MÄNNERCHOR and DAMENCHOR
The Teutonia Männerchor (Men's Choir) and Damenchor (Women's Choir) are the heart of the Club! It is to support these talented men and women that the Club was formed in 1854, and it's been our privilege to be their home ever since.
While the choirs both sing in German, you don't have to KNOW German to join. It is fairly easy to learn the songs regardless, and the choirs would LOVE to have you join them!
To see details about each of the choir groups, visit our Choir Detail Page for members and larger photos.
Researchers have discovered that there are numerous benefits to choral singing. People who participate in a choir were found to enjoy a greater feeling of togetherness than others involved in different social activities. Studies have pointed to the mental health benefits of singing, with a measured reduction of stress levels in test subjects. A joint study published by Harvard and Yale Universities has even claimed that increased life expectancy can be included as a benefit of choral singing. There certainly ample reasons to give choral singing a try, especially with the Men and Ladies of the Teutonia Singers. Why not come out and join us on a Wednesday evening to learn more about the choir, and see how choral singing can benefit not only you but also strengthen the health of our organization?
Our singers are the historical backbone of the entire club that we all enjoy today. Participation in choral singing was an important aspect in the lives of many Germanic immigrants, including those who helped to found our club over 160 years ago. We are named, after all, the Teutonia Männerchor due to the musical history of our organization! As we strive to uphold the club’s stated mission of supporting choral singing and upholding cultural traditions, the singers benefit from the legacy of our forefathers. We are the largest surviving German-language choir in the area, as many of the groups which once were located in many area neighborhoods have either folded or lost their connection to musical roots. Our landmark clubhouse is an amenity the likes of which few choral groups can boast. Some of our members live in Pittsburgh, while others are willing to travel considerable distance into the city for rehearsals and performances. Thank you to the many singers who put in so much time and effort!
As a respected choir within our national organization, our group enjoys a position of prominence. Our long-time director Edward Helgerman serves on the Board of Directors for the Nord-Amerikanischer Sängerbund in the office or 3rd Vice President. He is not only a gifted musician, but a talented director. We are quite fortunate to have such aptitude in our midst, in addition to the many wonderful people who comprise our Men’s and Ladies’ groups. There is a wealth of knowledge, experience and skill at each of our weekly rehearsals! As we carefully work on a curated selection of songs each season to prepare for various performances, not only does guidance come from our patient director but also from within the group itself. There is a cohesive bond amongst many of the singers that has been forged over years and years of experience, and it is simply wonderful that everyone is so willing to share with newer and less skilled members of the chorus. Not only are we all constantly growing musically, but many of our singers are also learning German pronunciation, vocabulary and other language skills. And besides, a cold beer tastes even better in our historic Ratskeller after a good rehearsal session.
A member of the Ladies’ chorus (Kathy Hinsman) has taken the initiative to update the presence of the Männerchor and Damenchor on the club’s website. This action should not only increase our visibility to those who are exploring the website, but also to provide a forum to highlight the positive actions of our choir membership. In an effort to strengthen the outreach of our organization, and share stories about the fun and enjoyable experiences that we share as a choir, we all applaud Kathy’s efforts.
There are many thanks to go around as well after we shared another wonderful picnic at the beginning of August with the Alpen Schuhplattlers. This annual event that we organize in conjunction with the dancers is one of the highlights of our year as a group, and is great day to socialize and enjoy the company of friends. We are fortunate to somehow seemingly always have nice weather on the day of the picnic, and lots of enthusiastic participation from the ranks of the singers and dancers. Not only do we have lots of talented performers in our respective groups, but also some very talented pot-luck chefs! Special thanks to Ralph Wagner for his efforts to coordinate the location for this event.
As the long days of summer give way to cooler autumn temperatures, and our collective attention turns towards the always popular Oktoberfest season, there will be plenty of activity for our singers and for the entire Teutonia organization. Please take a moment during the coming weeks while enjoying our clubhouse (or fantastic new Biergarten) to reflect upon the health of the building itself and of our club as a whole. We are strengthened through the continued interest of our membership in the preservation of our cultural heritage, including choral singing. Not only can you expect positive benefits to your own health through participation in choral singing, or by helping out as a volunteer with any of the upcoming club events- but the health and well-being of our entire Teutonia Männerchor can also be advanced through your efforts. We will continue to be a strong aspect of the German-American community in Pittsburgh, as well as a vibrant and proud beacon of our choral singing heritage, through the continued efforts and interest of our membership.
Singer birthdays for the month of September include: Scott Reynolds (9/1), Mary Seibert (9/17), and Ed Graf (9/24). Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!