mentioned that they were already rehearsing at 3 pm and, as the concert attended after 10 am, had lasted almost 8 hours without having eaten anything except for fruit!  Very impressive that the choirs were able to perform so well, and they delighted and amazed their audience with repertoire.  All 230 singers received a standing ovation.

230 Singers at the 40th SaengerfestThen we were able to enjoy 230 people singing four songs altogether to make a joyful noise:  “Als Freunde (Crandal), Lied an die Freude (Beethoven), Unser Leben ist Musik (Sorg), Messiah No 44:  Hallelujah Chorus (Haendel).

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