Saengerfest 2015: We’re bringing home gold!
We're bringing home gold!
The judges awarded us a gold prize from Sunday at Saengerfest, a competition, Swiss singing and yodeling festival held here June 18-21. The Singers were presented with the special wreath for their mixed-choir German prize song “Waldeinsamkeit” by F. Abi. Ladies from the group were presented with a silver prize for their singing of the French song “Marine” by J. Mamie (watch below).
|Micah with the special wreaths.|
In the heart of Green County in Southern Wisconsin, New Glarus is known as “America’s Little Switzerland.” The village of more than 2,000 was founded in 1845 by immigrants. Thriving businesses in the community include a world-class brewery, an award-winning winery, authentic Swiss bakery, sausage makers and, of course, internationally renowned cheese makers. The city is also home to the Swiss Center of North America, a national center for the Swiss-North American community that is charged with preserving and supporting Swiss cultural heritage.
After accepting the gold and silver prizes, the Singers made a special announcement that they would be hosting the next Saengerfest in 2018. Toledo has hosted five Saengerfests: 1901, 1924, 1962, 1982, and 2006.
The Swiss Singers practice Wednesday evenings at 7:30 at Oak Shade Grove, 3624 Seaman Road in Oregon, from September to May.
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Under the direction of Micah Graber, the choir has been a cultural staple in the Toledo area since 1869 — that’s 146 years of celebrating Swiss culture in the area. Starting first as a men’s choir, the chorus in its current form has been around since 1924. Its aim is to retain and preserve the culture and songs of Switzerland, to live up to the singers’ ancestors’ tenets of faith and behavior, help others, and to be good citizens.
The Singers, one of the area’s oldest singing groups, perform three concerts annually, including a wide variety of traditional Swiss, Broadway, Gospel and American music.
The non-profit organization is also part of the larger German American Festival (GAF) Society, which most people associate with the festival held annually in August. The society consists of seven German-speaking societies. During the festival, the Singers set up and operate the Swiss Cheese Haus, along with the Stein Stossen contest. The GAF Festival draws more than 30,000 people on an average weekend and is the largest ethnic festival in this part of the country.