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What is the Kolping Sängerchor?

We are a group of singers dedicated to the preservation of German song. We are a self-sustaining local German folk choir (Sängerchor) that is a subgroup of the much larger Catholic Kolping Society of Cincinnati. The Sängerchor has around 75 active members. The Kolping Society of Cincinnati is part of an even larger national and international organization headquartered in Cologne, Germany founded by Blessed Adolf Kolping in the 1860's.

The Sängerchor is a member of the Nord-Amerikanische Saengerbund (North-American Singers Association or NASB), a national organization of over 40 German choirs that was founded in Cincinnati in 1849. We are also members of the Southern-Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana District of the NASB, the Illinois Bezirk, and the Deutsche-Saengerbund of Germany.

History of The Kolping Sängerchor

The Kolping Sängerchor was formed in June 1989 by Carolann and Jim Slouffman and a group of twenty dedicated singers from the Cincinnati Catholic Kolping Society. They united in a common bond for their love of German music while preserving the heritage of the singing societies in the Cincinnati area. Some of the early performances by this "elite and chosen" group (singing in two-part harmony) included appearances at the Baker's Ball, the Polkafest, the lighting of the city of Cincinnati's Christmas tree at Fountain Square and a gala for our sister city of Munich.

Our first Spring concert was held at the old Kolping Hall on May 5, 1991 with guest choirs from Dayton Eintracht and Springfield Liedertafel. In the Spring, we participated in our first District Saengerfest in Dayton, Ohio. We performed at the 54th National Sängerfest at the Civic Center Arena in Omaha, Nebraska in May 1992. A special date in our brief history is November 30, 1992 because it was the first time we performed in the new Kolping Center for the Christmas concert.

Maestro Erich Kunzel of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra personally invited us to sing at his 30th anniversary concerts at Music Hall. The Pops Orchestra and the Jack Frost Accordion Band accompanied us. The choir also performed with the Pops Orchestra at Riverbend Music Center in June 1996. Another highlight that year was the Kolping Sängerchor's two-week concert tour of Germany.

Presently, the 75-voice choir represents all age groups with many members being native-speaking German-Americans. Performances have ranged from German Day, organized by the German American Citizens League (GACL) of Greater Cincinnati and Oktoberfest celebrations to the Governor's Pavilion at the Ohio State Fair. The choir also performs at retirement centers, nursing homes, other functions by request, as well as our own Schlachtfest (pig roast), Spring and Christmas concerts.

Performances by the Kolping Sängerchor often include solos by our director, Carolann Slouffman, who is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

In the past, the Sängerchor has hosted visiting choirs from Ettlingen, Freren and Boergerwald, Germany, as well as the Gehlenburg choir.

The Sängerchor has participated in four concert tours of Germany. The most recent was in August of 2011 which took us to North West Germany (Stadtlohn, Freren, Ankum, Vechta and Buke) and the Mosel region with a visit to Luxenbourg. Jim Rettig, Kolping Sängerchor Historian

Mission Statement:

The mission of the Kolping Sängerchor is to promote the cultivation, furtherance and maintenance of German music and songs, German customs and the German language. The mission is to be carried out as a supportive, family-type environment that strives to further develop the individual and the group at the same time.

Responsibilities of Membership in the Kolping Sängerchor

Annual Concert Schedule:

The Sängerchor performs two formal concerts per year at the Kolping Center located at 10235 Mill Rd., Cincinnati, Ohio. They are the Annual Weihnachts Konzert (Christmas Concert) held in December and the Annual Spring Concert. In addition, the Sängerchor performs at the Annual District Saengerfest of the Southern-Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana District of the NASB in a city hosted by one of our member choruses. Every third year we attend and perform at the National Saengerfest of the Nord-Amerikanische Saengerbund in a city hosted by one of our member choruses. This event draws as many as 3000 singers from across the mid-west. This important event continues a tradition started in Cincinnati in 1849.

Travel Options:

The Sängerchor provides you with several opportunities to travel and perform locally, nationally and internationally. The Sängerchor performs locally at nursing homes, other German Club events and occasionally with other area arts organizations such as Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, and other local choruses. The Sängerchor travels annually and tri-annually to the District Saengerfest and the National Saengerfest in a host city of a chorus in our membership. We are also invited to sing occasionally for special events such as 100 Year Anniversary celebrations, etc. of choruses in our membership.

The Sängerchor traditionally goes on concert tour in Germany every four years. The group just returned from its fourth successful Concert Tour of Germany in August of 2011. The group raises funds for this tour to help defray the costs. Each member and guest is responsible to pay for any additional costs while on tour plus airfair to Europe. The tours traditionally last two weeks. These tours have allowed the Sängerchor to tell the people in Germany about Kolping Cincinnati and Kolping in the USA where Kolping families are not affiliated with a particular parish but are stand alone organizations.

Work Assignments:

In addition to work assignments at annual concerts, the Sängerchor holds an annual Schlachtfest (Pig-Roast) in February as a fund raiser for the choir and the Kolping Society. The Sängerchor also works at Schützenfestin July at the pretzel booth and at Octoberfest.in September. Every choir member is required to work at these events. Work assignments include kitchen, raffle, set-up, clean-up, serving and bartending. Because we are structured like a family, everyone must pitch in and help. These fund raisers are also our only source of annual income for the choir.

On occasion, the Sängerchor participates in additional fund raising activities.

Event Ticket Sales:

For all annual concerts and fund raisers held by the Sängerchor, each singer is required to sell 10 tickets for each event. This is our primary way of marketing our events and serves the dual purpose of bringing the Sängerchor's activities to the awareness of the general public.

Annual Dues:

Dues for membership in the Kolping Sängerchor are $15.00 a year. They are due annually by February 28.

Pormance Costume Expenses:

The men's performance costume consists of a green German vest and traditional German tie worn with black slacks and white shirt. Cost of the vest and tie is around $130.00. The women's costume consists of a traditional German skirt and German black vest worn with a white blouse. Cost of the skirt and vest is around $110.00. Each singer is responsible to purchase their costume through our costume coordinator.

Code of Conduct:

What is expected are good manners, good judgment, common sense, and respect for all people and property. The Sängerchor may dismiss singers not conducting themselves in an orderly fashion. Any and all actions relative to the policy outlined above are subject to review by the Sängerchor Board. The actions of the Board will be final.

Member Prices:

Each member of the Sängerchor is eligible to receive member prices at our bar for drinks and snacks during rehearsal time and afterward.

The Joy of Membership:

Membership in the Kolping Sängerchor is both an honor and a fulfillment. The group's amazing unity and family-like sense of community is a reflection of experiences gained through choral singing and the family values shared with the Kolping Society.

Please consider making a commitment to join this outstanding group of individuals!

We promise that it will be a life transforming experience.

Our Motto is: "Singen Macht Freude" (Singing Brings You Joy)

Prepared By: Jim Slouffman, President Emeritus, Kolping Sängerchor
March 2007 - (513) 871-8447 jslouffman@hotmail.com