Saengerfest 2015: Wisconsin, here we come!

We are hitting the road for the land of cheese!

Our members will be loading the bus and leaving this Thursday morning, June 18, for Saengerfest, a competition, Swiss singing and yodeling festival being held June 18-21 in New Glarus, Wisconsin. We compete internationally every three years as part of the North American Swiss Singing Alliance (NASSA), made up of 14 choirs from Canada and the U.S.

Our group has been busy preparing two songs for competition, along with an entire songbook for the “grand concert” June 20 with 300 singers from all of the choirs. It will be quite the sight! (Check out photos from our trip to Saengerfest three years ago in Kitchener, Ontario.)

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.

Find more information about the competition and festival at

We have hosted five Saengerfests: 1901, 1924, 1962, 1982, and 2006.

Under the direction of Micah Graber, the Swiss Singers have 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. Our 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.

The Swiss Singers practice Wednesday evenings at 7:30 at Oak Shade Grove, 3624 Seaman Road in Oregon, from September to May.