25 Years Hansa Chor Brampton
"People that sing together have no time to think about war" the organizer of some children’s choirs told me recently. "That might very well be true, they certainly have their attention on something creative instead of something destructive" was my answer.
The time-honoured tradition of choir singing has also strong roots in our community. Nearly every German Club has a choir and then there are other independent ones, some of which have acquired near professional qualities.
The evening started with cocktails and the appropriate "Saengergruss", without which no event of this kind can begin. After saying Grace a full course dinner was enjoyed by all, before president Elvira Kordan welcomed together with the Hansa Club’s President Reiner Walter everyone attending.
Then they honoured with the help of the choir’s conductor several members who had been there for 25 years, Hilde Andrzejewski, Inge Breier, Herbert Gross, Erika Liedtke and Erhard Liedtke, one of the founders of the Hansa Chor. At that time in 1977 there were only 7 members, which were soon to grow to the fluctuating number of 35-40.
The Heidelberg Rheingold Singers, from Niagara, conductor Lucille Vogel, Gaye Impey piano, followed with 4 selections, including the much applauded "Let there be peace on earth", something that is on everyone’s mind these days.
Teutonia Choir Stratford, under the baton of Marianne Kelly, Shirley Whittaker piano, sang some very demanding selections, including die Nachtigal with words by Goethe and "They call it Canada", which stirred some patriotic feelings for our new homeland.
Alwin H. Reimer conducted the large Lyra Chor from London, Ontario, with Frances Reimer on the piano. Here too a song about peace found its way into the repertoire and also a spiritual, "My lord, what a morning".
First the Male Choir performed, then the Mixed Choir and then both of them together. From Strauss to Arno Kempens Croatian folksongs, a cycle of 3 songs, and Dubinsky’s "We rise again" with the delightful presentation of three young female soloists plucked from the ranks of the choir, demonstrated what it takes to become a choir with professional standards.
Together all choirs with all conductors jubilated the end of the rich program, which served again to bind us together as a community, not just with the words, but with their melodies and intentions to make people glad.
Changing of the Guard
Every year in March the Concordia Choir in Kitchener holds its Presidents Ball to introduce the new Board of Directors and thank all those helping hands and minds that make up a successful organisation such as the club. This year there were a couple of pleasant surprises for those not in the know: The M.C. was a very young Sarah Allmendinger, a member of the Concordia Narrenzunft, where she dances in the guard. The other surprise was the introduction of a new president.
But before all these things could be presented there first a reception hour with champagne cocktails and a great buffet with many delicacies, followed of course by a lovely dinner to take care of all the bodily needs. Only after the last bit of dessert had been polished off the plates and the coffee was served the official part of the program commenced with the introduction of the many dignitaries. There were 4 elected government officials, including Wayne Wettlaufer, the MPP who gave us German Pioneers Day; there were 3 regional and city officials, including Karl Zehr, Mayor of Kitchener; six presidents of German clubs/associations and six other German related heads of organisations, including Echo Germanica, and of course Miss Concordia Ulrike Schmidt and the very able manager of the club, Peter Pijet.
Furthermore 9 past presidents were introduced, including outgoing President Elisabeth Rowsell, before we all were to meet the new President, Werner Schlueter, who gave a warm welcome to all. And while the choir was assembling in the hall the members of the board and the president lined up inside to be sworn in by Elisabeth Rowsell.
The evening would not be complete without some serious donations made to worthy causes. This year the Heart and Stroke Foundation received a cheque, as did the German Canadian Congress Ontario.
Finally Werner and Angela Schlueter opened the ball officially with the first dance. From then on in it was all fun and dance. Even the mayor was seen on the dance floor.
The club has a new board and surely will do as well as the previous one. Most of the members have been around for quite some time and are accustomed to doing all those things that make the club the success it is.
Until next time
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