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The members of the Kingston Maennerchor and Damenchor Inc. meet at their clubhouse located at 37 Greenkill Ave in Kingston NY. We are active, participating members of the New York State Sängerbund. In June 2003, we proudly hosted the NYS Sängerbund Sängerfest with a Mass Chorus Concert and Prize Singing Competition.

We are honored to have participated in the 2003, 2006, 2009, and 2012 Sängerfeste Mixed Chorus 2nd Class Competition and proud to have won the First Prize Trophy in each event.

Rehearsals are on Monday evenings at 6:45 PM.

General Business Meeting is on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 7:00 PM.
Everyone is invited to our rehearsals, come and meet us and find out what we do. Contact any of the members about our schedule updates.

 

 

Officers and Committees

The Kingston Maennerchor
and Damenchor Inc.

2015 Officers and Chairpersons

President

Vice President

Treasurer

Financial Secretary

Corresponding Secretary

Recording Secretary

Archivist/Historian

1 Year Trustee

2 Year Trustee

3 Year Trustee

Honorary President

Honorary President

Honorary President

Honorary President

Hildegard Edling

Alina Nitzschner

Angela Hartrum

Annemarie Harms

Christa Scheitz

Christa Scheitz

Hildegard Edling

Chris Kohler

Jefferson Davis

Walter Bruchholz

Dorothy Birmingham

John Bruening

Hermann Koelmel

Ernest Mann

Standing Committees Chairpersons

Bar

Hausmeister

Music

John Bruening

W.Vogt/R. Edling

Erika Kreider-Mueller
Donna Stegner

Ad-Hoc and Other Committees Chairpersons

Calling List

Newsletter

Scholarship

Good and Welfare

20/20 Prize Raffle

Chris Kohler

Hermann Koelmel

Linda Koelmel

Marion Hohn

Julia & Ed Zeboris

 

 

Music Director

Dorcinda C. Knauth, Ph.D.

We are pleased to introduce you to our new music director, Dr. Dorcinda C. Knauth. Dorcinda is a Kingston native whose first introduction to German was in classes at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church conducted by Helga Bruening and Fred Hatesaul of the Maennerchor. Her first music lessons were from our Assistant Music Director, Sherry Thomas. So we definitely lay claim to her not only as a Kingston native but as a reflection of just how far the arms and hearts of the Maennerchor can reach.

Dorcinda received her Ph.D. in Ethnomusicoloty in 2010 at the University of Pittsburgh. Her area of interest was Sufi Islam in Indonesian Popular Music.

She holds a M.A. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Pittsburgh with her areas of interest being Music in the Diaspora and Music in the Americas and two Bachelor of Arts degrees from Lebanon Valley College. One is in Music Performance specializing in Organ Performance and Sacred Music and the other is in History.

Besides her Maennerchor responsibilities Dorcinda is an adjunct professor at Dutchess Community College and Music Director at the Woodstock Reformed Church.

We hope you will help us welcome her at her first official concert which will be the sing along in November. Some of you may have met her at our spring concert when she conducted one song for us so you know how cheerfully dynamic she is.

 

 

History of the
Kingston Maennerchor and
Damenchor Inc.
1868 - 2014

The Kingston Maennerchor and Damenchor is a dynamic organization which has been meeting continually since its founding as the Rondout Social Maennerchor on February 22, 1868 in the Village of Rondout. In 1872 the Villages of Rondout and Kingston joined to form the City of Kingston and on January 26, 1887 the "Rondout Social Maennerchor" of the City of Kingston was incorporated by the New York State Department of State. The Petition of Incorporation stated that the object and business of the organization would be "the mutual improvement of the members through social interests and the cultivation of vocal and instrumental music."

The founding members were German immigrants drawn together by their common language and their love for music, singing and social activities. The club's "Washington Hall" became a gathering place for German organizations up and down the Hudson River.

Unfortunately some of the organization's early records were destroyed in a fire so the names of the 61 members at the time of incorporation are unknown. Early names of members include Salzmann, Drautz, Crispell, Weber, Schuster, Graffe, Jacobs, Rupp, Block, and Schmidt - names that can be found in the Ulster County area today.

With the exception of the WWI and WWII years, membership in the Maennerchor has been maintained at approximately 140. The "Washington Hall" was destroyed by fire during WWI and in 1918 the Maennerchor moved to the McMillen Building on the Strand where their 50th anniversary was celebrated. In the 1930's the Maennerchor's current property on Greenkill Avenue was purchased. A new building was dedicated on February 4, 1940.

The Maennerchor struggled during the years from the beginning of WWI until the end of WWII. After the end of World War II there was a resurgence of activity and on February 21, 1948 the 80th Anniversary Concert was held with the Germania Singing Society of Poughkeepsie sharing in the festivities. On May 5, 1950 the organization formally changed its name to the Kingston Maennerchor, Inc.

February 19, 1968, one hundred years after its founding as the Rondout Social Maennerchor, the Kingston Maennerchor and Damenchor, Inc. name was adopted. On this date the Ladies Auxiliary, which had been formed on March 16, 1932, became an equal partner.

With the growth of membership and activities more room was needed and in 1977 a 40 foot addition was begun. The newly expanded hall was dedicated on May 14, 1978 when the members celebrated their 110th anniversary. It is to be noted that although construction of the shell was contracted out most of the interior work was done by members.

Another milestone in the growth of the Maennerchor occurred in the summer of 1997 when the adjacent property to the north was purchased. The building on the site was demolished, the ground was leveled for a parking lot, landscaping was done on the periphery and the property was dedicated on October 11, 1998. This additional property allows for larger Gartenfests, other outdoor events and much needed parking.

Part of the longevity of the Maennerchor can be attributed to the continuity of directors which the chorus has enjoyed over the past sixty years. Julius Hochmuth was director for more than 30 years followed by Dorothy Narel for 7 years, Dr. John Galish for 15 years, Frank Bosher as an interim director for one year and Jerry Hoch for 5 years. In October 2011 we welcomed Dr. Dorcinda C. Knauth as our new Music Director. Our chorus presents two concerts a year and has done so continually since 1948. In 2013 the chorus was invited to participate in the Sinterklaas Celebration and sang at the Old Dutch Church in uptown Kingston. They also sing at nursing homes and participate in the Saengerfests (Song Festivals) of the New York State Saengerbund which are held every three years. In June 2003 we were honored to have hosted the 33rd Saengerfest. Since then (2003-2012), we have been awarded First Prize at four consecutive Saengerfeste in the Mixed Chorus 2nd Class competition.

The Petition of Incorporation in 1887 stated that the object and business of the organization would be "the mutual improvement of the members through social interests and the cultivation of vocal and instrumental music." As the Maennerchor has grown over the years, and with more and more non-singers joining, the by-laws have evolved to reflect a growing interest in promoting German language and culture. In that respect, we have hosted two choruses from Germany, sponsor scholarships for high school seniors studying the German language, encourage adults to learn German and host a variety of related activities. On 24 June 2006 the US Department of Treasury Internal Revenue Service designated the Maennerchor as a 501c3 not for profit public charity.

We are grateful to all those who have helped our organization grow over the 146 years of our existence and are proud to be the longest continually functioning ethnic organization in the City of Kingston. We see the work we are doing today as a strong building block toward keeping our organization and its purpose of the promotion and preservation of German music, culture and language alive for future generations.

 

 

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